The paper critically examines Carl Schmitt’s and Reinhart Koselleck’s contributions to the reflection of the epistemological advantage of the vanquished. Both authors claim that the experience of being defeated contains a unique potential for creation of innovative historical interpretations and historiographic procedures which have long-term usefulness. Adverse historical development intensifies explanatory pressure on the vanquished historian and directs his attention to long-term factors that have influenced this development. Non-ideological analysis of these factors facilitates the discovery of historical connections which are repeatable and will probably occur in later historical contexts. Both authors polemicize against the philosophical-historical principle History is written by the victors which does not prove itself in the long-term perspective. In this paper I especially focus on typological aspects of the analysis of the phenomenon of defeat.
A. de Tocqueville, Anthropological constant, C. Schmitt, Epistemological advantage, Philosophy of history, R. Koselleck, Theory of defeat