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In: The Social Thought of Georg Simmel

Chapter 3: Individualization as Ethical Concern

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Individualization as Ethical Concern
Individualization as ethical concern
The Stranger and the Courage to Be Different

In the context of designing a novel discipline of scholarship, Simmel points out that sociology finds its justification, in part, from the fact that history is no longer seen as merely the result of individual intentions and decisions of a few greats but as the result of social movements that are actions of the masses and classes. This means a shift from the individual to the collective in method. However, his ethical concern points in the opposite direction. He wants to interpret social development as the gradual evolution and refinement of the individual, and as a result, he is optimistic about future social movements being geared toward an increase in personal ...

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