Religion Past and Present

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Plessner, Helmut
(254 words)

[German Version]

(Sep 4, 1892, Wiesbaden – Jun 12, 1985, Göttingen), philosopher and sociologist; professor in Cologne, after emigration in 1933 in Groningen, after 1951 in Göttingen. His earliest works (1913) display an equal interest in both philosophy and biology. In Grenzen der Gemeinschaft (1924; ET: The Limits of Community, 1999), Plessner defended the importance of masks, functions, and roles in society against “social radicalism” with its ethos of openness, honesty, and brotherliness. As an alternative to the idea of authenticity he su…

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Großheim, Michael, “Plessner, Helmut”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 03 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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