The “Idea” of Universal History: What the Owl Heard, the Angel Saw, and the Idiot Said

This essay considers the similarities and differences between world history, global history, and universal history. It demonstrates how a philosophical, and specifically a teleological, understanding of history is central to the idea of universal history. To a certain extent, this philosophical version of universal history transcends both world history and global history in that some versions of each of those are in fact universal histories of this very kind.