Symbolic Forms and Cultural Studies : Ernst Cassirer's Theory of Culture

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2004-11-10
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Cassirer thought of culture anthropologically as the entire complex of human modes of meaning and existence: it encompassed science, technology, language, and social life in addition to art, religion, and philosophy. This conception of culture and Cassirer's theory of symbolism anticipated much of later cultural theory. In this collection of essays, eminent Cassirer scholars examine the many different aspects of his thinking on this subject and demonstrate how pioneering and important it is to cultural studies.

Author Biography

Cyrus Hamlin is professor of comparative literature and German and the director of graduate studies in the department of comparative literature at Yale University. John Michael Krois teaches philosophy at the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction xi
Abbreviations of Works xxix
Ernst Cassirer
Part One: Culture as a Philosophical Concept
The Variety of Symbolic Worlds and the Unity of Mind
Oswald Schwemmer
Cassirer's Concept of a Philosophy of Human Culture
Donald Phillip Verene
The Modern Concept of Culture as Indicator of a Metaphysical Problem
Ernst Wolfgang Orth
Cassirer's Symbolic Theory of Culture and the Historicization of Philosophy
Louis Dupre
Part Two: Problems in the Philosophical Interpretation of Culture
``Art'' and ``Science'' in The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms
Michael Holquist
The Subject of Culture
Steve Lofts
Styles of Change: Ernst Cassirer's Philosophical Writing
Barbara Naumann
Part Three: Comparative Studies
Bakhtin and Cassirer: The Philosophical Origins of Carnival Messianism
Brian Poole
From Culture to Politics: The ``Aufhebung'' of Ethics in Ernst Cassirer's Political Philosophy in Comparison with the ``Political Theology'' of Ernst Kantorowicz
Enno Rudolph
Speaking of Symbols: Affinities between Cassirer's and Jung's Theories of Language
Paul Bishop
``Eine zarte Differenz'': Cassirer on Goethe on the Symbol
R. H. Stephenson
Goethe as Model for Cultural Values: Ernst Cassirer's Essay on Thomas Mann's Lotte in Weimar
Cyrus Hamlin
Part Four: Cassirer's Philosophical Outlook
The Missing Core of Cassirer's Philosophy: Homo Faber in Thin Air
Gideon Freudenthal
The Davos Disputation and Twentieth-Century Philosophy
Michael Friedman
Why Did Cassirer and Heidegger Not Debate in Davos?
John Michael Krois
Appendix: How the Cassirer Papers Came to Yale 263(8)
Vincent Giroud
List of Contributors 271(3)
Index 274

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