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N.2/2020 Filosofia e storia: una relazione ancora possibile?

Al riparo dalle tarme e dai ladri Sul signifificato filosofico della storia della filosofia

Emanuele Cafagna

(Università degli Studi G. d’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara)

Published in December, 2020

Far From Woodworms and Thieves. On the Philosophical Meaning of the History of Philosophy



This article provides a brief overview of two different approaches to understanding the philosophical meaning of the history of philosophy. The current paper is organised as follows: first I attempt to show how Hegel treats the topic to then examine the definition of the history of philosophy put forward by Williams and the great influence it has exerted on the subsequent discussions by later authors. In the last section, I provide a comparative analysis of these two frameworks and demonstrate that they imply and rely on a diverging way of conceiving philosophy as a concept. I argue that, in order to fully comprehend the meaning of this conceptual shift in its entirety, it is crucially important to contextualise and ascribe it to specific historical reasons. The comparative perspective presented here also opens up the opportunity to discuss some key features of and yet unresolved challenges to a contemporary approach to the history of philosophy.


History of philosophy; Metaphilosophy; Hegel; Williams.


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