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Chapter 4 - More than Life

Georg Simmel’s Philosophical Testament

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2023

Nicolas de Warren
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
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Summary

On March 21, 1918, the German Army launched “Operation Michael” against British positions around Arras as the first stage of an offensive along the Western Front. Bolstered by reinforcements from the Eastern Front after the October 1917 Revolution and cessation of hostilities with Russia, the Kaiserschlacht, as it was called, represented a final gambit to win the war. A few days after the start of this titanic onslaught, Georg Simmel confided in a letter of March 25 to his friend Hermann Graf von Keyserling: “Now I am in the midst of very difficult ethical and metaphysical investigations […]” (G. Simmel, Briefe 1912–1918. Jugendbriefe. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2008). It was not only premature aging that conspired against reaping his philosophical harvest: Simmel had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. As he writes to his friend, he finds himself in “very bad health” and severely reduced in “intellectual energy.”

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • More than Life
  • Nicolas de Warren, Pennsylvania State University
  • Book: German Philosophy and the First World War
  • Online publication: 30 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108526180.005
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  • More than Life
  • Nicolas de Warren, Pennsylvania State University
  • Book: German Philosophy and the First World War
  • Online publication: 30 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108526180.005
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • More than Life
  • Nicolas de Warren, Pennsylvania State University
  • Book: German Philosophy and the First World War
  • Online publication: 30 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108526180.005
Available formats
×