Ernst Cassirer

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Related to Ernst Cassirer: Hermann Cohen

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 ?
Es posible interpretar su obra como una prolongacion del programa de una teoria de la cultura definida por Ernst Cassirer y Aby Warburg como antropologia del hombre en movimiento, nutriendola de nuevas investigaciones etnologicas y de nuevos descubrimientos en biologica.
Reaching beyond Toni Cassirer's descriptions of the famous Davos debate with Heidegger, Curthoys further distinguishes his reading of Cassirer for the weight he affords her Mein Leben mit Ernst Cassirer (Hildesheim, 1981).
34) Ernst Cassirer, The Problem of Knowledge: Philosphy, Science, and History since Hegel, trans William H.
2008), "Astrazione e funzione in Ernst Cassirer," in M.
12) Ernst Cassirer, Filosofia de las formas simbolicas III (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 2003), 7.
En este sentido, reivindicamos como han hecho numerosos autores--como Ernst Cassirer, Gilbert Durand, Hans Blumemberg o Lluis Duch--una vision integradora de los modos arquetipicos, simbolicos y miticos de pensar donde la imaginacion y la razon se complementen y den lugar a una comprension mas completa del ser humano.
In The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, even from the first chapter, Ernst Cassirer establishes that the philosophy of symbolic forms does not seek the categories of the consciousness of the object only in the theoretical and intellectual sphere, but it also starts from the fact that such categories should be in action every time when "from the chaos of impressions, a cosmos emerges, a characteristic image of the world.
En este articulo, basandome en las ideas del filosofo neokantiano Ernst Cassirer, argumentare, que tambien en las matematicas, la idealizacion desempena un papel clave y ademas la separacion estricta de metodos de idealizacion en las ciencias empiricas y la matematica no es nada recomendable.
Following in the footsteps of Ernst Cassirer, many scholars have tried to uncover the early modern roots of aesthetic disinterestedness.
Partindo disso, com o apoio de Ernst Cassirer e Gilbert Durand foi possivel concatenar uma teorizacao, atraves da qual se torna propicio observar a religiao por meio dos universos simbolicos e dos espacos por eles engendrados num processo continuo, dinamico e retroalimentavel de espacializacao.
Emil Lask y Ernst Cassirer representarian, segun esto, los exponentes mas destacados de esta encrucijada que se reproduciria, con distintas modulaciones, en los debates mas decisivos de la filosofia contemporanea.
O dialogo com a Filosofia Realista de Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945) (3) permitiu uma autonomia necessaria ao subcampo da Geografia da Religiao possibilitando outras conexoes teoricas e uma prospectiva de incremento da area.