Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Second Advisor

Eric Wilson

Third Advisor

Edgar Illas


This thesis identifies a problem in Hegel’s thought regarding the relationship between time and eternity, and it interprets Heidegger’s and Agamben’s respective work on time as two attempts to resolve it. Time plays a distinct role in the logic of Hegel’s dialectic; specifically, time is identified with the negation of the negation. However, in the Phenomenology of Spirit, the dialectical progression culminates in the Absolute, and the dialectical and temporal manifestation of reality is grasped in its unchanging truth. Time is somehow related to eternity, but Hegel says that eternity is neither something that lies outside of time, nor something that comes after time. Hegel never gives a precise account of this relationship beyond these negative remarks. I interpret Heidegger’s work on temporality and Agamben’s concept of Messianic time as two attempts to clarify the problematic relationship between time and eternity, and I discuss the relative merits of each.


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