As Marx said, history does not walk on its head; but neither does it think with its “feet,” but rather its body. All economical and psychological explanations of a doctrine are true, since the thinker only ever thinks beginning from what he is. Reflection upon a doctrine will itself only be complete when it succeeds in connecting with the history of the doctrine and with external explanations, and in putting the causes and the sense of a doctrine back into an existential structure.
In relation to its fundamental dimensions, all periods of history appear as manifestations of a single existence or as episodes of a single drama – but we do not know if this drama will have an ending. Because we are in the world, we are condemned to sense, and there is nothing we can do or say that does not acquire a name in history.Phenomenology of Perception, Preface – Maurice Merleau-Ponty