- Dec 2022
I came to this page after reading the "About the Author (The Second Right Answer)" page of Roger von Oech's "A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative" which was mentioned by Kevin Bowers in his discussion with John Vervaeke titled "Principles & Methods for Achieving a Flow State | Voices w/ Vervaeke | John Vervaeke & Kevin Bowers".
von Oech stated that
I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the twentieth century German philosopher Ernst Cassirer, the last man to know everything. From him, I learned that it's good to be a generalist, and that looking at the Big Picture helps to keep you flexible.
This was a surprising reference since Bowers stated that the book was written for helping entrepreneurs become more creative; the book seems more widely applicable based on the examples and exercises given in the first 20 pages.
Cassirer appears to bridge between the continental and analytic traditions in philosophy. Cassirer's touching on mathematics, aesthetics, and ethics reminds me of - John Vervaeke's work - ie, the process of relevance realization and his neo platonic, transformational reading of ancient texts - Forrest Landry work - ie, his magnum opus "An Immanent Metaphysics" which he purports to be pointing to a foundation between ontology, epistemology, and ethics. Recently, IDM (Immanent Domain Metaphysics) made more sense to me when I attempted to translat the 3 axioms and 3 modalities into language from category theory
The following seem important and related somehow: 1. the symbolic process 2. the process of abstraction 3. the process of representation
Maybe these are related to the means by which one can can transcend their current self? ie, is it through particular symbolic practices that one can more easily shed one identity and acquire another?
Also, are 1., 2., and 3. different aspects of the same thing/event?
- Jan 2021
Philosophy of Symbolic Forms
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 Steve G. Lofts, a foreword by Peter E. Gordon, a glossary of key terms, and a thorough index.
“The Philosophy Of Symbolic Forms: Three Volume Set.” n.d. Routledge & CRC Press. Accessed January 26, 2021. https://web.archive.orghttps://web.archive.org/web/20210126070818/https://www.routledge.com/The-Philosophy-of-Symbolic-Forms-Three-Volume-Set/Cassirer/p/book/9781138907256.
Cassirer's Wikipedia page is here; from it:
Cassirer was one of the leading 20th-century advocates of philosophical idealism. His most famous work is the Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (1923–1929).
Though his work received a mixed reception shortly after his death, more recent scholarship has remarked upon Cassirer's role as a strident defender of the moral idealism of the Enlightenment era and the cause of liberal democracy at a time when the rise of fascism had made such advocacy unfashionable. Within the international Jewish community, Cassirer's work has additionally been seen as part of a long tradition of thought on ethical philosophy.