This manifesto is intended to provide a theoretical introduction to a field of historical studies situated at the nexus of the theory and history of historiography which I call ‘historiographical criticism’. This notion of criticism is unrelated to the tradition of critical historical reflection, associated with scepticism about the methods of historical cognition, critique of the historical source, the separation of history from myth, and the development of methodology ancillary to history. In its attempt to approach the subject matter of historical texts as a philosophical problem, and thus to relate it to the problems of the cosmos, the world and the human being, this method draws upon nineteenth-century traditions of criticism.