二十世紀30年代，柯林武德（R. G. Collingwood, 1889-1943）提出「歷史是活著的過去（the living past）」， 並認為歷史知識濃縮（encapsulated）於現今思想結構中。我們在對中國現代政治觀念的研究中發現，以關鍵詞為中心、揭示觀念與社會行動之間的相互作用、特別是社會行動如何反作用於觀念，可以印證柯林武德的上述命題並解決其中的困難。本文還進一步討論，當關鍵詞研究範圍從對應著概念的關鍵詞，擴大到包括事件、各式各樣社會行動、行動主體和對象以及各類事物的關鍵詞時，對關鍵詞的統計分析就會從涉及概念史、思想史擴大到以歷史為中心的整個人文科學；而隨著數據庫方法在各類關鍵詞研究的應用，也將推動數位人文學的興起。東亞觀念史研究正是從事這一探索的最佳領域。 In the 1930s R. G. Collingwood suggested that ”History is the living past” and knowledge of it is encapsulated in the very structure of present thought. During our research of Chinese modern political concepts we discovered that using keywords as the basis for revealing interaction between concept and social action, especially how social action counteracts on concept, enabled us to verify the above suggestions by Collingwood, as well as resolving its inherent conflicts. This essay further discusses how, when the study of keywords is expanded from its relation to concepts to an inclusion of events, namely different social actions related to subjects or objects, the analysis of keywords will be broadened from the realm of conceptual and intellectual history to include the whole humanistic discipline, with history as its core. The adoption of a method based on database analysis into the study of different keywords will lead to the rise of a type of digital humanist studies, with the study of East Asian conceptual history at its forefront.