Published in journal "SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences", 2013-1 in rubric "History", pages 23-27.
Resume: People of the past are alive due to a special kind of social practice — social memory. Modern psychology demonstrates sufficiently that no one can, on their own, have an adequate understanding of their social behaviour and the way of thinking. However sincere his attempts to be the judge of himself, sooner or later he has to resort to somebody else’s judgement and interpretation. This also holds true for the consciousness of nations, confessional communities, political and ideological movements. A historian’s belonging to some historiographic tradition or another, undoubtedly influences the character of his research. And to the same degree, a historian’s work is influenced by his individuality. Problems and methods of historical anthropology are not infrequently called the history of mentality. This is associated with the French School of Annals. The history of mentalities, however, can hardly pretend to have an autonomous status in the system of historical knowledge. We cannot to foresee to what and how history will respond, but there is an old observation by social psychologists that social shifts begin in a form and depth that nobody expects. People of the Renaissance considered that history began with them, they imagined themselves to be pioneers, aware as they were that they were reviving antiquity. Tradition often seems irrelevant, a password for an archaic period and preposterous old times. But it is in tradition that infinite social experience is crystallized.
Keywords: philosophy, history, culture, tradition, stability, historicism, reform, revolution, social experience, progress.
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