Kittsteiner’s History Out of Joint

Abstract In this article, I portray both the “thinking historian” Heinz-Dieter Kittsteiner and his philosophical analysis of the unavailability of the historical process. In his book Out of Control (2004), Kittsteiner builds on Immanuel Kant’s concept of the historical sign to demonstrate how history is out of joint due to the contingent character of the historical process. This understanding demands a new theory of historical time and of historiographical practice, which I reconstruct through a close reading of a chapter of Kittsteiner’s book.