The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms: The phenomenology of knowledge

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Yale University Press, 1953 - Philosophy - 501 pages
The Symbolic Forms has long been considered the greatest of Cassirer's works. Into it he poured all the resources of his vast learning about language and myth, religion, art, and science--the various creative symbolizing activities and constructions through which man has expressed himself and given intelligible objective form to this experience.
"These three volumes alone (apart from Cassirer's other papers and books) make an outstanding contribution to epistemology and to the human power of abstraction. It is rather as if 'The Golden Bough' had been written in philosophical rather than in historical terms."--F.I.G. Rawlins, Nature
 

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Contents

Introduction I
1
Subjective and Objective Analysis
45
The Phenomenon of Expression as the Basic Factor
58
The Expressive Function and the Problem of Body
92
The Concept and Problem of Representation
107
Thing and Attribute
118
Space
142
The Intuition of Time
162
Toward a Pathology of the Symbolic Consciousness
205
Toward a Theory of the Concept
281
Concept and Object
315
Language and Science Thing Signs and Ordinal Signs
328
The Object of Mathematics
357
Crisis of Mathematics
366
The Foundations of Scientific Knowledge
406
Index
481

Symbolic Pregnance
191

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About the author (1953)

Ernst Cassirer, a German neo-Kantian philosopher, taught at several European universities before moving to the United States and teaching at Yale (1941-1944) and Columbia universities. A prolific historian of philosophy, Cassirer was influenced by Immanuel Kant and Georg Hegel but originated his own distinctive doctrine. The centerpiece of Cassirer's thought is his theory of symbolic forms. He construed representation, the ground of symbolic form, to be essentially symbolic, fusing perceptual materials with conceptual meanings. The human species, he taught, is essentially a symbolizing animal. He maintained that symbolic forms are manifest in different modes-languages, myth, art, science, and religion. Cassirer utilized his theory of symbolic forms in the elaboration of a flexible philosophy of culture.

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