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Simmel’s reading of Nietzsche: the promise of “philosophical sociology”

Partyga, Dominika (2016) Simmel’s reading of Nietzsche: the promise of “philosophical sociology”. Journal of Classical Sociology, 16 (4). pp. 414-437. ISSN 1468-795X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1468795X16656267


This article explores Simmel’s engagement with Nietzsche to illuminate the dynamics of ethical agency in his late life-philosophy. The main argument is that Simmel’s reworking of the Nietzschean themes of the will to power, distinction, and self-overcoming lays the ground for his vitalist ethics in The View of Life. An integrative reading across Simmel’s intellectual biography points to the relevance of the Nietzschean doctrine of eternal return for Simmel’s critique of abstract Kantian morality. The Nietzschean promise of life-affirmation is problematized in relation to the broader project of sociological metaphysics, which transgresses the boundaries between classical sociology and social philosophy. Opening up the grounds for a more sustained investigation into Simmel’s engagement with Nietzsche, this article resonates with contemporary discussions on the ethics of the relational self and sociological vitalism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2017 11:27
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 21:06

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