Phenomenological Idealism as Method: The Hidden Completeness of Cassirer’s Matrix of the Symbolic

In Luigi Filieri & Anne Pollok (eds.), The Method of Culture. Ernst Cassirer's Philosophy of Symbolic Forms. Pisa: Editioni ETS. pp. 121-147 (2021)
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This paper defends the idea that Cassirer's methodology is idealistic in regard to validity claims and the structuralist views he holds and at the same time empiric in regard to the facts and genealogy of culture. This perspective is best to be unfolded along Cassirer's model of representation. The author does so by showing that Cassirer's triad of symbolic articulation (expressive, presentational, significative) and the triad of symbolic development (mimetic, analogical, symbolic) form a coherent and exhaustive theory of symbolic formation. In order to defend this view, two main objections from the secondary literature against the consistency of this essential theory piece of The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms have to be rejected.



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Tobias Endres
Technische Universität Braunschweig

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