Seminar with Arthur Bueno – University of Copenhagen

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Seminar with Arthur Bueno

CAPS is pleased to host a seminar with Arthur Bueno, University of Frankfurt, who will present a paper on "Simmel's Theory of Monetary Pathologies".

This paper discusses Simmel’s definition of money as an absolute tool and the latter’s expression in ‘hypertrophied’ forms of individual action and experience: greed, miserliness, squandering, asceticism, cynicism, and the blasé attitude. This is a fundamental dimension of Simmel’s approach to the money economy and his diagnosis of modern culture, one that was articulated in terms of a ‘colonization of the ends by the means’ andis present throughout his oeuvre from 1889 to 1918. Simmel’s arguments in this regard thus offer a point of entry into a core aspect of his philosophy of money and his theory of modernity. They moreover prove crucial to his characterization of modern psychological life as ‘neurasthenic’, i.e. continuously oscillating between urgency and exhaustion, saturation and insufficiency, ‘hyperesthesia’ and ‘anesthesia’. In conclusion, the paper will address the actuality of Simmel’s theory of monetary pathologies by putting it into dialogue with recent analyses of the connection between economic and social processes and forms of psychological malaise (e.g. depression and burnout) in contemporary society.

Arthur Bueno is Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the Philosophy Department of the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Associate Researcher at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, Erfurt, and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychology of the University of São Paulo. He is a former Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg and at the University Paris Nanterre, and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Erfurt.