Ernst Cassirer

Ernst Cassirer (ĕrnst käsēr´ər), 1874–1945, German philosopher. He was a professor at the Univ. of Hamburg from 1919 until 1933, when he went to Oxford; he later taught at Yale and Columbia. A leading representative of the Marburg Neo-Kantian school, Cassirer at first devoted himself to a critical-historical study of the problem of knowledge. This work bore fruit in the monumental Das Erkenntnisproblem in der Philosophie und Wissenschaft der neueren Zeit (3 vol., 1906–20) and Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff (1910, tr. Substance and Function, 1923). In his chief work, Philosophie der symbolischen Formen (3 vol., 1923–29, tr. Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, 1953–57), he applied the principles of Kantian philosophy toward the formation of a critique of culture. His view that all cultural achievements (including language, myth, and science) are the results of man's symbolic activity led Cassirer to a new conception of man as the "symbolic animal." Cassirer wrote many other studies on science, myth, and various historical subjects. These include two written in English: An Essay on Man (1944) and Myth of the State (1946).

See P. A. Schilpp, ed., The Philosophy of Ernst Cassirer (1949, repr. 1973); studies by S. W. Itzkoff (1971), D. R. Lipton (1978), J. M. Krois (1985), and P. E. Gordon (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Ernst Cassirer: Selected full-text books and articles

Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture By Edward Skidelsky Princeton University Press, 2008
The Symbolic Construction of Reality: The Legacy of Ernst Cassirer By Jeffrey Andrew Barash University of Chicago Press, 2008
The Problem of Knowledge: Philosophy, Science, and History since Hegel By Ernst Cassirer; William H. Woglom; Charles W. Hendel Yale University Press, 1950
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Substance and Function and Einstein's Theory of Relativity By Ernst Cassirer; William Curtis Swabey; Marie Collins Swabey Dover Publications, 1953
Metaphysical Narration, Science, and Symbolic Form By Verene, Donald Phillip The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 47, No. 1, September 1993
Rosenzweig and Heidegger: Between Judaism and German Philosophy By Peter Eli Gordon University of California Press, 2003
Librarian's tip: Information on Ernst Cassirer begins in Chap. 6 "'An Irony in the History of Spirit': Rosenzweig, Heidegger, and the Davos Disputation"
Verene and Cassirer: On New Beginnings By Krois, John Michael CLIO, Vol. 23, No. 4, Summer 1994
On Ernst Cassirer's an Essay on Man. (Bookmarks) By Skidelsky, Edward New Statesman (1996), Vol. 130, No. 4566, December 3, 2001
Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers By Stuart Brown; Diané Collinson; Robert Wilkinson Routledge, 1996
Librarian's tip: "Cassirer, Ernst" begins on p. 133
Ernst Cassirer's Metaphysics and the Investigation of History By Bertland, Alexander CLIO, Vol. 28, No. 3, Spring 1999
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