Historicism is the position that it is not possible to determine meaning by examination only of abstract axioms, principles, and current facts: falsifiable or just understood and accepted/undisputed.

Instead, there must be consideration of the history of each concept or construct, e.g. its etymology or linguistic origins, the prior list of what conceptual metaphors have been used in its application or initial deep framing, etc. etc..

The theory of dialectical materialism, central to Marxist-Leninist thought, is one in which historicism plays a central role and where we are in history determines the correct approach more than any theory. This may hand a great deal of power to the historians.

The fictional theory of psychohistory defined by Isaac Asimov in The Foundation Trilogy was a branch of psychology that was concerned with very large scale human action and proposed that public decision making and policy was always a function of some statistically certain method. This was a popular belief in early sociology and led directly to neoclassical economics and had a strong influence on green economics.

However, scientific rationality persists:
The philosophy of science attempts to free scientific method of historicism so as to arrive more promptly at correct concepts. Theories of intellectual integrity are required to do this. The theory of postmodern politics arises from this work and especially from analyses of systemic bias, notation bias and infrastructure bias in feminist critical thought. Women, it is proposed, approach science quite differently than men, and are better able to reconcile scientific rationality against the hermaneutic reasonableness one observes as criteria in most womens' roles.

The philosophy of mathematics attempts to explain how or why mathematical practice is free not only of historicism but of empiricism. This was very hotly disputed by the end of the 20th century, mostly by trolls who declared that at least a cognitive science of mathematics was required to express how cognition or imagination knit the world perceived by the mind together with the one that provided actual consequences to the body. The theory of cognitive politics arises from their work.