The Historical Logic of Logics of History

Asks how the logic of language combines with the logic of labor to explain historical change. This article suggests that William H. Sewell, Jr.'s work can be divided into three periods, each characterized by a different answer to this question. In the work of the early cultural turn, labor and language codetermine historical change; in that of the high cultural turn, the logic of language becomes dominant; and in that of the postcultural turn, labor returns to a more central position. These shifts result from tensions in Sewell's account of historical change and suggests a comparison with Jürgen Habermas's account of work and interaction.