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Parkhomenko, R. N. Philosophy of Culture About Human and His Freedom (Ernst Cassirer)

Published in journal "Pedagogy and education", 2013-4 in rubric "Spiritual and moral search", pages 349-360.

Resume: The article is devoted to the concept of philosophy of culture introduced by Ernst Cassirer as well as his ideas on philosophical anthropology and human freedom. At some point Cassirer agreed with the Kant’s and Hegel’s concepts of culture as a progressive development of the idea of freedom. To him freedom of mind was essential and shown in each movement of the thought, will or feeling bringing a man from a passive state to a particular activity. This is why Cassirer started with the analytical description of different activities including language, art, religion and science and viewed that description as a background for future synthesis of these activities, i.e. creation of the cultural universum by the means of man’s creative abilities. The author of the present research article has been studying Cassirer’s philosophy for many years. The research presented in this article was started when Parkhomenko studied at a University under the guidance of a famous Russian philosopher Pavel Gurevich. Pavel Gurevich was the first philosopher in Russia to publish translations of Cassirer’s works in Russian. He also published a whole series of analytical articles discussing Cassirer’s philosophy. The author of the present research article shows how Cassirer’s philosophy gradually developed from philosophy of culture to philosophical anthropology. While Cassirer’s Philosophy of Symbolic Form and the Logic of the Cultural Sciences talked mostly the ‘products’ of culture, the author of the present research article analyzes the symbolic forms constituting the entire universum of human culture as well as general principles allowing these autonomous forms to exist as a stable and integrated cultural environment. Later in his Essay on Man Cassirer focused on the subject creating all these symbolic forms, i.e. human and his freedom as the main feature of human.

Keywords: Cassirer, freedom, philosophy of culture, philosophical anthropology, human, symbolic form, myth, consciousness, rationalism, language.

DOI: 10.7256/2306-434X.2013.4.11644

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