Philosophical histories can be contextual without being sociological: Comment on Araujo's historiography

Jeremy Trevelyan Burman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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The future of the History of Psychology is bright, and the recent historiographical debates in this journal play an important role in that. Yet Araujo's recent contribution could be misunderstood: ignoring context is not the way to do a philosophical history. Instead, philosophical assumptions can be presented as part of the context that informed an historical subject. Hence the necessity, here, of a response: the History of Psychology is becoming disciplined, but slowly. There are still plenty of non-specialists who will misunderstand Araujo’s contribution as a step forward in its rhetoric (many of whom teach the history course in their department). And because even specialists also sometimes dismiss methods-talk as a false step toward methodolatry, there is a danger in leaving such misunderstandings unaddressed. Simply put, then, ideas are never just lights in the attic: as the Historian looks in, we must always remember that—at the time—someone was looking out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalTheory & Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6-Feb-2017


  • context
  • history
  • historiography
  • new history
  • history of psychology

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