M is for Metropolis

| March 2, 2014

I do tend to agree with many of Simmel’s points within his essay, “The Metropolis and Mental Life.” The prevailing point of his essay seems to distinguish the intellectual life of the metropolis as opposed to the emotional aspect common to smaller communities. Human interactions within the city, as Simmel stated, do seem to be much shorter, which decreases the emotional aspect found in the interactions of the bodies. Mental life in a city is much more intellectual as things become dependent on time. The notion that interactions are measurable leads to the indifferent outlook Simmel describes when he says, “There is perhaps no psychic phenomenon which is so unconditionally reserved to the city as the blasé outlook” (98). However, I do believe that there are great benefits to living in a city rather than a small town, as existing in a city escapes the commonality and binding mentality prevalent. Bodies within a city have the ability to define themselves instead of mechanically believing the outlook that all people within a small town may share.

Meagher, Sharon M., ed. Philosophy and the City: Classic to Contemporary Writings. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008. Print.