From Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought

Futures Past

On the Semantics of Historical Time

By Reinhart Koselleck

Translated by Keith Tribe





In these fifteen essays, one Of Germany's most distinguished philosophers of history invokes an extraordinary array of witnesses and texts to explore the concept of historical time. The witnesses include politicians, philosophers, theologians, and poets, and the texts range from Renaissance paintings to the dreams of German citizens in the 1930s. Using these remarkable materials, Koselleck investigates the relationship of history to language, and of language to the deeper movements of human understanding.


ISBN: 9780262111003 pp. | 9 in x 6 in

Not for sale in the UK Commonwealth, except Canada.


Keith Tribe.


  • Koselleck turns the procedures of 'conceptual historiography' to the study of the concept of history itself, (providing) original, erudite, and illuminating insights into concepts that have informed the modern idea of historical being: event, chance, progress, revolution, modernity... Koselleck's work augurs a new era in the conceptualization not only of what 'history' means to Western culture but also of what Western culture means for 'history.'

    Hayden White

    American Historical Review