Forward to Past Realities: Non-dualism and History

Problem: The paper’s main focus is on the question of whether Mitterer’s non-dualising philosophy is able to show a way out of the antagonistic opposition of fact and fiction, realism and constructivism. In addition, since Mitterer’s philosophy has hardly been discussed so far in historiography and theory of history, I also examine the question of whether his approach can provide new theoretical insights in these disciplines. Method: I follow a close reading of Mitterer’s texts and relate them to the propositions of a variety of publications from the field of theory of history. Results: Mitterer’s arguments show, on the one hand, how to expel the idea of creation from our historical thinking as there is no authenticity waiting behind our world of descriptions. On the other hand, they make clear that historiography no longer has to decide between realism and relativism. Rather, it is a relationist approach that shows a way to research the many entanglements and complexities between past realities and their descriptions. A different way to write history becomes visible: a history of realities. Implications: The discussion of Mitterer’s non-dualism not only shows how historical research might benefit from this philosophy (in leaving behind some dualistic foundations of the discipline or the search for historical origins) but also how non-dualism might profit from the insights of history (with regard to power, processuality, and temporality.