Sunday, June 11, 2017

Soloviev on Negative Historical Criticism

The absurdity of the point of view generally assumed by the negative historical criticism escapes general ridicule simply owing to the 'darkness of time,' which conceals the objects upon which it is exercised. If its favorite methods and considerations were applied, e.g., to Mahomet or Peter the Great, there would be s little left of these historical heroes as of Dido or Romulus. Every one who has read Whately's admirable pamphlet on Napoleon will agree that the solar significance of this mythological hero is proved in it, in accordance with the strict rules of the critical school, and is worked out with a consistency, clearness, and completeness not often to be found in the more or less famous works of the negative critics, although the latter wrote without the least irony but with the most serious intentions.
[Vladimir Soloviev, The Justification of the Good, von Peters, ed. Catholic Resources (Chattanooga, TN: 2015), p. 232n.]

Whately's pamphlet is, of course, Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Buonaparte, his classic attack on Hume's essay on miracles.

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