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The Philosophy of Money (Routledge Classics) Paperback – 4 Apr 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 634 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (4 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415610117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415610117
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


`We should all be grateful for this translation. It must have been extremely hard work, but it shows no trace of it. Indeed, it positively sparkles.' - Alan Ryan, The Guardian


'Its greatness...lies in ceaseless and varied use of the money form to unearth and conceptually reveal incommensurabilities of all kinds, in social reality fully as much as in thought itself.' - Fredric Jameson

About the Author

Georg Simmel (1858-1918) was born in Berlin, the youngest of seven children. He studied philosophy and history at the University of Berlin and was one of the first generation of great German sociologists that included Max Weber.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Firstly could not make head neither tale when I first tried the first chapter. So went off to read the commentaries and gained some insight. It is about the psychology of money and how it transforms us to price everything - so you can set a price for losing an eye at a criminal injuries tribunal to buying six eggs from Sainsbury's - the price is set. Now the money economy has been trundling on for so long we take it for granted.

Everyone that is apart from Simmel - what he focuses upon is how the money economy has shaped us as individuals - establishing our character structures and inter personal relations.

The first dense chapter then began to take shape. He is looking at how we create desire and as such - in you have a couple of days to spare - then if you are in the psychology of marketing - then this will reap rewards. Simmel looks at how desire and aesthetics for example is created - due to distance and being kept away from the object - I think here of course Simmel is talking about consuming a woman as an object - but could be wrong. At some point he starts talking about the price of iron and its scarcity but then starts again on beauty and aesthetics. Now iron may be many things but not beautiful.

Simmel is trying to look at how desire is invoked and how it becomes narrow focused and tamed. And here within the density of the prose something does begin to emerge and make the reader ponder on the depth of what he is trying to say. Another component however is that social groupings drawing from Asch for example promote specific beliefs and Simmel does not look at either advertising or group mind- sets which is potentially a big omission. The insight is gained primarily from the individual reflection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Someone would expect a readable sermon against money or some antimaterialistic/utilitarian
crusade.No.This is a complex technical book whose difficulty is only tempered by the evocative cover. Nothing about masonry, plots, "The Elders of Sion" and stuff like that.
This is real, diffucult philosophy of money: I don't say it because i want to appear particularly intelligent, it's a hard reading, I' ll need to read it several times.
The editor of this book is clever, I think he got something very good with no property rights, embellished it with a fascinating image and launched it on the market even for unattentive purchasers looking for something fashionable.
Don' t buy it if you want a clear essay about money!!!!!!!
Buy it if you want to approach the subtle meaning of money and possibly read Carl Schmitt's "Tyranny of Values": it's incredible, those who are against the evils of money
worship the worse antichrist on this earth...... the "VALUES" that are to be considered the metaphisic version of money.
Look for difficult deep stuff to read...!!!!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Nov. 2015
By Warren C. Conklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A difficult read but worthwhile.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 20 Aug. 2015
By MR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a classic!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 Dec. 2015
By Trust fund squanderer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
5 stars
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophie des Geldes 18 Nov. 2010
By Jake Le Master - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Simmel's famous Philosophy of Money is, for a large and purely philosophical work, a respectable achievement.

The first part develops money as a symbol of depersonalization and relativity, whereby men and things are reduced to the same level of relative "things." It further shows the decrease of substantial meaning in money and the increase of pure function, and points out the limits of pure functionalism. The same idea under a different angle shows how the means-to-an-end character of money is gradually replaced by its becoming a (seeming) end in itself. The second part shows the social and cultural changes that take place with the evolution of the idea of money and are linked up with the progress of a scientific rationalism; the tension between personal and aristocratic and hierarchic forms of life and the democratic individualistic relativistic and standard-less forms of a society where money has replaced all other values. Mammonism as a religion and a style of life is described.

The book is one of the fundamental works concerning the philosophy of our civilization. No one who wants to understand what has happened to us can afford to miss acquaintance with its ideas. And besides the great and basic outlines the reader will find an inexhaustible wealth of fine and striking psychological observations.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for those of us who love topic sentences 4 Jan. 2009
By G. Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was privileged to read this just after it was translated and found it to be even more insight-filled than the other Simmel i had found and loved. His style of laying out like rails concept after concept and not needing to tell stories fits my way of thinking... Jesus taught the crowds and his antagonists with parables; he taught the Twelve by giving them the abstract principles underlying...if you learn in that manner, Simmel is a treat, and i may be biased, but Simmel to me is just so much more right, so much closer to explaining what we have seen in the last hundred years than Marx... I would lay this book down next to Adam Smith for a more enlightening experience...

If you ever have wondered how money is the distillate of all that can be acquired or produced which can truly be called "human", this is the best book i know that explains that relationship.
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