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New Global Studies

Ed. by Chanda, Nayan / Iriye, Akira / Mazlish, Bruce / Sassen, Saskia

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The “Idea” of Universal History: What the Owl Heard, the Angel Saw, and the Idiot Said

Brett Bowden
Published Online: 2017-09-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2017-0021


This essay considers the similarities and differences between world history, global history, and universal history. It demonstrates how a philosophical, and specifically a teleological, understanding of history is central to the idea of universal history. To a certain extent, this philosophical version of universal history transcends both world history and global history in that some versions of each of those are in fact universal histories of this very kind.

Keywords: universal history; world history; global history; philosophy of history

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Published Online: 2017-09-16

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: New Global Studies, Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 197–209, ISSN (Online) 1940-0004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2017-0021.

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© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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