História e Teoria na Era dos Extremos // [History and Theory in the Age of Extremes]

The theory of History was exposed during the 20th century to many extremes. This paper analyzes those excluding extremes: the unbound (if not naïve) confidence in the sources, the skeptical relativism, the requirement of modeling the procedures of research, the totalitarian temptation of dogmatization, the lost of specificity of the historical knowledge, the threat of its dissolution into other social sciences. It discusses also the role of politics and militant engagement as a typical extreme of the century. It argues that the establishment of a minimal pattern of methodization as a form of interaction of the many theoretical options for the historiography and the comparative perspective, beyond the national allegiances, are decisive for the historiographical debate in the 21st century.

KEYWORDS: Theory of History – Contemporary historiography – 20th century’s history – National history – Comparative method – Historical knowledge.