Ernst Cassirer

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Cassirer, Ernst


Born July, 28, 1874, in Breslau, now Wroclaw; died Apr. 13, 1945, in New York. German idealist philosopher, representative of the Marburg school of neo-Kan-tianism.

Cassirer was a professor (1919–33) and rector (1930–33) at the University of Hamburg. After 1933, Cassirer lived in exile: in Oxford (Great Britain), in Göteborg (Sweden) from 1935 to 1941, and in the USA from 1941 until his death.

At the start of his career Cassirer studied the philosophical problems of natural science and elaborated a theory of concepts, or “functions”; after 1920 he created an original philosophy of culture. Following the lead of H. Cohen and P. Natorp, Cassirer eliminated from the Kantian system the concept of the “thing-in-itself” as one of the two factors (the other being the subject of cognition) that create the world of “experience”; material for the construction of experience (“multiformity”) is created in Cas-sirer’s system by thought itself. Accordingly, space and time cease to be perceptions (as they were in Kant) and are transformed into concepts. Instead of the two Kantian worlds, there exists a single world, the “world of culture”; ideas of reason, like categories, become constitutive instead of regulative, that is, they are the principles that create the world. Cassirer terms these principles “symbolic functions,” inasmuch as they represent the highest values and are connected with the “divine” in man.

The diverse fields of culture, termed “symbolic forms” (language, myth, religion, art, science) are regarded by Cassirer as independent formations, irreducible to each other. Cassirer’s philosophy of culture also determined his idealistic conception of man as a “symbol-creating animal.” He is the author of several books on the history of philosophy, on G. von Leibniz, I. Kant, R. Descartes, and the philosophies of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Cassirer’s ideas, especially his theory of “symbolic forms,” was a decisive influence on the Warburg school’s studies of cultural history.


Das Erkenntnisproblem in der Philosophie und Wissenschaft der neueren Zeit, vols. 1–4. Berlin, 1906–57.
Freiheit und Form. Berlin, 1916.
Philosophie der symbolischen Formen, vols. 1–3. Berlin, 1923–29.
An Essay on Man. New Haven, Conn.-London [1945.]
The Myth of the State. London, 1946.
Zur modernen Physik. Oxford, 1957.
In Russian translation:
Poznanie i deistxiteVnosf. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Teoriia otnositel’nosti Einshteina. Petrograd, 1922.


Buczyńska, H.Cassirer. Warsaw, 1963.
Ernst Cassirer. Edited by P. A. Schilpp. Berlin, 1966. (Contains a bibliography.)


References in periodicals archive ?
5) Maurice Cassier y Marilena Correa, "Intellectual Property and Public Health: Copying of HIV/Aids Drugs by Brazilian Public and Private Pharmaceutical Laboratories".
MATKIN, supra note 24, at 60; Cassier & Sinding, supra note 77, at 155.
Cassier, Michel 1997 Compromis institutionnels et hybridations entre recherche publique et recherche privee.
TUNIS, (TAP) - Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche received, on Monday, a delegation of 30 members from the European Union (EU) Council Maghreb and Mashreq (MaMa) Group led by Jerome Cassiers, president of the group.
Panelists included Guy Cassiers, artistic director of Het Toneelhuis; Jan Rombouts, cabinet secretary of the alderman of culture; Marc Lambert, who participated in the feasibility study; and Frank Peeters of the University of Antwerp's Department of Theatre Studies.
Much of the excitement in the German capital this past March surrounded the opening of the Staatsoper unter den Linden's Gotterdammerung, the final installment in the new Ring staged by Guy Cassiers and conducted by Daniel Barenboim, which launched in 2010 with Rheingold.
Cassiers, Tim, and Christian Kesteloot (2012), "Socio-spatial Inequalities and Social Cohesion in European Cities," Urban Studies 49(9): 1909-1924.
Cassiers and Kesteloot focus on the impact of the urban inequalities on social cohesion: the actual spatial structures of the urban fabric may constrain or facilitate social cohesive processes at the scale of the city, social cohesion at a general level is best acquired via local interaction, societyand space-shaping processes unfold in place-specific forms and combinations within particular local and national contexts.
En effet, si on exclut les spectacles a forte composante technologique tels ceux du Wooster Group, de Robert Lepage, de Guy Cassiers, de Nicolas Stemann ou du Big Art Group, (12) pour ne citer qu'eux--ou la technologie est presente a toutes les phases de la production et de la representation et y joue un role determinant--, si on admet sans difficulte que la scene a l'italienne--et sa machinerie illusionniste--aussi bien que les systemes actuels de sonorisation et d'eclairage des theatres sont des technologies hautement sophistiquees, on concoit mal que l'acteur jouant sur scene releve du paradigme technologique, que sa voix, son geste, son souffle soient des composantes d'une quelconque technologie theatrale.
About one-third of those screens were spread across the Italian peninsula, where the visually dazzling production staged by innovative Belgian director Guy Cassiers, was absorbed live in HD by some 40,000 opera buffs in what is being touted as a local digital distribution milestone.
Vincent Cassiers, a member of the Brussels bar specialised in intellectual property and a researcher at the Catholic University in Louvain, singles out the absence of a specific scheme for SMEs, similar to the systems in place in Japan and the United States, which he says could be a worthwhile alternative.