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 a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Roger Stephenson, Paul Bishop, Stephanie Hoelscher. "Ernst Cassirer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 July 2004
[, accessed 08 October 2015.]