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"Of those who created the intellectual capital used to launch the enterprise of professional sociology, Georg Simmel was perhaps the most original and fecund. In search of a subject matter for sociology that would distinguish it from all other social sciences and humanistic disciplines, he charted a new field for discovery and proceeded to explore a world of novel topics i "Of those who created the intellectual capital used to launch the enterprise of professional sociology, Georg Simmel was perhaps the most original and fecund. In search of a subject matter for sociology that would distinguish it from all other social sciences and humanistic disciplines, he charted a new field for discovery and proceeded to explore a world of novel topics in works that have guided and anticipated the thinking of generations of sociologists. Such distinctive concepts of contemporary sociology as social distance, marginality, urbanism as a way of life, role-playing, social behavior as exchange, conflict as an integrating process, dyadic encounter, circular interaction, reference groups as perspectives, and sociological ambivalence embody ideas which Simmel adumbrated more than six decades ago."—Donald N. Levine Half of the material included in this edition of Simmel's writings represents new translations. This includes Simmel's important, lengthy, and previously untranslated "Group Expansion and Development of Individuality," as well as three selections from his most neglected work, Philosophy of Money; in addition, the introduction to Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie, chapter one of the Lebensanschauung, and three essays are translated for the first time.


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"Of those who created the intellectual capital used to launch the enterprise of professional sociology, Georg Simmel was perhaps the most original and fecund. In search of a subject matter for sociology that would distinguish it from all other social sciences and humanistic disciplines, he charted a new field for discovery and proceeded to explore a world of novel topics i "Of those who created the intellectual capital used to launch the enterprise of professional sociology, Georg Simmel was perhaps the most original and fecund. In search of a subject matter for sociology that would distinguish it from all other social sciences and humanistic disciplines, he charted a new field for discovery and proceeded to explore a world of novel topics in works that have guided and anticipated the thinking of generations of sociologists. Such distinctive concepts of contemporary sociology as social distance, marginality, urbanism as a way of life, role-playing, social behavior as exchange, conflict as an integrating process, dyadic encounter, circular interaction, reference groups as perspectives, and sociological ambivalence embody ideas which Simmel adumbrated more than six decades ago."—Donald N. Levine Half of the material included in this edition of Simmel's writings represents new translations. This includes Simmel's important, lengthy, and previously untranslated "Group Expansion and Development of Individuality," as well as three selections from his most neglected work, Philosophy of Money; in addition, the introduction to Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie, chapter one of the Lebensanschauung, and three essays are translated for the first time.

30 review for On Individuality and Social Forms

  1. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    It’s a real shame that such a genius who profoundly affected more popular sociologists like Max Weber and Emile Durkheim doesn’t even have a review here. Simmel is one of the most fascinating thinkers I’ve ever read, taking a neo-Kantian approach to sociological study and the occasional digression into German idealist philosophy. With 24 essays in this collection on a wide variety of subjects, it’s difficult to pinpoint a general idea within the text, but Simmel has four basic presuppositions th It’s a real shame that such a genius who profoundly affected more popular sociologists like Max Weber and Emile Durkheim doesn’t even have a review here. Simmel is one of the most fascinating thinkers I’ve ever read, taking a neo-Kantian approach to sociological study and the occasional digression into German idealist philosophy. With 24 essays in this collection on a wide variety of subjects, it’s difficult to pinpoint a general idea within the text, but Simmel has four basic presuppositions that editor Donald Levine outlines in his wonderful introduction. 1. Form and Content: The world is made up of innumerable contents constantly in flux that are given meaning and structure through the imposition of forms. 2. Reciprocity: Nothing has a fixed meaning. Objects’ meanings only emerge through interaction with other objects. 3. Distance: The properties and meanings of forms are a function of the relative distances between individuals and other individuals or objects. 4. Dualism: The world is best understood through the conflicts and contrasts between opposed categories. With these in mind, Simmel tackles subjects like the stranger’s paradox of being both inside and outside the group, how charity creates the concept of “poor people” itself, and how individualism and independence are often directly opposed. Simmel was greatly interested in the individual in society and the idea of being an individual. There are so many things that create who we are: our culture, our interests, that cool trick we can do to make us the life of the party. Yet how do all of these attributes combine to form our personalities, who we are as unique individual human beings? How can we ever be understood if no one could ever know all the factors that play into our individualities? These are the kinds of questions Simmel wants to answer. Although his prose is challenging and abstract(especially in the essays that aren’t analyses of specific social examples, but more philosophical), it can sometimes be really beautiful. For example, in “Eros, Platonic, and Modern,” he argues how love is something that can’t be understood through mere reason. “The great themes of Plato’s thought have been infinitely fruitful in the course of intellectual history. But what mankind grown old, differentiated, and sophisticated can no longer support is this: to transform the world in its reality, its love, its meaning, and its spiritual values into a logical structure of abstract concepts and analogous metaphysical essences and to perceive this as the deepest happiness of the spirit; to derive from logical thought those tremors and awesome relations to the ground of things which later times can attain precisely only by rejection of pure thought, through a cleavage between logical structure and that living, feeling existence whose immediacy is caught neither in the Platonic concepts nor in ours, but can only be experienced in its own depths.” One of the things that hindered him in academia was his individualistic style and choice of subjects that were considered “unacademic,” but these ultimately add tremendously to the text. The entire collection is incredible and I couldn’t begin to do it justice with this review, but I’d particularly suggest “Exchange,” “The Poor,” “The Stranger,” “Fashion,” and “The Metropolis and Mental Life.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amal

