The interest in history always played a significant role in Simmel's writings. In this regard his lecture 'Vom Wesen des historischen Verstehens' from 1918 is of key importance. Simmel discussed the particular features of historical understanding within the general problem of understanding. In his view historical understanding may be possible only through the understanding of the soul. This position presumes that the internal events of the soul in the past is inserted into the totality of life in the past. Understanding does not mean the mechanical (photographical) repetition of the psychic processes of a past person, on the contrary, it is a creative act.
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