An Essay On Man Explanation

An Essay On Man Explanation-57
By 1904, he had completed the first two volumes of his monumental four-volume history of epistemology, The Problem of Knowledge, the final volume of which was in the process of translation at the time of his death.His first great systematic work, Substance and Function, was published in 1910.

By 1904, he had completed the first two volumes of his monumental four-volume history of epistemology, The Problem of Knowledge, the final volume of which was in the process of translation at the time of his death.

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The last twelve years of Cassirer’s life were devoted to an application of the philosophy of symbolic forms to the various realms of human culture— to art and the social sciences.

An Essay on Man, completed in 1944, is the major work of this period. Hendel in friendship and gratitude AN ESSAY ON MAN An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture BY ERNST CASSIRER DOUBLEDAY ANCHOR BOOKS DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY, INC., GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK © BOOKS BY ERNST CASSIRER PUBLISHED BY YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS An Essay on Man - The Myth of the State The Problem of Knowledge The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Volume 1 Originally Published on the Louis Stem Memorial Fund Copyright, 1944, by Yale Ouivcrsily Press Reprinted by Arrangement with Yale University Press All Rights Reserved Printed in the United States Preface PART I WHAT IS MAN?

Of course it has not been possible to lay before their eyes the whole bulk of empirical evidence upon which my principal thesis rests.

But I have tried at least to give ample and detailed quotations from the standard works on the vari- ous subjects.

For a closer dis- cussion and analysis of the problems involved I must ask them to go hack to the detailed description in my Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, It is my serious wish not to impose a ready-made theory, ex- pressed in a dogmatic style, upon the minds of my readers.

I have been anxious to place them in a position to judge for themselves.1 The Crisis in Man’s Knowledge of Himself 15 2 A Clue to the Nature of Man: the Symbol 41 3 From Animal Reactions to Human Responses 44 4 The Human World of Space and Time 62 5 Facts and Ideals 79 PART II MAN AND CULTURE 6 Tire Definition of Man in Terms of Human Culture 87 7 Myth and Religion 97 8 Language 142 9 Art 176 10 History 217 1 1 Science 261 12 Summary and Conclusion 278 Index 287 Preface The first impulse for the writing of this book came from my English and American friends who lcpeatcdly and urgently asked me to publish an English translation of my Philosophy of Symbolic Forms.1 Although I should have liked very much to comply with their request, after the first tentative steps I found it impracticable and, under the present circumstances, unjustifiable to reproduce the former book in its entirety.Still the book has had to deal with subjects that, at first sight, may seem to be widely divergent.A book concerned with psychological, ontological, epistemological questions and containing chapters on Myth and Religion, Language and Art, on Science and History, is open to the objection that it is a mixtum compositum of the most disparate and heterogeneous things.After the First World War, Cassirer began working out the theory of symbolic forms, his major contribution to twentieth-century philosophy, which has earned him a place with Bergson, Croce, Dewey, Santayana, and Whitehead.Tire three volumes of The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms were brought out between 19, and the first of these to appear in America has recently been published by the Yale University Press.As for the reader, it would have taxed his attention to the utmost to read a three-volume study dealing with a difficult and ab- stract subject, But even from the point of view of the author it was scarcely possible or advisable to publish a work planned and written more than twenty-five years ago.Since that time the author has continued his study on the subject, He has learned many new facts and he has been confronted with new problems, Even the old problems are seen by him from a different angle and appear in a new light.For all these reasons 1 decided to make a fresh start and to write an entirely new book.This book had to be much shorter than the first one, "A big book," said Lessing, “is a big evil." When writing my Philosophy of Symbolic Forms I was so engrossed in the sub- ject itself that I forgot or neglected this stylistic maxim, Now I feel much more inclined to subscribe to Lessing’s words, In- stead of giving a detailed account of facts and a lengthy dis- cussion of theories I have tried in this present hook to concentrate upon a few points that seemed to me to be of special philosophical importance and to express my thoughts as briefly and succinctly as possible.


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