The idea of a hermeneutic of history.
Constantly confronted by history, man has what may be termed a natural impulse to make sense of the past. And indeed, the past cannot be understood without also understanding the present. Thus that fundamental historical impulse is profoundly philosophical in the Socratic sense. It is because hermeneutics explicitly identifies itself with the Socratic tradition, that my attempt to elucidate the nature of written history as an academic discipline has been located within a hermeneutic point of view. In the course of this thesis I refer to several major debates in social theory. However, I make no pretense at covering these debates fully. They are cited insofar as they bear on issues arising in the development of the idea of a hermeneutic of history.