Volume 67, Issue 3, Summer 2023
Special Topic: Hermann Levin Goldschmidt’s Contradiction Set Free
Goldschmidt and Social Theory
Conflict and Dialogue
The concepts of contradiction and dialogue are crucial to Hermann Goldschmidt’s Contradiction Set Free. In this paper, I place Goldschmidt into dialogue with two social thinkers for whom similar ideas were equally crucial: Georg Simmel and Donald Levine. In the case of Simmel, I highlight his theory of conflict specifically, but more generally his commitment to duality and ambiguity. In the case of Levine, I feature his attempt to articulate what he calls a “dialogic” narrative of the sociological tradition. I seek to evaluate Goldschmidt’s own thinking by his own criteria, by asking whether the sociological and the philosophical approaches to these questions are parallel, in opposition, or an instance of a contradiction in Goldschmidt’s sense.