Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner
Gemeinschaft , or “community,” has always been an ambiguous notion. Particularly in the German context, it has been contrasted with the term Gesellschaft (society). Both notions represent aspects of the Ancient Greek term κοινωνία, the historical background of which is identical to “society.” In German, the term can turn up in connection with family, village, city, profession, or religion. Often, Gemeinschaft (community) and Gemeinde (rural commune or parish) have been used as synonyms. According to Kant, the ambiguity of the notion of community is such that it can be translated as communio as well as commercium , whereby the first stands for a formal negation of individuation while the second represents a proper relationship, a reciprocal influence, and the participation of individuals within a whole, which as dynamic community is ahead of solely local communities. Kant concentrates on the logical and metaphysical aspect of the notion. More important and influential ...