2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

History and Freedom: A Critical Assessment of Ray Huang’s Idea of History

Chilun Liu

Department of History, National Chengchi University

This article investigates the irrationality of the “long-term rationality of history” in Ray Huang’s idea of history. Huang views history as a process leading to a predetermined end, and this makes his historical view a kind of teleology and historical determinism. As a teleologist, Huang takes generations and generations in history as ladders which lead to a future goal. As a historical determinist, he views human freedom as an illusion. Individuals are no longer fundamental units in history; rather, he views them as the expressions and embodiments of historical trends and tendencies. Thus, his historical world fails to display the historical reality, and instead becomes a historical puppet show, full of actions looking for their actors, and of verbs that are attached to no subject.


Keywords: Ray Huang, long-term rationality of history, teleology, historical inevitability, historical determinism