"Political philosophy is the attempt to replace our opinions about political fundamentals by knowledge about them. Its first task consists therefore in making fully explicit our political ideas, so that they can be subjected to critical analysis. "Our ideas" are only partly our ideas. Most of our ideas are abbreviations or residues of the thought of other people, of our teachers (in the broadest sense of the term) and of our teachers' teachers; they are abbreviations and resides of the thought of the past...By being transmitted to later generations they have possibly been transformed, and there is no certainty that the transformation was effected conscious and with full clarity. At any rate, what were once certainly explicit ideas passionately discussed, although not necessarily lucid ideas have now degenerated into mere implication and tacit presuppositions. Therefore, if we want to clarify the political ideas we have inherited, we must actualize their implications, which were explicit in the past, and this can be done only by means of the history of political ideas. This means that the clarification of our political ideas insensibly changes into and becomes indistinguishable from the history of political ideas. To this extent the philosophic effort and the historical effort have become completely fused."
"Political Philosophy and History" 1949