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»Schöpferische Zerstörung« Über ein Philosophem deutscher Intellektueller im Kulturkrieg 

Zurück zum Heft: Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie 2015/1-2: Simmel
DOI: https://doi.org/10.28937/1000106693
EUR 14,90

Georg Simmel is among the intellectuals taking part in the German side of the »Culture War«, parallel to the war 1914–1918. This article discusses three different meanings of »Culture War«: 1. »Culture War« as war about culture, 2. »Culture War« as war by means of culture, 3. »Culture War« as aggravated proceeding of criticism of culture. Among the motives of the »Culture War« is the reproach of »barbarism« made by Henri Bergson against the German side originating from a public debate after the destruction of the Cathedral of Reims. In the reactions of German intellectuals (alongside Georg Simmel were Alfred Döblin, Friedrich Gundolf, Max Scheler and Georg Misch) a reinterpretation of the concept of culture is apparent, inspired by philosophy of life and leading to a peculiar »ethic of the creative power of culture«. Simmel’s examination of the generic case of the Cathedral of Reims conclusively serves as prototype of a criticism of this approach: German intellectuals confuse metaphors stemming from the sphere of nature with those of culture without reflection, thus obliterating essential differences between those spheres.