Ernst Cassirer

(2069 words)
  • Roger Stephenson, Paul Bishop, Stephanie Hoelscher (University of Glasgow)

Ernst Cassirer's importance today is seen as two-fold. On the one hand he is the philosopher of “symbolic form”, offering a powerful account of human life as a fundamentally cultural activity, principally in his magnum opus Philosophie der symbolischen Formen [The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, in 4 volumes, 1923, 1925, 1929, and (posthumously) 1995]. On the other, his awareness of a wider intellectual world, beyond the confines of conventional philosophy – in particular, his sensitivity to psychology and aesthetics – recommends him strongly in an age of intercultural and interdisciplinary concern. As he wrote in his Essay on Man, published in 1944 in English:

The principle of symbolism, w…
Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Roger Stephenson, Paul Bishop, Stephanie Hoelscher. "Ernst Cassirer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 July 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=781, accessed 30 October 2014.]