Since Descartes and Locke, theory of knowledge and the concept of rationality itself have been closely allied with the sciences, common sense, and empirical understanding. I argue: that theory of knowledge must be extended to theory of myth, to a theory of the origin of consciousness understood in cultural terms, rather than purely logical or metaphysical terms; and that this understanding of origin involves an understanding of the fundamental relationship between rationality and two forms of mind which have traditionally be (...) defined out of the sphere of knowledge—rhetoric and imagination. The argument that I make is based in part on an interpretation of Vico's New Science. (shrink)
Introduction: schema, substance, and symbol -- Linguistic form: the critique of reason becomes the critique of culture -- Mythical thought: beginning the ladder of consciousness -- Phenomenology of knowledge: taking phenomenology in the Hegelian, not the modern sense -- Metaphysics of symbolic forms: spirit, life, and Werk -- Logic of the cultural sciences: nature and culture -- Animal symbolicum -- Human freedom and politics.
Moral philosophy in all its contemporary forms, whether consequentialist, formalist, contractarian, utilitarian, or virtue ethicist, presumes the possibility of formulating principles of conduct that apply universally to all human beings. Standard exceptions are infants and young children, persons who are clinically insane, and persons with reduced mental capacity. These exceptions are recognized by all modern systems of morality and law. The inability to distinguish right from wrong, due to immature age, mental disorganization, or insufficient intelligence is grounds to exempt any (...) given person from moral responsibility and moral agency.Human beings not bound by such conditions are distinguished by their capacity .. (shrink)
Consciousness confronts itself with the aim of achieving absolute knowing. This is the first commentary to regard metaphor, irony, and memory as keys to the understanding of Hegel's basic philosophical position.
The papers in this volume of Ernst Cassirer’s unpublished works give insight into the major issues that engaged Cassirer’s interest between 1935 and 1945. The book begins with his inaugural address at the University of Göteborg, Sweden, in the first years of his exile from Hitler’s Germany, and ends with a talk to the Columbia Philosophy Club. The note that introduces this piece was written on the day of his death. In his long and productive career, Ernst Cassirer always tried (...) to integrate his works of original philosophy and studies in intellectual history into a general understanding of the nature of myth, culture, and symbol. These essays show that his interest persisted to the end. His piece on Judaism and political myths is perhaps the most dramatic in this collection, as it blends philosophical coolness with his deeply felt outrage at fascism. Best known in this country for _The Myth of the State_, _The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms_, and _An Essay on Man_, Ernst Cassirer has been read and studied by generations of students. In this book they will find illuminations, in a more informal voice, of the major themes in Cassirer’s work. New readers will be introduced to the great issues that occupied the interest of one of the twentieth century’s most widely read philosophers. “A genuine contribution to the history of modern philosophy – and of special value to the informed general reader, since it includes a number of valid attempts by Cassirer to translate his radical, sometimes difficult, concepts of culture into non-technical terms.” -- _The Booklist_. (shrink)