Mathias Gutmann: »Cassirer‘s Concept of Science. Methodological Remarks on the Impact of his Reconstructive Approach«
The concept of sciences holds a central place in the early philosophy of Ernst Cassirer and it provides a conceptual framework even for the philosophy of symbolic forms. This paper identifies Cassirer‘s concept of sciences as a double-barrelled reconstructive approach, which allows to understand not only the constitution of actual scientific semantics but at the same time the transformation of the scientific mode of thought. It is shown, that these principles of transformation are indeed the very form of form, referring to which the transformation of a mode of thought is to be considered as a process of self-determination and self-development, a process that can only be understood reconstructively. It is this reconstructive approach of Marburgian Neokantianism which provides a specific culturalist point of view on the status of sciences and their formal, theoretical and experimental modes of world-making.
Jörn Bohr: »The Educational Value of Art: Cassirer und Tolstoj«
In editing the hitherto unpublished works of Ernst Cassirer often new questions emerge. One of these questions is the following: Why does Cassirer mention Tolstoy in arguing about art as a symbolic form? By discussing the theoretical background of this question and the educational value of art a deeper insight on the relation of art and freedom will be the consequence.
Sebastian Dieterich: »The Historian as Necromancer. Traces of Ernst Cassirer's Theory of History«
The essay's main focus will be an examination of Ernst Cassirer's theory of history. This theory is never developed systematically or comprehensively in his works, but is nevertheless discussed in many places, especially in the »Essay on Man« and in Cassirer's unpublished works. The essay is structured around three central questions: firstly, the question as to the relevance of history; secondly, if and to what extent the awareness of history stems from the perception of time; and thirdly, the question concerning the scientific character of historiography. The procedure used here will be mainly one of joining fragments together, thereby revealing a very ambivalent, yet in parts also a quite modern theory of history, which shall be examined and discussed.
Christian Möckel: »Cultural Existence and Anthropological Constants.
On the Philosophical Anthropology of Ernst Cassirer« This contribution deals with Ernst Cassirer's appreciative attitude to the philosophical anthropology of his time and its self-conception. The question of the relationship between Cassirer's philosophical anthropology and his philosophy of culture with its basis in the theory of symbolism presuppose or explain one another is investigated on the basis of four critical points. The unpublished texts on the subject (ECN 6) and in particular the concluding remarks revolve around the question of the interrelationship between the biological and the symbolic or cultural dimensions of human existence. The final demonstration of six possible anthropological »constants« of human existence serve to supplement the methodological discussion with substantive issues.
Olivier Feron: »My Body as an ›Integral of Experience‹? The Prepredicative in Merleau-Ponty and Cassirer on the Phenomenon of Expression«
That Maurice Merleau-Ponty derived important inspirations from Cassirer‘s philosophy of symbolic forms for his theory of perception is obviously, yet is has so far hardly been studied systematically. This paper attempts to fill this gap, and develops the thesis that Merleau-Ponty's readings mistook in part the potential in Cassirer's theory of the subject and by no means exhausted it.
Muriel van Vliet: »The current reception of Ernst Cassirer in France. Two meetings contribute to the debate«
The paper reviews Cassirer's recent reception in France and takes two international meetings in Rennes and Paris as an opportunity to determine current research interests in this area. A striking feature of French concern is the stress on art historical contextualization of Cassirer‘s thought (Riegl, Wolfflin, Panofsky).