An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture
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An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Paperback, 250 pages
Published September 10th 1962 by Yale University Press (first published 1944)
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Sep 11, 2008 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
I've heard someone say his thought is unoriginal. I know nothing about that. This book is a mind-expander on too many levels. A must read for anyone concerned with language and art.
Giovaennchen Lozano
Este fue en su tiempo uno de mis libritos favoritos. Me gustaron mucho los temas tratados en él. Son una serie de ensayos recopilados de muchas conferencias impartidas por Ernst Cassirer. Son , para mi gusto muy claros. De los que más me gustaron fueron los que tratan sobre la naturaleza simbólica del ser humano. Sobre el papel del lenguaje en todo lo que el hombre hace y deshace de este mundo. También tiene unos conceptos sobre el entorno social, desde sus inicios. Y claro, su ensayo sobre epis...more
This was a fairly rough read. Cassirer's book, though touted as philosophy, is more of a summary of recent (as of 1944) developments in the theory of religion, language, art, history, and science. Throughout, Cassirer advances his annoying optimism in human progress which can be summarized with this statement: "Human culture taken as a whole may be described as the process of man's progressive self-liberation" (228).

This enthusiasm is boring. The works of Marx, Cassirer, Darwin, and all liberals...more
Mateusz Dembina
Po pierwszej lekturze eseju ma się wrażenie, że Cassirer jest w jakichś sposób odtwórczy. Zawiłości historii estetyki, epistemiologii czy ontologii czytelnika niewprawionego nudzą. Nie nudzi natomiast erudycja autora, lekki styl pisania jak na temat skoplikowany, wydawałoby się, odporny na formę przyjemnego czytelnictwa.

Dopiero przy drugiej lekturze doceniłem w jak przystępny sposób Cassirer przedstawił swoją wizję fenomenologii kultury. Wydaje mi się, że świadomość połączenia form symbolicznych...more
I will not deny that there are some dull parts, especially in the second half of the book, and yet the overall impression is more than positive. The main theme is - man as 'Animal Symbolicum'. One of the most important aspects of human being is his ability to speak, to - communicate - and therefore to create human culture. To question the man, we must question his institutions. Cassirer lists following regions of human culture: myth, religion, language, art, history and science. It seems he does...more
Não sei se foi impressão minha, mas muito embora Cassirer alerte para não considerar nenhum mecanismo de interpretação que leve em conta premissas etnocêntricas, e ele inove em muita coisa, ele acaba por tratar como "primitivos" os grupos estudados, e ainda leva à questão a linha evolutiva mito-religião-ciência em consideração para toda a humanidade. E como podemos ver hoje a religião encontra-se em fortíssimo crescimento, ao lado da ciência, e com o mito sem deixar de existir.

É interessante a...more
"All that which befalls man from without is null and void. His essence does not depend on external circumstances; it depends exclusively on the value he gives to himself. Riches, rank, social distinction, even health or intellectual gifts--all this becomes indifferent. What matters alone is the tendency, the inner attitude of the soul; and this inner principle cannot be disturbed."
Such a great book that lead to much introspection. There is a chapter that delves into every imaginable facet of hum...more
Ayu Puspita Sari
Satu lagi buku yang sudah saya idam-idamkan sejak lama karena nggak tau bisa dapat dimana namun ternyata dengan ironisnya malah dijadikan buku modul kuliah. It really is heaven!

Teman-teman saya rata-rata mengeluh saat ditugaskan untuk membaca buku ini karena bahasanya yang sangat filosofis. Tapi justru disitulah menariknya. Bahasa yang melayang-layang dan membutuhkan interpretasi masing-masing dari pembacanya, itulah kehebatan dari buku-buku filsafat, dan juga kehebatan buku yang satu ini.
The main idea that I got out of this book is that Cassirer believes that one cannot point to something in all men to discover human nature, but human nature is understood functionally as reflected in all of the things that man does. What man does is reflected in culture, myth, religion, language, science. He calls these symbolic forms. I compare these symbolic forms to Thomas Sowell's social processes.
Ernst Cassirer awalnya cukup asing di telinga saya. Namun akhirnya saya tahu bahwa Cassirer bisa disejajarkan dengan filsuf-filsuf legendaris lainnya. Buku ini bukanlah buku yang dibeli orang awam, tapi inilah filsafat. Inilah mind. Logika memang sesuatu yang abstrak kan? Dan memang tidak semua orang sampai kesana. Khususnya Indonesia yang masih terlalu bias dengan mitos dan religi.
udah lama juga baca buku ini, karena tugas kuliah.
Aníbal Rivera Dávila
Gran exposición. De una erudición magnifica.
puerta de entendimiento.
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Ernst Cassirer was one of the major figures in the development of philosophical idealism in the first half of the twentieth century, a German Jewish philosopher. Coming out of the Marburg tradition of neo-Kantianism, he developed a philosophy of culture as a theory of symbols founded in a phenomenology of knowledge.
More about Ernst Cassirer...
Language and Myth The Philosophy of the Enlightenment The Renaissance Philosophy of Man: Petrarca, Valla, Ficino, Pico, Pomponazzi, Vives The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Vol 2: Mythical Thought The Myth of the State

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“Man is always inclined to regard the small circle in which he lives as the center of the world and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe. But he must give up this vain pretense, this petty provincial way of thinking and judging.” 23 likes
“There is no remedy against this reversal of the natural order. Man cannot escape from his own achievement. He cannot but adopt the conditions of his own life. No longer in a merely physical universe, man lives in a symbolic universe. Language, myth, art, and religion are parts of this universe. They are the varied threads which weave the symbolic net, the tangled web of human experience. All human progress in thought and experience refines and strengthens this net. No longer can man confront reality immediately; he cannot see it, as it were, face to face. Physical reality seems to recede in proportion as man's symbolic activity advances. Instead of dealing with the things themselves man is in a sense constantly conversing with himself.

He has so enveloped himself in linguistic forms, in artistic images, in mythical symbols or religious rites that he cannot see or know anything except by the interposition of this artificial medium. His situation is the same in the theoretical as in the practical sphere. Even here man does not live in a world of hard facts, or according to his immediate needs and desires. He lives rather in the midst of imaginary emotions, in hopes and fears, in illusions and disillusions, in his fantasies and dreams. 'What disturbs and alarms man,' said Epictetus, 'are not the things, but his opinions and fantasies about the things.”
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