Theory, Culture and Society 26 (5):108-128 (2009)

Abstract
The article discusses Georg Simmel’s theorizing on the social in the light of his treatment of the ‘dyad’ and the ‘triad’, constellations of two and three elements. What makes the dyad and the triad particularly interesting is the fact that they express the difference between the primary intersubjectivity immanent to the individuals and the objectified social forms in numerical terms, as quantitatively determined. In the article, it is argued that in its basic, methodologically simplest form, the social amounts for Simmel to dyadic interaction between I and you, that can be conceptualized as ‘beingwith’. Nevertheless, a third element is always included also in the dyad, be it only as an excluded third. Therefore, it is claimed that in order to fully understand the dynamics of social relationships, one must look at the interplay of two socio-logics, bivalent and trivalent. The ‘third’ not only interrupts the supposedly immediate relation between the two elements of the dyad, but it is also capable of transforming it into a completely new figure: a social whole, a ‘we’, which obtains a supra-individual life independent of the individuals.
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DOI 10.1177/0263276409106353
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Method.H. G. Gadamer - 1975 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):487-490.
Sein und Zeit.Martin Heidegger - 1928 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 7:161-161.
The Being-with of Being-There.Jean-Luc Nancy - 2008 - Continental Philosophy Review 41 (1):1-15.
Lebenssoziologie.Scott Lash - 2005 - Theory, Culture and Society 22 (3):1-23.
Individuum und Gemeinschaft.Theodor Litt - 1926 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 5 (9):292-292.

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Citations of this work BETA

Being Alongside: Rethinking Relations Amongst Different Kinds.Joanna Latimer - 2013 - Theory, Culture and Society 30 (7-8):77-104.
The Joke-Secret and an Ethics of Modern Individuality: From Freud to Simmel.Daniel R. Smith - forthcoming - Theory, Culture and Society:026327642110001.
Georg Simmel and the Ontology of Relational Emergence.Michalis Christodoulou - 2022 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 52 (1):49-66.

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