Work and Biography

Georg Simmel (1858–1918) was a philosopher, although sociologists consider him a founder of the humanist branch of sociology and recognize his contributions to an interpretive approach to the study of society. Contemporary theorists are deeply indebted to him as is amply documented by the frequent references to his work in recent publications. His theoretical method is rooted in his philosophy of life. From that he develops four epistemological approaches: pragmatism, constructivism, interactionism, and evolutionism. These serve as the context for Simmel's heuristic tools: (1) dealing with perspectives as realities, (2) seeing mental constructs as bridges across the gap between the subjective and the objective, (3) the dialectic of form and content, and (4) the tension between center and periphery. Simmel applies his unique ...

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