Semiotica 2020 (233):125-144 (2020)

Abstract
Ernst Cassirer, Neo-Kantian philosopher of Marburg school, studies myth as a component of symbolic forms. He considers myth as the cornerstone of philosophy of culture as well as the source of such other forms as language, religion, art and science. Cassirer, applying an epistemological approach towards myths and other realms of human culture, argues that human beings experience the world through a mediated process. Of course, this mediated encounter with the world has different aspects in the evolving course of culture. These aspects are completely dependent upon the symbolic form through which man experiences his world. However, it seems what Cassirer puts forth as an explanation of the cultural evolution of mankind is basically influenced by his semiotic viewpoints. Therefore, the present article tries to find the theoretical resources of Cassirer’s thought and analyze his reasoning in this regard. Emphasizing Cassirer’s theoretical assumptions as well as his methodology, we have tried to better understand his claims about myth and other symbolic forms. It has been revealed that Cassirer’s theory is mainly shaped by his particular models of semiotic functions. Analyzing the semiotic functions of each specific form indicates that Cassirer has differentiated three independent functions. Each of these functions works on an expressive, Ausdrucken. representative, Darstellungen. or signifying Bedeutungen. basis and is respectively correspondent with myth, language, and science.
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DOI 10.1515/sem-2018-0074
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