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The Philosophy of Money

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  14 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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Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book comes in two parts: an analytical and a synthetic half – so, a pulling apart of the idea of money, followed by a putting it back together again. The preface and introduction make the point that Simmel didn’t really do footnotes, or even tell you in the text where he might have gotten ideas from. However, they also say that about the only people mentioned as a source of ideas here is Marx, I think 3 times, and Nietzsche twice – the book is over 500 pages long, like I said, who needs ref ...more
E. G.
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
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four star not because I have major disagreement with the content -- the discussion on the interaction of subjectivity and currency, which is basically the same theme of my critics towards the Wealth of Nations -- but the style. Utterly unbearable.

I have sat through a course in the same fashion of this book once and it was painful. What could be wrapped up in a few lines was extended to arduous and often times redundant plus distracting paragraphs. Seriously, how hard is it for Simmel to say: "Va
Alexan Martin-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
Louis Chatelet
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Millikan SJ
It could have been the translation, but for me this book was a slog. Breathless, complex sentences full of subordinate clauses, paragraphs that go on for pages without subdividing ideas, over 650 pages in length... the interesting insights were lost in a sea of text.

Even when I found a section that interested me ––on, say, human nature or the history of economic life during the past centuries–– my eyes would soon glaze over as I tried to plow through the long, unnecessarily complex prose.

Dec 06, 2013 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.
Jul 06, 2008 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? ...more
Jan 09, 2014 added it
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Although there were some interesting insights, there were also hundreds of pages straying from the topic. (I do believe the author thought all of those pages were relevant, but I think this could have been much more concise).
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.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Much about value being subjective and relative.
Money equiv. of personal values drawn from Roman Law, purchase of women for marriage as -? stability ...
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites
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.

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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.” 3 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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