76. Propositions about "Science" [151-152]

that means never become the singularity of the unique and the simple, in the face of which history would have to recognize itself as insufficient—if it could ever come to face the unique and the simple. The not-known presentiment of history for negating its own essence—a negating that threatens history as it comes from the historical [Geschichtliches] — is the innermost reason why historical [historische] comparison grasps the differences only in order to place them into a wider and more entangled field of comparability. All comparison, however, is essentially an equalizing, a referral back to a same that as such never even enters knowing awareness but rather makes up what is self-evident ira ternis of which all explanation and relating receives its clarity. The less history itself is recorded, calculated, and presented and the more only the deeds, works, productions, and opinions as events are recorded, calculated, and presented in their succession and difference, the easier it is for history [as a discipline] to satisfy its own rigor. That it always operates in this field is proven most dearly by the kind of “progress that historical sciences make. This consists in the respective and in each case variously caused exchanges of the key perspectives for comparison. The discovery of the so-called new "material" is always the consequence, not the ground, of the newly chosen view for explanation. Moreover, there can be times that — despite apparent exdusion of all interpretations and presentations — limit themselves to securing the sources, which in turn are themselves designated as the genuine "finds." But even this securing of "finds" and the findable immediately and necessarily proceeds to an explanation and thus into the claim of a key perspective. (Explanation is the crudest arrangement and ordering of a find into that which has already been found.)

In the course of the development of history [as a discipline] the material not only grows, not only becomes more surveyable and more accessible more quickly and reliably through more refined institutions, but ft also becomes above all more stable in itself, i.e., it remains the same within changes in the views to which it is subordinated. Thus historical work becomes increasingly more convenient. because it only requires the application of a new view for interpreting existing material. But history [as a discipline] never yields this view for interpretation; for it is always only the reflection of the present history in which the historian lives but which he can not know historically—and in the end can only explain again in terms of history [as a discipline]. But the substitution of views for interpretation then guarantees for a longer time a profusion of new discoveries, which in turn strengthens history [as a discipline] in the self-certainty of its progressiveness and consolidates its own