Community and Civil Society (Cambridge Texts in the History by Ferdinand Tönnies

By Ferdinand Tönnies

Jose Harris (ed.)

Tönnies' group and Civil Society (first released in 1887 as Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft) is a vintage of social and political idea, exploring the strain among close-knit "communities" and an rising international marketplace "society". it's a reaction to modernity, an workout in social, political and ethical technological know-how, and an strange observation at the internal personality of "democratic socialism". This new translation and creation make this significant paintings even more with ease available to pupil readers, and people attracted to social and political concept and the historical past of eu ideas.


' ... the translators have the following performed an exceptional task of translation from nineteenth-century German to twenty-first century English.' German History

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Additional resources for Community and Civil Society (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)

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As will appear in the argument of Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, the idea of the liberum arbitrium was a key element in the shaping of Tönnies’s own concepts of die Willkür or der Kürwille (‘arbitrary’ or ‘rational’ will) which he saw as the psychological core of competitive market Society.  Tönnies’s preface to the first edition,  atic combination of equivalent units in whatever way may be required. If mastering such a system requires the support of certain concrete objects, the person doing the calculating will take objects which are if possible identical and which are easily observed and manipulated; and if these are not available he will make them up and ascribe to them these characteristics.

And when Tönnies maintains that men are klüger than women, a great deal turns on whether this means that men are more intrinsically intelligent, more judicious and prudent, or simply more worldly-wise and cunning. In all such cases, an attempt has been made to capture the overall drift of the original text. One of the most difficult phrases to unpack has been the second half of the sub-heading to the first edition: Abhandlung des Communismus und des Socialismus als empirischer Culturformen. The simple-sounding als empirischer Culturformen is in fact only intelligible in the context of Tönnies’s  introduction, where he sets out his objective of reconciling the cognitive methods of Kant and Hume.

Largely ignored in late nineteenth-century Germany, he was admired by Tönnies for having defended ontology against empiricism and making possible the emergence of Kant (Ferdinand Tönnies, ‘Philosophical Terminology. ,  (), pp. –).  Community and Civil Society as though knowledge were the product of objective qualities and circumstances working upon the tabulam rasam of the human mind; whereas, according to Kant, knowledge, like thinking itself, is essentially the product of subjectivity, even allowing that things do exist and do have an effect.

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