Kevin Aho
Florida Gulf Coast University
By focusing on the unique velocity and over-stimulation of metropolitan life, Georg Simmel pioneered an interpretation of cultural boredom that has had a significant impact on contemporary social theory by viewing it through the modern experience of time-pressure and social acceleration. This paper explores Simmel's account of boredom by showing how--in the frenzy of modern life--it has become increasingly difficult to qualitatively distinguish which choices and commitments actually matter to us. Furthermore, this emotional indifference invariably pushes us towards more excessive and risky behavior, towards, what I call, "extreme aesthesia." Insofar as novel experiences quickly become routine in the technological age, it appears that only extreme sensations and experiences can break the spell of boredom, allowing us to momentarily feel strongly for something.
Keywords Simmel, acceleration, boredom, extreme aesthesia
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.2007.00345.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,256
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Gay Science.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1974 - New York: Vintage Books.
A Philosophy of Boredom.Lars Svendsen - 2005 - Reaktion Books.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Boredom.W. O'Brien - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):236-244.
Social Acceleration Theory and the Self.Eric L. Hsu & Anthony Elliott - 2015 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 45 (4):397-418.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
50 ( #202,622 of 2,419,622 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #191,887 of 2,419,622 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes