8/10/2019

Ideology or Psychology?

"What has happened, I am afraid, is a classic error to which intellectual historians are peculiarly prone due to the nature of their craft. The historical profession, dominated by left-leaning social history in the 1970s, moved in the 1990s to the forms of discourse theory that predominate today; but this means that it has become focused on forms of intentionality and purposefulness. That in itself is not bad. (I have written on that in a chapter here.) But what must be guarded against is the temptation to see purposefulness in everything—to the point where one is seeing conspiracy everywhere."