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Signos filosóficos

versión impresa ISSN 1665-1324


SCHLUCHTER, Wolfgang. Ferdinand Tönnies: community and society. Sig. Fil [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.26, pp.43-62. ISSN 1665-1324.

Like Emile Durkheim, Max Weber Werner Sombart, Georg Simmel and Vilfredo Pareto et al., Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936) belonged to a generation of scholars, who became founding fathers of modern sociology. He used Hobbes' contractualism as a devise for a proper understanding of modern society and its deficiencies, and took issue, however, with Hobbes' notion of the natural state. This notion can not be conceived as an empty shell or as a mere assumption to carry out a mental experiment. Rather, it must be regarded as a social entity, defined by a volitional pattern which Tönnies called Wesenwille (the essential will) in contradistinction to Willkür (the arbitrary will, later named Kürwille) dominating modern society, the two volitional patterns are at the core of two social entities: community and society, respectively, which became the title of Tönnies famous book, and the sequence of two social entities. In this paper, it will be demonstrated how this basic idea came about and with which fallacies it is burdened. It will also be shown how the book triggered of an ongoing debate.

Palabras clave : community; state; state of nature; Modernity; society.

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