Gustav Schmoller, probably the most important of the younger members of the Historical School of political economy in Germany, relates that ‘on the 20th May 1889, Dr. Simmel delivered a paper on the “Psychology of Money” in my political science seminar…. It was the germ of the important book which now appears before us as The Philosophy of Money.’1 This paper was subsequently published in the same year in Schmoller’s Jahrbuch2 and was followed by a series of articles between 1896 and 1899 which formed sketches for parts of The Philosophy of Money when the whole work was published in 1900.3 In this original essay on the psychology of money, Simmel already raised in a very schematic manner many of the issues that were subsequently to preoccupy him in his more detailed work later: money’s relationship to the ends-means dichotomy; its effect upon the teleological sequences of human purposive action; its colourless and seemingly neutral character; and the problems of establishing a satisfactory theory of value. Here, too, Simmel already briefly referred to some of the examples of the workings of money, such as its relationship to the blasé attitude and to the sale of women. In the intervening eleven years between the appearance of Simmel’s first article in this area in 1889 and the publication of the first edition of the present work in 1900, the ‘psychology’ of money was transformed into the ‘philosophy’ of money. His more common essay style gained an architectonic structure in The Philosophy of Money which few of his later

works possessed. Simmel’s views on the relationship between money and the division of labour had taken on a more substantive focus with the publication of his own work in this area, Über sociale Differenzierung, in 1890.4 His philosophical concerns had been deepened both by his work on the philosophy of history-Die Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie-in 18925 and on moral philosophy with his Einleitung in die Moralphilosophie, published in two volumes in 1892 and 1893.6 Yet though the psychological dimensions of Simmel’s interest in money did not completely disappear and though his philosophical interests were broadening and coming increasingly to the fore, there was another dimension of his thought that was clearly apparent to his contemporaries when they read The Philosophy of Money. It is indeed in this intervening period that most of the essays that make up his Soziologie were published in article form.7 When Max Weber commenced a critical review of Simmel’s sociological work-probably in 1908-which he never completed, he concerned himself not merely with his Soziologie. published in 1908, but also with The Philosophy of Money.8 Weber sought to review Simmel’s work as a ‘sociologist and theorist of the money economy’. Weber subsequently acknowledged some of his debt to Simmel in his published work, though most often this acknowledgment was tempered by severe criticism. Yet like many of Simmel’s contemporaries, Weber clearly found it difficult to locate Simmel’s work within some readily recognized discipline and tradition.