Press/Media items

Rik Peters, History as Philosophy and Action: The Philosophies of Croce, Gentile, de Ruggiero and Collingwood (Exeter, Imprint Academic, 2014), pp. x + 429, ISBN 9 781845 402440. Reviewed by James Wakefield.

Press/Media: Expert CommentPopular

03/02/2014

I know of no author as qualified as Rik Peters to take on
the monumental task of History as Thought and Action. His
considerable knowledge and understanding of the idealist
literature, as well as his years of reflection on the historical
and philosophical problems elaborated in the book, is
demonstrated on every page. As such, the volume stands
as a valuable contribution to each of several bodies of literature.
Specialists on Collingwood will be interested at last
to get themeasure of his long-suspected Italian influences.
Our knowledge and understanding of the reasons he
chose the positions he ultimately did is greatly enriched
by this study. More broadly, philosophers of history and
historians of philosophy will be prompted to reconsider
some basic questions about the nature of historical
thought. The book will also be invaluable for anyone interested
in any the protagonists individually: each chapter
on its own constitutes a short but pithy overview of its
subject’s development over a given period, and these will
be all the more useful given the scarcity of good-quality,
broad-based and accessible secondary material on the Italians.
(I am thinking here of de Ruggiero and to a lesser
extent Gentile). These qualities, together with the clarity of
Peters’ prose and the breadth of his reading, ensure that
the book will remain instructive to novices and interesting
to experts for years to come.

References

  • Rik Peters, History as Philosophy and Action: The Philosophies of Croce, Gentile, de Ruggiero and Collingwood (Exeter, Imprint Academic, 2014), pp. x + 429, ISBN 9 781845 402440. Reviewed by James Wakefield.

    James Wakefield

    Collingwood and British Idealism Studies, 19:2 (2013), pp. 281–305

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