Some Preliminary Observations
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This chapter is an essay in intellectual history. But to declare that one is writing intellectual history is really to say nothing until one has defined the term. History of this sort obviously deals with the thoughts and emotions of men—with reasoned argument and with passionate outburst alike. It might well be argued that this subject matter is not the deepest stuff of history. The eighteenth- or early nineteenth-century image of man as a self-consciously rational being freely selecting among properly weighed alternatives they dismissed as an antiquated illusion. Sociologists and anthropologists, economists and psychologists are at one in confining within narrow limits the realm of conscious choice. Historians have always written of the "higher" things-but without exactly knowing why. They have felt temperamentally drawn to the realms of the great deed and the lofty thought. The same may be said with slight modifications about the "ethico-political" type of intellectual history.