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Jeffrey Andrew Barash, author of Martin Heidegger and the Problem of Historical Meaning
"An important contribution to studies of Cassirer's philosophy and of metaphysics in the twentieth century."
This book—the first commentary on Ernst Cassirer's The Metaphysics of Symbolic Forms—provides an introduction to the metaphysical views that underlie the philosopher's conceptions of symbolic form and human culture.
Thora Ilin Bayer focuses on the meaning of Cassirer's claim that philosophy is not itself a symbolic form but the thought around which all aspects of human activity are seen as a whole. Underlying the symbolic forms are Cassirer's two metaphysical principles, Spirit (Geist) and Life, which interact to produce the reality of the human world. Bayer shows how these two principles of Cassirer's early philosophy are connected to the phenomenology of his later philosophy, which is focused on his conception of "basis phenomena"—self, will, and work. Ultimately Cassirer conceives his philosophy as a form of the ancient Socratic quest for human self-knowledge, wherein the self makes its own nature through the power of symbolism to create the distinctively human works that constitute culture.
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* Hardcover: 224 pages
* Publisher: Yale University Press (February 1, 2001)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0300083319
* ISBN-13: 978-0300083316
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