Time, Death, and History in Simmel and Heidegger

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Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The article focuses on philosopher Gary Simmel's contribution to the discussion of history, time and death in contrast to philosopher E. Heidegger's contributions. Much has already been written on time, death, and history in Heidegger's thought, but this is not true of Simmel, who is known in the United States primarily as one of the founders of sociology. The central task in the present research paper is to shed light on Simmel's contributions to the discussion of history, and, concurrently, to make the case that his contributions to the philosophy of history place him much closer to Heidegger than the latter was himself willing to acknowledge.


An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences, Penn State University, October 2000.

Preliminary research was supported by a grant from the Sacred Heart University Research/Creativity Council.