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Publication Details

Phenomenology without „Phenomenon“ – Ernst Cassirer’s Case

(Original title: Phenomenology without „Phenomenon“ – Ernst Cassirer’s Case)
Filozofia, 64 (2009), 3, 262-274.
Type of work: Pohľad za hranice
Publication language: English

Ernst Cassirer’s place in the 20th century philosophy is quite puzzling. Is it an appropriation of Kant’s transcendental philosophy for inclusion of relativity theory and quantum physics? Is it a Hegelian type of philosophy of culture and spirit? Or, at the face value, is it a direct heritage and application of the Marburg School of neo-Kantianism initiated by Hermann Cohen? It is very surprising to hear Cassirer’s confession that he is also influenced by Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology: whereas the basic idea of phenomenology is to do away with all theoretical constructions and start anew from the immediately pre-given phenomenon, all the ‘constructivist’ heritage in Cassirer’s philosophy resists such an idea of philosophizing the immediately pre-given. Then, how should we understand the ‘phenomenology’ Cassirer himself professes? Re-examining the idea of phenomenology for Husserl, we discover that both Husserl and Cassirer are carrying out the same kind of ‘phenomenology,’ phenomenology as transcendental philosophy par excellence.


Ernst Cassirer, Marburg neo-Kantianism, Phenomenology, The Meaning of Phenomenology for Husserl Revisited, Phenomenology Different from Other Sciences, Cassirer’s Use of the Term ‘Phenomenology’

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