David Mytton

Book Review (4/5) – An Autobiography (R.G. Collingwood)

Published (updated: ) in Book Reviews. Tags: .

Originally published on Goodreads.

If you have any interest in history and/or the application of history to real world problems, this is a crucial text to understanding the historical method. Not really an autobiography, Collingwood provides a very accessible and easy to understand description of how history should be considered a science. 

How to think about events, problems and what one should do next in any given situation all comes down to context:

you cannot find out what a man means by simply studying his spoken or written statements, even though he has spoken or written with perfect command of language and perfectly truthful intention. In order to find out his meaning you must also know what the question was (a question in his own mind, and presumed by him to be in yours) to which the thing he has said or written was meant as an answer.