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Almost all the writings which compose the present treatise were printed in the proceedings of Italian academies and in Italian reviews between 1912 and 1913. Since they formed part of a general scheme, their collection in book form presented no difficulties. This volume has appeared in German under the title Zur Theorie und Geschichte der Historiographie (Tübingen, Mohr, 1915).

On publishing in book form in Italian, I made a few slight alterations here and there and added three brief essays, placed as an appendix to the first part.

The description of the volume as forming the fourth of my Philosophy of the Spirit requires some explanation; for it does not really form a new systematic part of the philosophy, and is rather to be looked upon as a deepening and amplification of the theory of historiography, already outlined in certain chapters of the second part, namely the Logic. But the problem of historical comprehension is that toward which pointed all my investigations as to the modes of the spirit, their distinction and unity, their truly concrete life, which is development and history, and as to historical thought, which is the self-consciousness of this life. In a certain sense, therefore, this resumption of the treatment of historiography on the completion of the wide circle, this drawing forth of it from the limits of the first treatment[Pg 6] of the subject, was the most natural conclusion that could be given to the whole work. The character of 'conclusion' both explains and justifies the literary form of this last volume, which is more compressed and less didactic than that of the previous volumes.

B. C.

Naples: May 1916

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