"Philosophy of money", G. Simmel: summary, main ideas of the work, attitude to money and a short biography of the author

"Philosophy of money", G. Simmel: summary, main ideas of the work, attitude to money and a short biography of the author
"Philosophy of money", G. Simmel: summary, main ideas of the work, attitude to money and a short biography of the author

"Philosophy of money" is the most famous work of the German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel, who is considered one of the key representatives of the so-called late philosophy of life (irrationalist trend). In his work, he closely studies the issues of monetary relations, the social function of money, as well as logical consciousness in all possible manifestations - from modern democracy to the development of technology. This book was one of his first writings on the spirit of capitalism.

What is the treatise about?

In the treatise "Philosophy of money" the author insists that they are not only a means of subsistence, but also an important instrument of relationships between people, as well as between entire states. The philosopher notes: in order to earn and receive money, it is necessary tostudy carefully. Just like any other thing in this world. This is what the author's work is dedicated to.

Philosophy of money

In the book "Philosophy of Money" Simmel manages to formulate his own theory. Within its framework, he considers money as part of the socio-cultural life of every person.

Main issues of the treatise

In his book, the philosopher considers a number of issues that are of great interest to everyone without exception. In "Philosophy of Money" the author tries to evaluate their value, exchange, as well as the general monetary culture existing on the planet.

According to Simmel, a person lives in two completely independent from one another and parallel realities. Firstly, it is the reality of values, and secondly, the reality of being. The author of the "Philosophy of Money" notes that the very nature of values ​​exists as if separately, complementing the reality surrounding each individual.

Conclusions about money

The fact is that, from the point of view of Simmel, objects exist in the world independently of each other. Relations between them are tied exclusively with the definition of one's own personality and the emergence of subjective-objective connections. At the same time, the human brain formulates the thought of objects into an independent category, which is not directly related to the process of thinking.

The book "Philosophy of Money" describes that this leads to the fact that the assessment itself turns into a natural mental phenomenon, and this happens regardless of the so-called objective reality. SoThus, one can come to the conclusion that the opinion about the object that a certain person has formed is its value.

Economic values

In The Philosophy of Money, Georg Simmel seeks to articulate what constitutes economic value. When only one of all types of existing objects fully meets the requirements, their differentiation occurs. That's when one of them is assigned a special meaning.

At the same time, the subjective process (impulse or striving can be attributed to it), as well as the objective one, that is, the need to make efforts to begin to possess the object, constitute its economic value. In a particular case, just from subjective impulses, needs turn into values, says G. Simmel in The Philosophy of Money.

How to understand the nature of money

Their emergence takes into account the need to compare one need with another, to find what can be used interchangeably, and to determine comparative benefits and results. This is the main idea of ​​the work. Today, finding out where to find Georg Simmel's "Philosophy of Money" is not so easy. It is not available in bookstores or online. Therefore, the main ideas of this treatise, outlined in this article, will at least allow you to get acquainted with the main ideas of this work.


An important place in Simmel's paradigm is exchange. As a result, it becomes a confirmation of the subjectivity of the value itself. It turns out that the whole economy is only a special kind of interaction, which takes into account thatnot only material objects are subject to direct exchange, which is obvious, but also values ​​that we can consider as the subjective opinion of people.

In itself, Simmel considers the exchange process in comparison with production. At the same time, he writes, there is some impulse that makes people strive to get this object, exchanging it for their own labor efforts or another product.

The appearance of money

In his work, the author sets out the laws of money and philosophy. He emphasizes that the very emergence and emergence of money "as a third person" in all these relationships becomes a phenomenon of a fundamentally new cultural layer, as well as a consequence of a severe cultural crisis. Thus, money becomes the general formula of means in the appropriation of ends.

Simmel's books

This scheme leads to the fact that there is an object that meets our needs. But money in the modern world is turning into the ultimate and absolute goal for everyone, acquiring value in itself as a result.

Conclusions from Simmel's treatise

Thus, we can conclude that, from the point of view of the philosopher, if a person begins to attach less importance to money itself, and cares more about the object and goals, as well as the ways of their appropriation, then the goals themselves eventually become for more reachable.

It turns out that the goal of earning just for the sake of earning does not lead to success. And you need to earn in order to realize a completely tangible and specific goal. According to the philosopher, thisapproach to life is the first step to success. This is how G. Simmel formulates the philosophy of money in the theory of the society that surrounds us.

Biography of the philosopher

This article should also pay attention to the biography of this philosopher, who became a guru for many modern capitalists around the world. This German sociologist and thinker was born in 1858. He was born in Berlin.

His parents were we althy people who did not refuse anything to their son, so they provided him with a versatile education. They were Jews by nationality. At the same time, his father converted to Catholicism in adulthood, and his mother became a Lutheran. Simmel himself was baptized in the Lutheran church as a child.

After successfully graduating from the University of Berlin, he stayed to teach there. His career turned out to be very long (Simmel worked in an educational institution for about twenty years), but due to the anti-Semitic views of his superiors, he did not succeed in moving up the career ladder.

Treatises by Simmel

For too long, he held the very low position of Privatdozent, despite being popular with students and listeners of his lectures. He was supported by such famous scientists of the time as Heinrich Rickert and Max Weber.

In 1901, Simmel became a visiting professor, and in 1914 was enrolled on the staff of the University of Strasbourg. There he found himself in virtual isolation from the Berlin scientific community. When the First World War began, the university ceased its activities.

Philosopher Georg Simmel diesshortly before its completion. He died in Strasbourg, France, from liver cancer. The scientist was 60 at the time.

Key philosophical ideas

The main philosophical views that Simmel adhered to in his writings were that he considered himself an academic branch of the "philosophy of life" movement. It was an irrationalist trend, popular in the 19th century, mainly in German philosophy. Among its prominent representatives are Henri Bergson and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Obvious traces of neo-Kantianism can be found in Simmel's works, in particular, one of his dissertations is dedicated to Kant. He produced many works on history, philosophy, ethics, philosophy of culture and aesthetics. In sociology, the scientist became the creator of the theory of social interaction, he is also considered the founder of conflictology - one of the important areas in modern science.

Selected writings of Simmel

Simmel's worldview was that life is an endless stream of our experiences. At the same time, these experiences themselves are conditioned by the cultural-historical process. Like continuous creative development, life is not subject to rational-mechanical cognition. Only through the direct experience of events and diverse individual forms of the realization of life in culture can one arrive at an interpretation of this experience and through it comprehend life.

The philosopher was convinced that the entire historical process is subject to a certain fate, in contrast to the mighty nature, in which everything is ruled by the law of causality. With everythingIn this respect, the specificity of the philosopher's humanitarian knowledge was close to the methodological principles formulated by the German idealist philosopher and cultural historian Wilhelm Dilthey.

Fashion Philosophy

Surprisingly, one of the areas of Simmel's work was devoted to the study of fashion philosophy. He believed that it occupies an important place in the development of the whole society. The philosopher explored the origins of its occurrence, analyzing the tendency to imitate that exists at all times. He was convinced that the attraction of imitation for a particular person is to be able to act meaningfully and purposefully where nothing creative and personal exists.

Simmel's labor

Fashion itself is an imitation of the model, satisfying the need for social support. This brings a particular person to a track that everything else follows. Fashion, according to Simmel, is one of the forms of life that can satisfy our need for difference and our desire to stand out from the crowd.

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