The essence and the "tragedy of culture" in the treatment...

Chapter 20. The essence and "tragedy of culture" in the interpretation of G. Simmel

The creative activity of the German thinker Georg Simmel (1858-1918) unfolded during the epoch of "culture crisis" - an era when the old old trends have not yet disappeared, and only new ones have been identified. It was these aspects of cultural development that were reflected in the most outstanding works of G. Simmel, in which the most pressing problems of modern life and culture of that time were raised. These are essays: "About the essence of culture", "Changing the forms of culture", "Concept and tragedy of culture", "Female culture", "Culture crisis", "Conflict of contemporary culture" , etc. These works are attributed to the mature period of creativity G. Simmel. They are written in the genre of the philosophical essay, the relevance of the problem is the main distinguishing feature.

20.1. The idea of ​​life

The most important feature of the thinker's creativity is characterized by the development of problems that lie in the bedrock of the "philosophy of life". Life is irrational and self-sufficient, it is objective and in the objectivity of its existence is extra-value. Life is realized in self-limitation through its own created forms. At the primary level of development of life, the boundary and the form that limits it is death; death does not come from outside, life carries it within itself. At a higher level of development, life overcomes its own self-limitation, forming a "more life" and more-than-life - relatively stable formations, generated by life and opposing it in its eternal fluidity and variability, i.e. in fact pseudonyms of culture. On this path, the "philosophy of life becomes a philosophy of culture. The facts of life, such as labor, creativity, become values, because they are viewed in a cultural context, i. they become cultivated & quot ;. Among the forms of culture G. Simmel distinguishes between religion, art, cognition, practical vitality, the state. The philosopher sees the paradox of the whole situation in the fact that culture (in all its forms) originated from life, and it is intended for the service of life, but it also seeks to turn life into something meaningless and contradictory, against which the fundamental, dynamic unity of life rebels. According to G. Simmel, in all manifestations of life - cosmic, tribal, individual, not only the deep confrontation of forms is laid, it appears as an unceasing struggle. It is the struggle of the life going ahead against the historical completeness and formal stagnation of any content of culture. The thinker gives a general outline of the development of culture: the infinite generation of life by cultural forms that ossify, becoming a brake on the further development of life, and therefore destroyed by it and replaced by new forms doomed to survive the same fate. This movement embodies a number of conflicts: "subjective" and objective culture, soul and spirit & quot ;, content and forms .

In the channel of the ratio of the pulsating energy of life and the frozen forms of the embodiment of this energy, Zimmel considers the question of the inevitable change in the forms of culture. Life rebels against the unifying power of culture. The explanation of this deep motivation for the transformation of any culture marked by G. Simmel, we believe, is extremely important in explaining the processes of socio-cultural dynamics, in dealing with specific problems of cultural construction.

So, the contradiction between life and culture can not be reconciled: life is incapable of expressing itself outside culture, and culture is unable to give life an adequate expression - in the awareness of this and a number of other conflicts and contradictions, and consists of the tragedy of culture. In addition, culture, having risen above life, acquires its own dynamics and the logic of development, but at the same time, being detached from the life element, more and more deprived of its vital content, becomes an empty form.

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