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 stress 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 statement at the internal personality of "democratic socialism". This new translation and advent make this crucial paintings even more without difficulty available to scholar readers, and people drawn to social and political idea and the historical past of eu ideas.


' ... the translators have the following performed a great activity 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)

Sample text

II, and book three, ss. IV–V). 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.

Both in the s and later, however, these themes were often obscured by the fact that throughout Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft so many levels xxviii General introduction of argument were so densely and to some extent discrepantly packed together. When Emile Durkheim reviewed Tönnies’s book in  he entirely missed the point that it was intended as an analysis of social organisation in general, rather than of a historical shift from a ‘solidarist’ past to a ‘mechanistic’ future; and the reader unfamiliar with the wider corpus of Tönnies’s work is more than likely to share Durkheim’s confusion.

Publication of his final work, Geist der Neuzeit. Death of Tönnies. xxxiii A note on the texts and further reading Eight German editions of Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft were issued during Tönnies’s lifetime. Those used in preparing this translation were the first edition (Leipzig: Fue’s Verlag (R. Riesland), ); the second edition (Berlin: Carl Curtius, ); the fourth and fifth editions (Berlin, Carl Curtius, ); and the eighth edition (Leipzig: Verlag Hans Buske, ). The  edition was published in Roman print, but the  and subsequent editions were printed in the old Gothic style; and similarly many Latinate spellings of German words employed in  were ‘Germanised’ in the  edition.

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