Synthesis Philosophica 23 (2):367-380 (2008)

Borut Ošlaj
University of Ljubljana
This article considers the question whether in theories of the spirit, from the first half of the 20th century, we can find reasons that would lead us to discuss about the ending of the spirit, mankind and the ethical in the so-called postmodernism, or whether it has been left unnoticed, anywhere in these concepts, something we might make use of, above all, in ethical sense. In the first and the second part of this article we turn to Cassirer’s theory of the spirit as to be able to, through this representative philosopher’s works and his critics, better perceive where to search for the reasons of “the death of the spirit”. Postmodernistic discourse itself does not give any reason and cannot give any answer to the crisis lasting for more than a hundred years, because it is in itself a symptom of that very crisis. On grounds of a three-fold aspectuality of dialectics of the spirit , its uncertainty and fragility, in the third part of this discourse we introduce the possibility of the ethical. My believe is that through specific treatment of the issue the question can be explored: how the ethical is still possible to talk about and what would its possible meaning be?
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