Academic journal article et Cetera

Books -- Language and Myth by Ernst Cassirer and Translated from the German by Suzanne K. Langer

Academic journal article et Cetera

Books -- Language and Myth by Ernst Cassirer and Translated from the German by Suzanne K. Langer

Article excerpt

Ernst Cassirer. Language and Myth. Translated from the German by Suzanne K. Langer. New York: Dover Publications, 194. [In print.]

Herbert Spencer tried to prove the thesis that the mythico-religious veneration of natural phenomena "has its ultimate origin in nothing more than a misinterpretation of the names which men have applied to these objects" (p. 3).

For Max Muller, myth is "something conditioned and negotiated by the agency of language; it is, in fact, the product of a basic shortcoming, an inherent weakness of language" (p. 4).

These very influential views are incorrect according to Cassirer, because they are the logical result of "that naive realism which regards the reality of objects as something directly and unequivocally given, literally something tangible..." (p. 6).

For Cassirer, a more profound and accurate departure for an understanding of the nature of language and myth is the acceptance of what Kant calls his "Copernican revolution."

Instead of measuring the content, meaning, truth of intellectual forms by something extraneous which is supposed to be reproduced in them, we must find in these forms themselves the measure and criterion for their truth and intrinsic meaning. (P. 8)

From this point of view myth, art, language, and science appear as symbols in the sense of forces, each of which produces and posits a world of its own. …

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