History of ideas

The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. The history of ideas is a sister-discipline to, or a particular approach within, intellectual history. Work in the history of ideas may involve interdisciplinary research in the history of philosophy, the history of science, or the history of literature. In Sweden, the history of ideas and science or Idé- och lärdomshistoria has been a distinct university subject since 6 November 1932, when Johan Nordström, a scholar of literature, was appointed professor of the new discipline in a ceremony at Uppsala University (coinciding with that commemorating the 300-year anniversary of the Battle of Lützen). Today, several universities across the world provide courses in this field, usually as part of a graduate programme.

The Lovejoy approach

The historian Arthur O. Lovejoy (1873–1962) coined the phrase history of ideas[citation needed] and initiated its systematic study[1] in the early decades of the 20th century. Johns Hopkins University was a "fertile cradle" to Lovejoy's history of ideas;[2] he worked there as a professor of history, from 1910 to 1939, and for decades he presided over the regular meetings of the History of Ideas Club.[3] Another outgrowth of his work is the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Aside from his students and colleagues engaged in related projects (such as René Wellek and Leo Spitzer, with whom Lovejoy engaged in extended debates), scholars such as Isaiah Berlin,[4] Michel Foucault, Christopher Hill, J. G. A. Pocock, and others have continued to work in a spirit close to that with which Lovejoy pursued the history of ideas. The first chapter of Lovejoy's book The Great Chain of Being (1936) lays out a general overview of what he intended to be the programme and scope of the study of the history of ideas.[1]

Other Languages
한국어: 관념사
íslenska: Hugmyndasaga
日本語: 思想史
norsk nynorsk: Idéhistorie
русский: История идей
svenska: Idéhistoria
中文: 观念史