Form and Dialectic in Georg Simmel's Sociology: A New Interpretation (BOK)
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This volume focuses on Georg Simmel the 'sociologist', but it deals with more than his 'sociology' narrowly conceived. Against many previous English and American presentations of Simmel as an unsystematic theorist, this volume demonstrates that he operated with a systematic dialectical method in the analysis of social and cultural forms. Examples of social forms - including fashion, the secret and money - are presented as exemplifications of this method. Simmel's 'relational epistemology', his use of 'fictions' ('the philosophy of as if') and his largely neglected evolutionary thinking are also examined as aspects of his method. The volume locates Simmel's work historically, including the implications of his 'marginality' to the academy. The continuities seen in Simmel's work include his continuous concern with the dialectical tension between 'subjective culture' and 'objective culture'. The volume concludes with a reassessment of Simmel's relevance today.