Meaning and understanding in the history of ideas

  title={Meaning and understanding in the history of ideas},
  author={Q. Skinner},
  journal={History and Theory},
  • Q. Skinner
  • Published 1969
  • Education
  • History and Theory
The task of the historian of ideas is to study and interpret a canon of classic texts. The value of writing this kind of history stems from the fact that the classic texts in moral, political, religious and other such modes of thought contain a ‘dateless wisdom’ in the form of ‘universal ideas’. As a result, we can hope to learn and benefit directly from investigating these ‘timeless elements’, since they possess a perennial relevance. This in turn suggests that the best way to approach these… 
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