    يهندس مفهوم الغريب في المدنية العلاقة مع المكان ، الغريب يستدعي البعيد الذي أصبح قريباً ويستدعي فكرة النحن ، الغريب فئة محددة لدى سيمل ، على أطراف البناء ، عبر وتاجر وسائح ، غير متجذر في أرض التواجد ، مفهوم مناسب لعصر القوميات الواضحة ، الآن الفئة اتسعت وأصبح حضورها كبيراً وغائماً في مدن تتحرك بلا انقطاع وتهدم الحواجز لعبور رؤؤس المال والبشر واعادة تعريف المتحرك والثابت...

  3. 5 out of 5

    ahmet

    “Bilinen bir şey olarak insan, doğa ve tarih tarafından oluşturulur; ama bilen olarak insan doğayı ve tarihi oluşturur.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Morgs

    Read selections on The Stranger, Group Expansion, Conflict

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Devitt

    probably a 5

  6. 5 out of 5

    HM

    ترجمه اش چنگی به دل نمی زند و خواننده را گیج می کند اما زیمل آن قدر نبوغ آمیز و دقیق بحث فرم های اجتماعی را با نمونه های عملی چون خسیس و ولخرج ، غریبه ، مد ، عشق افلاطونی و عشق مدرن و غیره شرح میدهد که به نظر تنها مارکس را می توان همتای او در نظریات جامعه شناسی دوران دانست و انگار این دو از آینده ی دور آمده اند. خوشبختانه فصل بسیار مهم کلانشهر و حیات ذهنی را یوسف اباذری با ترجمه قابل قبولی در ارغنون چاپ کرده است در این کتاب زیمل بحث می کند در روزگار مدرن چگونه آدم ها در پی یافتن فردیت خود فرم های ترجمه اش چنگی به دل نمی زند و خواننده را گیج می کند اما زیمل آن قدر نبوغ آمیز و دقیق بحث فرم های اجتماعی را با نمونه های عملی چون خسیس و ولخرج ، غریبه ، مد ، عشق افلاطونی و عشق مدرن و غیره شرح میدهد که به نظر تنها مارکس را می توان همتای او در نظریات جامعه شناسی دوران دانست و انگار این دو از آینده ی دور آمده اند. خوشبختانه فصل بسیار مهم کلانشهر و حیات ذهنی را یوسف اباذری با ترجمه قابل قبولی در ارغنون چاپ کرده است در این کتاب زیمل بحث می کند در روزگار مدرن چگونه آدم ها در پی یافتن فردیت خود فرم های اجتماعی (ساختار ) را شکل می دهند و به نوعی بحث او ترکیبی است از روانکاری اجتماعی ، فلسفه و جامعه شناسی برای نمونه زیمل می گوید خسیس و ولخرج هر دو از حیث نگاه انتزاعی به پول از یک قماش اند و معکوس هم نیستند و بعد نشان می دهد چطور خسیس نگاهی شاعرانه به پول دارد و بدون خرج کردن آن در ذهن خود دنیایی رویایی می سازد و از توانایی بالقوه داشتن پول و خرج نکردن آن لذت می برد. تقریبن در هیچ جای کتاب زیمیل وارد بحث ارزش گذاری تیپ ها نمی شود و مثل یک جراح تیپ را می شکافد و بافت اش را زیر میکروسکپ بزرگش نگاه می کند در بحث خواستگاه روانکاوانه مد گویی زیمیل صد سال از زمان خود جلوتر است و چیزهایی را می بیند که ما امروز هم با وجود رسانه و اینترنت و اطلاعات فراوان به سختی قادریم ببینینم و بشکافیم

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Brockman

    Simmel is a genius and I am a true fan.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    None

  9. 4 out of 5

    sam

    really on-point insights into the emotional landscapes bred in cosmopolitan settings

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    difficult but interesting

  11. 5 out of 5

    SirriCan

    Bir Kentin en büyük dekonstrüksiyonu. Ha Berlin ha İstanbul.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Derks

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nick Anderson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marls

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ana Avramovic

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Baldacchino

  17. 4 out of 5

    Papa

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jannon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Foe

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karl

  24. 4 out of 5

    Uffe Berggren

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  26. 4 out of 5

    Avu Chaturvedi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nick LaLone

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nanko

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

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