Georg Simmel (born 1 March 1858 – died 28 September 1918) was a German sociologist, philosopher, and critic.
Simmel was one of the first generation of German sociologists: his neo-Kantian approach laid the foundations for sociological antipositivism, asking 'What is society?' in a direct allusion to Kant's question 'What is nature?',[presenting pioneering analyses of social individuality and fragmentation.
For Simmel, culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history".
Simmel discussed social and cultural phenomena in terms of "forms" and "contents" with a transient relationship; form becoming content, and vice versa, dependent on the context.
In this sense he was a forerunner to structuralist styles of reasoning in the social sciences.
With his work on the metropolis, Simmel was a precursor of urban sociology, symbolic interactionism and social network analysis.