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Cassirer's Enlightened View on the Hierarchy of the Symbolic Forms and the Task of Philosophy

2015 - Bibliopolis

P. 119-139

  • "This paper aims to clarify an apparent inconsistency in Cassirer's view on therelation between the different domains of human culture. On the one hand,Cassirer insists that there is no shared criterion by means of which we couldestablish a hierarchy among these domains. Yet, on the other hand he alsoholds that mythical thought needs to be overcome, while calling language themost important, and science the highest attainment of culture. In order to reconcilethese claims, I first demonstrate that Cassirer's relativistic and hierarchicalaccounts of the symbolic forms originate in his respective transcendentaland critical views of human culture. While the former perspective explainsour generically distinct worldviews, the latter discerns a progressive self-understandingof symbolic consciousness. Next, I argue that these perspectivescomplement each other in so far as they both promote an Enlightened conceptionof human culture and an ethical view on he task of philosophy." [Publisher's text]

Is part of

Cassirer studies : VII/VIII, 2014/2015