Georg Simmel was quite influential for the so-called “Frankfurt School” and the authors who more or less directly belong to the tradition of critical theory, like Siegried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin. Adorno’s sociological essaysm, Kracauer’s studies in the “Ornament of the mass” and Benjamin’s “pre-history of modernity” would have been impossible without Simmel’s innovative philosophy and sociology of culture. However, post Weimar Kulturkritiker always denied the recognition he deserved. Their reception of Simmel’s thought was quite ambivalent: on one side they debt him several intuitions; on the other side, they criticized his thought of being philosophical inconsistent, uncritical, unhistorical, cynical. The later recognition of Jurgen Habermas of Simmel as “Zeitdiagnostiker” didn’t make the situation better, since Simmel is still the only classic of sociology that has been excluded from his Theory of communicative action. Things went a little bit better with the third and the fourth generation of critical theorists (Axel Honneth, Urs Jaeggi) that included Simmel in their theory building. What could be the coontribution of Simmel to critical theory? Why this ambivalent negation? In our chapter we want to reconstruct this ambivalent but fruitful reception.

Georg Simmel and Critical Theory

Vincenzo Mele
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2020

Abstract

Georg Simmel was quite influential for the so-called “Frankfurt School” and the authors who more or less directly belong to the tradition of critical theory, like Siegried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin. Adorno’s sociological essaysm, Kracauer’s studies in the “Ornament of the mass” and Benjamin’s “pre-history of modernity” would have been impossible without Simmel’s innovative philosophy and sociology of culture. However, post Weimar Kulturkritiker always denied the recognition he deserved. Their reception of Simmel’s thought was quite ambivalent: on one side they debt him several intuitions; on the other side, they criticized his thought of being philosophical inconsistent, uncritical, unhistorical, cynical. The later recognition of Jurgen Habermas of Simmel as “Zeitdiagnostiker” didn’t make the situation better, since Simmel is still the only classic of sociology that has been excluded from his Theory of communicative action. Things went a little bit better with the third and the fourth generation of critical theorists (Axel Honneth, Urs Jaeggi) that included Simmel in their theory building. What could be the coontribution of Simmel to critical theory? Why this ambivalent negation? In our chapter we want to reconstruct this ambivalent but fruitful reception.
Mele, Vincenzo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1062962
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