The article suggests that Simmel's thought should be interpreted as a coherent series of continuous attempts to solve philosophically the dilemmas entailed in the German ideal of Bildung. By analysing Simmel's three short essays on Italian cities, and by placing them in the context of both his own intellectual development and the intellectual context of his time, the article will show how ideas expressed in these essays reflect this basic character of Simmel's thought. In other words, far from being independent momentary images, Simmel's essays on Italian cities reflect his concern with whether and how culture in general, and works of art in particular, may help modern personality reconcile itself with the world.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article is part of my research on Georg Simmel’s philosophy supported by the Israeli Science Foundation (grant no. 220/05) and by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.