Abstract

The climate crisis has raised questions about the proper scale of historical analysis in the Anthropocene. After explaining how this methodological crisis differs from an earlier stand-off between proponents of microhistory and total history, this paper suggests a role for intellectual history in moving us beyond the current debate. What is needed is a history of “scaling”; that is, we need to historicize the process of mediating between different frameworks of measurement, even those that might at first appear incommensurable. Historical examples are explored in which such a process of commensuration has allowed for a pluralism of perceptions of space and time.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 305-321
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-14
Open Access
No
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