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The Philosophy of Money

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  190 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
'I have lost interest all that I have written prior to The Philosophy of Money . This one is really my book, the others appear to me colourless and seem as if they could have been written by anyone else.' - Georg Simmel to Heinrich Rickert (1904) In The Philosophy of Money, Simmel provides us with a remarkably wide-ranging discussion of the social, psychological and ...more
Hardcover, 538 pages
Published May 21st 2004 by Routledge (first published 1900)
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Money is freedom. Money is a private plane. Money is no metal detection.
-50 Cent

The Philosophy of Money is an ambitious book. It is not just a sociological look at money, but dips into metaphysics, a bit of economics, and uses historical examples. Money, as 50 Cent says, is not just a store of value, but a symbol of personal freedom, something with greater meaning. Simmel's goal is to find out how and why this is the case, and his approach moves from the analytic to the synthetic. The first hund
Oct 07, 2012 Kerveros rated it really liked it
Although it has been written more than 100 years ago, the Philosophy of Money is a brilliant work. No matter whether somebody agrees or not with the content it as an exceptional effort to combine philosophy, sociology. psychology and economy in order to explain what I would call the ontology of money in modern societies. The book is a very characteristic work of german structuralism.
Aug 15, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More of an ontogeny of thought really, but establishing "value" as a kind of independent dimension of reality which is appended to the material world by exchange-interactions.

Jan 09, 2014 Kath added it
Alexandre Eichner
I can only quote Walter Benjamin: "This book is full of insights, so long as you disregard its central thesis."

A bizarre neo-Kantian treatise of the "unfolding in time of money," this work is almost horrifically wide-ranging in its analysis and penetrating in its depth. While the transcendentalism inherent in the metaphysical treatment of money is repulsive (especially when he discusses gender), his elaboration on the material semiotics and cultural situated-ness of money are absolutely brillian
Sep 02, 2016 HM rated it really liked it
Shelves: partly-read, critical
پول برای زیمل تنها جنبه اقتصادی ندارد بلکه برای او فرمی است که علاوه بر ارزش و مبادله و ارتباط ، به شکل پدیده ای و فلسفی - روانی، جای بحث و بررسی دارد. زیمل در کنار نگاه به تاریخچه پول و روند تغییرات آن بحث بسیار عمیق و دقیقی را باز می کند تا نشان دهد پول برخی فرم های اجتماعی را پدید می آورد و در کلانشهر در کنار زمان نبض هماهنگی و حیات شهر است

علاوه بر مقاله ای که یوسف اباذری در ارغنون شماره3 - مبانی نظری مدرنیسم- در مقاله ای تحت عنوان پول در فرهنگ مدرن چاپ کرده است. ترجمه انگلیسی کتاب فلسفه پول
Χριστίνα Παντελή
Simmel had a really interesting insight on how capitalism, metropolises, and money work in society and also in individuals. The book was written in 1900 but it is still relevant since it reflects at some point the society today. It is worth reading. It made me want to study sociology more.
Foreword to the Routledge Classics Edition: Money? Really!
Preface to the Third Edition & Notes
Introduction to the Translation & Notes

--The Philosophy of Money

Afterword: The Constitution of the Text & Notes
Name Index

Torsten Bastuck
Dieses Buch erstaunt mit den visionären Blicken Georg Simmels auf Dinge, die sich mittlerweile ereigneten oder gerade abspielen. Ich neige beinahe dazu, Simmel als Prophet zu bezeichnen, wüsste ich nicht, dass er einfach zuende gedacht hatte.
Jul 06, 2008 Conrad marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-buy
I'd give a kidney for this book if anyone would take it. Why, oh why does it have to retail at $180? Is this some sick joke?
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Georg Simmel was a major German sociologist, philosopher, and critic.

