Given the growing disenchantment, on all sides, with the 'high theory' of the 1970s and 1980s, and with the dominant master-trope of literary and cultural reflexion of the 1980s and 1990s, the extended metaphor or 'allegory', this volume offers a timely re-examination of what, according to Goethe, is a deeper mode of understanding the symbol. Via the life-long preoccupation of Ernst Cassirer with the problems of 'symbolic form', as he christened it, the papers collected here try to come to terms with the thinking of Goethe and Schiller on the symbol, and on related issues. Taken together, they attempt to elucidate the filiation of German classicism down through the nineteenth century to the present, in the belief that some of Cassirer's ideas have fed, often unacknowledged, into the mainstream of contemporary cultural theory, and that the rigour of his thought can help clear up much of the confusion in that 'theory'.
Cassirer and the Problem of LanguageBirgit ReckiErnst Cassirer's Concept of Kulturwissenschaft and the Tradition of the Humanities in the Modern UniversityCyrus HamlinAnalysis or Synthesis? A Cassirerian Problem in the Work of Freud and JungPaul BishopNietzsche's Aestheticism and the Value of SufferingRebecca BamfordThe Proper Object of Cultural Study : Ernst Cassirer and the Aesthetic Theory of Weimer ClassicismR.H. Stephenson