Ernst Cassirer occupies a unique place in twentieth-century philosophy. His work pays equal attention to foundational and epistemological  ‎Philosophy of · ‎The Philosophy of · ‎Cassirer, Hegel and the · ‎Bibliography. CASSIRER, ERNST (–), philosopher. Son of a well-to-do merchant from Breslau, Cassirer received his doctorate at the University of Marburg as a. 'The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms' has long been considered by many who knew it in the original German as the greatest of Ernst Cassirer's works. Into it he.


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In his Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriffhe showed why in mathematics, physics, and chemistry the cassirer ernst concept of "substance" had to be replaced by the concept of "function".

Instead of seeking in vain to present a faithful copy of given existing things, the critical exploration cassirer ernst nature should seek merely to unveil precise functional relations between given phenomena on the basis of verifiable scientific cassirer ernst.

In his chief work, Philosophie der symbolischen Formen 3 vols.


The center of the Philosophie der symbolischen Formen was a new "critique of culture" cassirer ernst place of the classical enlightenment "critique of reason. Before accepting this position, the reader might like to be walked step by step cassirer ernst passages in which Cassirer explicitly commits himself to this view; however, Moss provides only a few quotes about Cassirer's commitment to the reciprocal relationship between subjects and objects and the idea that the particular contents of consciousness are defined in relation to the whole 83, To briefly mention another example, in Chapter Seven Moss discusses Heidegger's and Wittgenstein's accounts of language as two 'mystical' alternatives to Cassirer's approach cassirer ernst the autonomy of language.

Cassirer, Ernst

Although the comparison is suggestive, after analyzing Heidegger's and Wittgenstein's cassirer ernst at length, he devotes less than two pages to clarifying how this bears on Cassirer ernst own view Again, the reader is left feeling unsure about how exactly to bring the discussion to bear on Cassirer's philosophy of language.

The second issue relates to Moss's claim that Cassirer thinks language is autonomous in the sense that it is an independent symbolic form upon which all other forms depend.

I worry that by privileging language in this way Moss's approach does not do justice to another equally important aspect of Cassirer's view, viz.


Indeed, it seems if one were looking for a symbolic form upon which all the others depend, Cassirer's text points towards myth, not language, None of [the symbolic forms] arise initially as separate, independently recognizable forms, but every one of them must first be emancipated from the common matrix of myth.

Theoretical, practical and aesthetic consciousness, the world of language and of morality, the basic forms of cassirer ernst community and the state -- they are all originally tied up with mythico-religious cassirer ernst.

Ernst Cassirer

Language cassirer ernst Myth 44 [1] Cassirer accords myth such a primary role because he thinks that it is through myth that we first come to experience the world in 'expressive' terms, i. This is what Cassirer calls 'expressive perception' and he asserts that it can "claim an independent right side by side with objective perception" because "it is that form of knowledge by which the reality not of natural objects but of other subjects is opened up to us" PSFv3 cassirer ernst Moss, however, tends to emphasize the deficiency of myth, arguing that "the form of signification in myth is not consistent with the form of symbolism proper" because myth is not yet "fully representational" In so doing, Moss weakens the central role Cassirer takes myth and the expressive function to play in our experience of the world.

Moreover, one wonders whether Moss has committed Cassirer to the position he criticizes in Hegel, viz. My third concern pertains to Moss's characterization of Cassirer's Verticalism and teleology.

Although Moss suggests that Cassirer regards the end of culture as something that is introduced in philosophical reflection, he does not offer textual evidence in support of this idea, and it seems to be in tension with Cassirer's claims about the end of culture So it is here, and only here, that the generalized and purified form of neo- Kantianism distinctive of the Marburg School gives an accurate characterization of human thought.

Recent commentators [Skidelsky ] [Moss ] have illuminatingly built on this circumstance in further articulating the relationship between Cassirer and Hegel. Hegel had conceived nature Natur and spirit Geist as two different expressions of a single divine infinite Reason, which manifests itself temporally from two different points of view.

His project of an encyclopedia cassirer ernst philosophical sciences had three parts, the logic, the philosophy of nature, and the philosophy of spirit, where the logic had the task of depicting the dialectical conceptual structure of infinite divine Reason itself.

Ernst Cassirer | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

But this Hegelian project for securing the ultimate logico-metaphysical identity of nature and spirit found ever fewer followers as the century progressed, cassirer ernst the rising tide of neo-Kantianism — aided by further developments within the natural sciences instigated by Hermann von Helmholtz — undermined the appeal of the original Naturphilosophie of Schelling and Hegel together with their Absolute Reason.

The result was the problem of the Naturwissenschaften and Geisteswissenschaften as it presented itself to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Whereas intersubjective validity in the natural sciences rests on universal laws of nature ranging over all physical places and times, an analogous type of intersubjective validity arises in the cultural sciences independently of such laws.

Universal cultural meaning thereby emerges only asymptotically, in a way similar to the genetic conception of knowledge of the Marburg School now seen cassirer ernst based on the significative function of thought.

Rather than an abstract mathematical relation of backwards-directed inclusion, however, we are concerned, in the historical cultural sciences, cassirer ernst a hermeneutical relation of backwards-directed interpretation and reinterpretation — and, as a result, there is no possibility, in these sciences, of reliably predicting the future.


Inhowever, Cassirer published a review of [Heidegger ], which took a different approach from his remarks at Davos.