Simmel was one of the first generation of German sociologists: his neo-Kantian approach laid the foundations for sociological antipositivism, asking 'What is society?' in a direct allusion to Kant's question 'What is nature?', presenting pioneering analyses of social individuality and fragmentation. For Simmel, culture referred t
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“Finally, the inner accessibility and reflectiveness of theoretical knowledge which cannot basically be withheld from anybody, as can certain emotions and volitions, has a consequence that directly offsets its practical results. In the first place, it is precisely because of their general accessibility that factors quite independent of personal capacities decide on the factual utilization of knowledge. This leads to the enormous preponderance of the most unintelligent 'educated' person over the cleverest proletarian. The apparent equality with which educational materials are available to everyone interested in them is, in reality, a sheer mockery. The same is true of the other freedoms accorded by the liberal doctrines which, though they certainly do not hamper the individual from gaining goods of any kind, do however disregard the fact that only those already privileged in some way or another have the possibility of acquiring them. For just as the substance of education - in spite of, or because of it general availability - can ultimately be acquired only through individual activity, so it gives rise to the most intangible and thus the most unassailable aristocracy, to a distinction between high and low which can be abolished neither (as can socioeconomic differences) by a decree or a revolution. Thus it was appropriate for Jesus to say to the rich youth: 'Give away your goods to the poor', but not for him to say: 'Give your education to the underprivileged'. There is no advantage that appears to those in inferior positions to be so despised, and before which they feel so deprived and helpless, as the advantage of education. For this reason, attempts to achieve practical equality very often and in so many variations scorn intellectual education. This is true of Buddha, the Cynics, certain currents in Christianity, down to Robespierre's 'nous n'avons pas besoin de savants'. In speech and writing - which, viewed abstractly, are a manifestation of its communal nature - makes possible its accumulation, and, especially, its concentration so that, in this respect, the gulf between high and low is persistently widened. The intellectually gifted or the materially independent person will have all the more chances for standing out from the masses the larger and more concentrated are the available educational materials. Just as the proletarian today has many comforts and cultural enjoyments that were formerly denied to him, while at the same time - particularly if we look back over several centuries and millennia - the gulf between his way of life and that of the higher strata has certainly become much deeper, so, similarly, the rise in the general level of knowledge as a whole does not by any means bring about a general levelling, but rather its opposite.” 1 likes
“The exchangeability that is expressed in money must inevitably have repercussions upon the quality of commodities themselves, or must interact
with it. The disparagement of the interest in the individuality of a
commodity leads to a disparagement of
individuality itself. If the two sides
to a commodity are its quality and it
s price, then it seems logically
impossible for the interest to be focused on only one of these sides: for
cheapness is an empty word if it does not imply a low price for a relative
good quality, and good quality is
an economic attraction only for a
correspondingly fair price. And yet this conceptual impossibility is psychologically real and effective.
The interest in the one side can be so
great that its logically necessary counterpart completely disappears. The
typical instance of one of these case
s is the ‘fifty cents bazaar’. The
principle of valuation in the mode
rn money economy finds its clearest
expression here. It is not the commodity
that is the centre of interest here
but the price—a principle that in former times not only would have appeared shameless but would have been
absolutely impossible. It has been
rightly pointed out that the medieval town, despite all the progress it
embodied, still lacked the extensive
capital economy, and that this was the
reason for seeking the ideal of the economy not so much in the expansion
(which is possibly only through cheapness) but rather in the quality of the goods offered; hence the great contributions of the applied arts, the
rigorous control of production, the
strict policing of basic necessities, etc.
Such is one extreme pole of the
series, whose other pole is characterized by the slogan, ‘cheap and bad’—a synthesis that is possibly only if we are hypnotized by cheapness and are not aware of anything else. The levelling of objects to that of money reduces the subjective interest first in their specific qualities and then, as a further consequence, in the objects
themselves. The production of cheap
trash is, as it were, the vengeance of
the objects for the fact that they have been ousted from the focal point of
interest by a merely indifferent means.”
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