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Cassirer, Ernst

Ernst Cassirer (1874–1945), Jewish German philosopher, was one of the leading proponents of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism and made a significant contribution to a philosophy of culture through his investigations into the role of symbolic representation in the constitution of human environments. He claimed that “symbolic forms,” such as myth, art, religion, and language, are the irreducible building blocks that frame and structure human perception and cultural reality. Cassirer studied philosophy and science in Munich, Berlin, and Heidelberg. Influenced mainly by the work of his mentor Hermann Cohen, in Marburg, Cassirer successively developed his own stand toward the epistemological issues raised in Kantian philosophy. He taught at Berlin and Hamburg, and after fleeing the Nazi state in 1933 continued his career at Oxford, ...

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