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Das Ende der Kultur: Wie Georg Simmel den Begriff der Kultur soziologisch dekonstruiert

Fellmann, Ferdinand

Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie, Bd. 2015 (2015), Iss. 1-2: S. 76–91

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Fellmann, Ferdinand


In this paper I claim that the metaphysical concept of culture has come to an end. Among the European authors Georg Simmel is the foremost who has deconstructed the myth of culture as a substantial totality beyond relations or prior to them. Two tenets of research have prepared the end of all-inclusive culture: First, Simmel’s formal access that considers society as the modality of interactions and relations between individuals, thus overcoming the social evolutionism of Auguste Comte; second, his critical exegesis of idealistic philosophy of history, thus leaving behind the Hegelian tradition. Although Simmel adheres in some statements to the out-dated idea of morphological unity, his sociological and epistemological thinking paved the way for the concept of social identity as a network of series connected loosely by contiguity. This type of connection is confirmed by the present feeling of life as individual self-invention according to changing situations.