Taine in tweevoud: over geschiedenis, wetenschap en engagement // [Taine in twofold: On history, science and engagement]

Examines how the work of French philosopher and historian Hippolyte Taine (1828-93) exemplifies the intersection of "history, knowledge and commitment." Taine was a positivist who accorded history the same certainty as the sciences but also indicated his political and social ideas in his work. After Paul Bourget's essay 'Les Deux Taine' (1902) Taine acquired a dualist reputation, and in this context emerges on the one hand as a Romantic cultural critic who preferred to publish his observations in the forms of 'voyages' and 'notes' and stressed the otherness of the past, and on the other hand as a social critic who practiced an ambitious positivism and saw the French past as familiar and relevant to the present.