The Philosophical Moment in Postwar Historiography
It is difficult to imagine that the Journal of the History of Ideas would today, or even in the late 1970s, publish an article entitled ‘The Idea of Progress in Recent Philosophies of History [emphasis added]’. But it did so in 1958. That editorial choice signals, on the one hand, that ‘progress’ was still a salient historiographical topic in the 1950s, and even the 1960s, and on the other hand, that a historical journal was willing to address philosophical or theoretical issues on its pages. Accordingly, this was not the only historical journal to address them. For example, in 1962, Hayden White published an article in The Journal of Modern History entitled ‘The Abiding Relevance of Croce’s Idea of History’. Moving across the Atlantic, we find that the period between 1950 and 1980 in British historiography witnessed an unprecedented surge in interest among historians in philosophical issues relating to history as a form of knowledge and practice.