The article proposes a semantic theory of collective singulars, or singular collective names, designating basic historical concepts, which came into being in the period of the Enlightenment. Their logical structure seems to be internally contradictory, for they refer at the same time to universal values and ideas and to concrete historical occurrences. They also entail two different principles of category-formation—the logic of general names and that of proper names. The two logics are equally rooted in our cognitive makeup; however, different cultures favor either one or the other. The article examines the transformation of the balance of the two logics in European thought from the Middle Ages to the present. The formation of the idea of universal history has brought about an equilibrium of the two logics, while the contemporary "crisis of the future" is accompanied by the rise of the logic of proper names.
Democracy in the Plural?
The Concepts of Democracy in Swedish Parliamentary Debates during the Interwar Years
The article explores some of the composite concepts of democracy that were used in Sweden, primarily by the Social Democrats during the interwar years. Should these be seen as pluralizations of the collective singular democracy or as something qualitatively new? By showing how these concepts relate to each other and to democracy as a whole, the article argues that they should be considered statements about democracy as one entity, that democracy did not only concern the political sphere, but was generally important throughout the whole of society. The article also examines the Swedish parliamentarians' attitudes toward democracy after the realization of universal suffrage, and argues that democracy was eventually perceived as such a positive concept that opponents of what was labeled democratic reforms had to reformulate the political issues into different words in order to avoid coming across as undemocratic.
Republican Liberty and the Pindaric Genealogy of Modern Abstractions
historians of political ideas assume a positive answer, Koselleck makes a case that modern “collective singulars” such as history , liberty , or socialism , which emerged in the century around the French Revolution, have a distinctive structure: they apply
Conceptualizing an Outside World
The Case of “Foreign” in Dutch Newspapers 1815–1914
, buitenland emerged as a key concept in thinking about extra-national space. The concept appeared as a collective singular that was used to grasp the experiential complexity of a globalizing world. It provided a new way of conceptualizing spatial insides and
reaction in other countries. As Koselleck observed, Marx knitted together “diagnostic” and “prognostic” elements, insurrection and long-term structural change, past, present, and future as a “collective singular.” 6 The tensions between the youthful
The Environment as an Umbrella Concept; From Word to Historical Concept
Risto-Matti Matero and Juan Alejandro Pautasso
past, present, and future times, setting itself up as a collective singular. The changes that revolution underwent were simultaneous to the construction of a new temporality where the space of experience and the horizon of expectation grew apart, thus
Digital Conceptual History and the Emergence of a Globalized Climate Imaginary
Michael Boyden, Ali Basirat, and Karl Berglund
transmogrified into a temporal concept denoting future weather conditions on a global scale. 17 This temporalization and delocalization of climate suggests that it has developed into an expectation concept or collective singular in Koselleck's sense. In his
Part 2: After the Big Bang
The Fusing of New Approaches
the way political actors conceptualized the collective entities—the collective singulars—referred to in the various claims for sovereignty and participation. Like Stenius, Monnier, and Guilhaumou, he saw the importance of examining the different forms
Koselleck's Dichotomies Revisited
of disciplinary subfields but rather to conceptions of any form of history from the emergence of the modern sense of the concept in the Enlightenment as a collective singular, “history in and for oneself” (“the convergence of Historie and
Semantic Investigations of a Counterconcept during the French Revolution
historiographical current that tends to see counterrevolution as a political ideology or counterrevolutionaries as a distinct group of political actors. Third, Montlosier used a counterrevolution not as a collective singular but rather as a more independent