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Georg Simmel

Georg SimmelBorn: 1-Mar-1858
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: 26-Sep-1918
Location of death: Strassburg, Germany
Cause of death: Cancer - Liver

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Sociologist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Philosophy of Money

German philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel is considered, along with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, to be a founder of modern sociology. His work, which he described as an inquiry into the conditions of modern individuality, spanned the fields of epistemology, modernity, money, religion, art and culture, and expanded the scope of sociology to the aesthetic, economic, and political realm. Inspired to some extent by Immanuel Kant's principles, Simmel's work reduces social encounters to basic, understandable components, such as the opportunities for alliance or competition that emerge in small groups.

His writings have been widely influential on subsequent generations of sociologists, though for almost his entire career Simmel was effectively a volunteer and "honorary" (un-paid) professor, unable to obtain a paid academic position, presumably due to prejudice against his family's Jewish ancestry. His first and only paid position came in France, at the University of Strassburg, four years before his death in 1918. He was a founding member of the German Sociological Association, and his students included Martin Buber.

Father: Edward Simmel (chocolatier, b. 1810, d. 1874)
Mother: Flora Bodstein (b. 1818, m. 1838)
Wife: Gertrud Kinel (philosopher p/k/a Marie-Luise Enckendorf, b. 1864, m. 1890, d. 1938 suicide, one son)
Son: Hans Simmel (physician, b. 1891, d. 1943)
Mistress: Gertrud Kantorowicz (art historian, b. 1876, affair 1900s, d. 1945, one daughter)
Daughter: Angela Bolzano (a/k/a Channah Kantorowicz, b. 1907, d. 1944)

    University: PhD Philosophy, University of Berlin (1881)
    Lecturer: Philosophy, University of Berlin (1885-1901)
    Professor: Honorary Professor of Philosophy, University of Berlin (1901-14)
    Professor: Philosophy, University of Strassburg (1914-18)

    German Sociological Association Co-founder (1910)
    German Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry

Author of books:
Uber soziale Differenzierung (On Social Differentiation) (1890)
Probleme de Geschichtsphilosophie (Problems of Philosophy of History) (1892-93)
Einleitung in die Moralphilosophie (Introduction to the Science of Ethics) (1892-93)
Das Problem der Soziologie (The Problems of Sociology) (1894)
Philosophie des Geldes, Soziologie (Philosophy of Money and Sociology) (1900)
Soziologie (Sociology) (1908)
Rembrandt: An Essay in the Philosophy of Art (1916)
Fundamental Questions of Sociology (1917)
Lebensanschauung (The View of Life) (1918)



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