Georg Simmel’s “The View of Life”


Review reads: For Simmel, though, these routines and boundaries are not completely deadening. True, we stake out boundaries in the “infinite fullness of life,” in order to act in the world; but to live in the world is nothing more than to overstep these boundaries at every moment. So, while I live in routine for much of my life, such routine never saturates my existence; for Simmel, there is always a kind of vital excess. This is the paradox of Simmel’s theory of life: we are enclosed; we leave our enclosure. Or: to know your limits is to transcend them. Life, for Simmel, is nothing more than this reaching out, this grasping for what one is not.

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