Idealistic Studies 17 (1):86-89 (1987)

With the deaths of Ernst Cassirer in 1945 and Eric Weil in 1977, the last of the Neo-Kantians faded from the philosophical scene. They were lonely figures in a world that had been captured by the language mysticism of Heidegger, the dialectical materialism of existentialism, and the fragmentary, aphoristic philosophies of Nietzsche, Marcel, and Buber. The system builders, who emanated from Marburg and lived in the shadows of that fierce believer in rational knowledge, Hermann Cohen, became fewer and fewer. Léon Brunschwicg’s Le Progrès de la Conscience dans la philosophie Occidentale, Cassirer’s Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, and Eric Weil’s Logique de la Philosophie were the final creations of a philosophy that recognized the discourse of reason as the perennial achievement of civilization. This discourse arose with stronger and stronger conviction and faith from every struggle with feeling and sentiment which Carl Jung called “the superstructure of brutality” and Cassirer saw embodied in the “myth of the state.” The Neo-Kantian tradition was formed around the central idea that there was a fundamental gap between what is and what should be, and this separation can be epistemologically, ethically, and aesthetically translated into a radical opposition to every Identitaetsphilosophie.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI 10.5840/idstudies19871719
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