A Constructivist Approach to the Historiography of Philosophy

In the following text I propose a certain view of historiography of philosophy. My starting point will be the analysis of Richard Rorty regarding the historiography of philosophy. The first part will discuss Rorty's text and the differences between various ways of approaching the history of philosophy. Rorty's text is important because it reveals a lack of unitary vision when we are speaking about the best way in which we can write history of philosophy. This lack of unity implies that there are different frames of thinking historiography so we are entitled to say that the clashes between visions constitutes a whole new area of inquiry which we can call “the philosophy of historiography.” The following step is to distinguish the philosophy of historiography from the philosophy of history. We will see then, that one of the most important questions of philosophy of historiography is: what is philosophy? Before we start writing the history of philosophy, we should ask ourselves what is our view about the nature of philosophy. Following the French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, my view is that philosophy is essentially “the art of creating concepts.” Viewing the philosophy in this way implies that the history of philosophy is a history of concepts. Since the concepts are constructed entities, and not discovered things, it follows that viewing the history of philosophy in this way, forces us to adopt a constructivist approach.