Robin George Collingwood's Philosophical Influence on Eugenio Coseriu's Hermeneutical Conception

AuthorCristinel Munteanu
PositionProfessor, PhD, 'Danubius' University of Galati, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Galati, Romania
ISSN: 2067 9211 Interdisciplinary Dimensions of Communication Science
Robin George Collingwood’s Philosophical
Influence on Eugenio Coseriu’s Hermeneutical Conception
Cristinel Munteanu1
Abstract: R.G. Collingwood is an English philosopher and historian who is referred to by Coseriu a few times,
mainly when the latter mentions the way in which history has to be interpreted. Despite the relatively few
references, we are entitled to believe (and this is what we try to prove here) that Co llingwood’s influence on
Coseriu was greater than assumed, at least by the fact he confirms through the ideas found in his books a
series of Coseriu’ intuitions and principles. In this paper, I will mainly consider Collingwood’s influence on
Coseriu as regards his hermeneutical conception.
Keywords: E. Coseriu; R. G. Collingwood; history; philosophy of language; hermeneutics
1. The topic chosen by me may surprise even some specialists in Coseriu’s theory, since the name of
Collingwood (unlike Aristotle’s, for example) is rarely mentioned by the Romanian scholar. If one
thoroughly reads, for instance, the series of ten volumes of Coserian essential studies, published by the
Gredos House from Madrid (between 1962 and 1992), he will notice that the name of Collingwood is
not mentioned at all. Only in some materials (initially, either conferences or courses) published by
Coseriu in German does he find this English philosopher indicated. However, it seems that in some
texts/discourses elaborated by Coseriu in Romanian, Collingwood is given a special emphasis
(Munteanu, 2013, pp. 442-460).
2. The term influence, as used in the title of this paper, should be taken in a broad sense, because
leaving apart the elements the Romanian scholar obviously owes to the British philosopher in some
regards, Collingwood’s influence on Coseriu can be reduced to the confirmation or the reconfirmation
of some ideas which the Romanian linguists previously acquired from other philosophers or, on the
contrary, found them on his own. Consequently, in this paper, I will take into consideration both sure
and probable influences.
3. Undoubtedly, Coseriu’s Geschichte der Sprachphilosophie (History of the Philosophy of Language)
offers us the occasion of observing the particular way in which the Romanian scholar used to write the
history of the philosophy of language. Coseriu’s conception concerning the way in which the texts of
1 Professor, PhD, “Danubius” University of Galati, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Galati, Romania,
Address: 3 Galati Blvd., 800654 Galati, Romania, Tel.: +40.372.361.102, Fax: +40.372.361.290, Corresponding author:
This paper was written, at the same time, as part of a postdoctoral p rogram of advanced research i n the field of philosophy
(2019-2021) organized by “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi.

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