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The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms


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Ernst Cassirer occupies a unique space in Twentieth-century philosophy. A great liberal humanist, his multi-faceted work spans the history of philosophy, the philosophy of science, intellectual history, aesthetics, epistemology, the study of language and myth, and more. Cassirer’s thought also anticipates the renewed interest in the origins of analytic and continental philosophy in the Twentieth Century and the divergent paths taken by the 'logicist' and existential traditions, epitomised by his now legendary debate in 1929 with the philosopher Martin Heidegger, over the question "What is the Human Being?"

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms is Cassirer's most important work. It was first published in German in 1923, the third and final volume appearing in 1929. In it Cassirer presents a radical new philosophical worldview - at once rich, creative and controversial - of human beings as fundamentally "symbolic animals", placing signs and systems of expression between themselves and the world.

This major new translation of all three volumes, the first for over fifty years, brings Cassirer's magnum opus to a new generation of students and scholars. Taken together, the three volumes of The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms are a vital treatise on human beings as symbolic animals and a monumental expression of neo-Kantian thought.

Correcting important errors in previous English editions, this translation reflects the contributions of significant advances in Cassirer scholarship over the last twenty to thirty years. Each volume includes a new introduction and translator's notes by S. G. Lofts, a foreword by Peter Gordon, a glossary of key terms, and a thorough index.

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The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms Three Volume Set

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms: Three Volume Set

1st Edition

By Ernst Cassirer
September 25, 2020

Ernst Cassirer occupies a unique space in twentieth-century philosophy. A great liberal humanist, his multi-faceted work spans the history of philosophy, the philosophy of science, intellectual history, aesthetics, epistemology, the study of language and myth, and more. Cassirer’s thought also ...

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 1 Language

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 1: Language

1st Edition

By Ernst Cassirer
September 25, 2020

"The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms is a milestone in twentieth century philosophy. Promoting a philosophical vision informed by Kant, it incorporates the philosophical advances achieved in the nineteenth century by German Idealism and Neo-Kantianism, whilst acknowledging the contributions made by ...

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 2 Mythical Thinking

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 2: Mythical Thinking

1st Edition

By Ernst Cassirer
September 25, 2020

"The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms is one of the landmarks of twentieth century philosophy. Drawing from the influential work of Wilhelm Dilthey, it transformed neo-Kantianism into a new robust philosophy of culture. The second volume, on Mythical Thinking, analyzes the fundamental layers of ...

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 3 Phenomenology of Cognition

The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 3: Phenomenology of Cognition

1st Edition

By Ernst Cassirer
September 25, 2020

“In his Phenomenology of Cognition, Cassirer provides a comprehensive and systematic account of the dynamic process involved in the whole of human culture as it progresses from the world of myth and its feeling of social belonging to the highest abstractions of mathematics, logic and theoretical ...

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