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Research and Advances in Psychiatry

“The Metropolis and Mental Life”: from Georg Simmel’s philosophy to social and phenomenological theories about psychosis origins

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The risk for psychosys at the most urban environment was estimated to be 2.37 times higher than in the most rural environment. In 1903 the sociologist Georg Simmel in a little essay titled “The Metropolis and Mental Life” suggested urban conditions necessitate the creation of a “protective organ” against the intensification of external and internal sensual stimuli in the city as compared to a rural setting. In 2006 Hetrick and Erickson proposed that symptoms of psychosis indicate a primary deficit in mechanisms of attention related to selection and inhibition stimuli.
We argue that Simmel’s “protective organ” could be linked to the “Sensory Gating” theory for psychosys by Hetrick and Erickson.