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Having to leave Germany in 1933, going first to England and then to Sweden and the United States, Cassirer was during some of the most mature years of his career never in a position for sufficient time personally to pass on his ideas to a generation of students who might have gone on to teach and develop them.

― Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture.

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An Essay on M1an: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture.


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Jun 30, 2004 Ernst Cassirer occupies a unique place in twentieth-century philosophy.


Cassirer an essay on man summary

Cassirer’s view is that the logic of scientific thought must be understood in terms of a theory of concept formation that takes seriality as fundamental rather than the notions of similarity and identity of properties that are the basis of generic class logic. What makes science possible, for Cassirer, is the ability of the mind to grasp empirical manifolds as serially ordered under a specific principle of arrangement, such that each element in the manifold is given a determinate position in relation to each other element, and such that elements not present can be determined through extension of the series Thus, in principle, and largely in fact, cognitive thought is in possession of a particular kind of “concrete universal”

Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man - bactra

At the beginning of Cassirer’s philosophy there is a concept of mind as creative in the sense of an agency that is determinate of its own reality in a synthetic, processlike manner.

Philosophical Dictionary: Vagueness-Verstehen

The center of Cassirer’s system is this “phenomenology of knowledge” of the third volume, in which conscious-ness is divided into three functions—the expressive (), the representational (), and the conceptual ()—each of which is shown as the grounding of the other in a broad set of dialectical relationships.

Symbols and the world system: National anthems and …

The relationship between the principle of arrangement of a series and the members of the series that forms the basis for mathematical and scientific concept formation is seen by Cassirer to be connected to a broader and more fundamental activity of the human spirit—the process of symbolization itself.