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The Path of Symbolic Knowledge

The famous story of the choice of Hercules became one frequently depicted in Western art and, as Ernst Panofsky showed, the various treatments of this theme demonstrate the significance of cultural continuity through the centuries. At the same time, the motif of Hercules and his choice presents us with a challenge to current theoretical approaches to culture. We can either take the easy path and accept the current hermeneutic orthodoxies of popular cultural studies, or we can choose a harder but, ultimately, more rewarding path: the philosophy of culture articulated by Ernst Cassirer. This volume brings together a collection of papers which reflects the broad sweep, both historical and theoretical, of Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms. They range from language-theory to myth and religion; and all are set, with varying degrees of emphasis, in a comparative context.
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Table of Contents

1. Metabasis and Translation: Ernst Cassirer and Walter Benjamin on Language Theory by Barbara Naumann (Zurich) 2. Myth and Religion in Cassirer's Philosophy of Symbolic Forms by Louis Dupre (Yale) 3. Ernst Cassirer and Oswald Spengler: Two Philosophies of Culture in the Light of a Political Polemic by Dina Gusejnova (Cambridge) 4. Cassirer, Warburg, and the Irrational by Edward Skidelsky (Oxford) 5. 'Eine geistige Urform der geschichtlichen Erkenntnis'? Cassirer and Bachofen on the Symbol by Paul Bishop (Glasgow) 6. The Symbolization of Culture: Nietzsche in the Footsteps of Goethe, Schiller, Schopenhauer, and Wagner by Martine Prange (Groningen) 7. Schiller's 'Concrete' Theory of Culture: Reflections on the 250th Anniversary of His Death by R.H. Stephenson (Glasgow)

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