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Cassirer's Metaphysics of Symbolic FormsA Philosophical Commentary$
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Thora Bayer

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300083316

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300083316.001.0001

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The Work of Philosophy

The Work of Philosophy

(p.153) 4 The Work of Philosophy
Cassirer's Metaphysics of Symbolic Forms

Thora Ilin Bayer

Yale University Press

This chapter explains that Cassirer is concerned not only with what the basis phenomena are but also with what philosophy is as an activity that arises from the basis phenomena. He presents both the history of philosophy and his own philosophy as manifestations of these phenomena. He conceives of different types of philosophy as arising from different basis phenomena. Cassirer claims that other philosophies offer one-sided perspectives on reality, whereas the metaphysics of symbolic forms preserves reality's tripartite basis. Cassirer rejects all attempts at securing or grounding truth that absolutize one aspect of human experience. He rejects absolute methods based on logic, physics, immediacy, belief, and skepticism, and proposes a critical method to replace them.

Keywords:   history of philosophy, manifestations, basis phenomena, types of philosophy, reality's tripartite basis

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