Collingwood as an Archaeologist and Historian
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Collingwood made it abundantly clear in An Autobiography how closely his theory of history was based on his archaeological and historical practice. This was especially the case, he explains, as regards the question and answer approach, which was philosophically linked with Cartesian and Baconian principles (Aut, 24–5). We have seen in the second chapter how he also used his archaeological ‘laboratory of knowledge’ to mount a ‘flank attack’ on the realist position (Aut, 28). The importance Collingwood himself attached to his studies in the field is also confirmed by what he says about his activities in the mid-1930s: ‘It was time to begin arranging and publishing the lessons which all this archaeological and historical work had taught me about the philosophy of history’ (Aut, 121).