Chapter

The Hero of Enlightenment

Gideon Freudenthal

in The Symbolic Construction of Reality

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226036861
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226036892 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226036892.003.0011
The Hero of Enlightenment

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This chapter examines Ernst Cassirer's theses concerning the victory of Fascism in Germany proposed in his book The Myth of the State. It aims to resolve the incompatibility of the pluralism of symbolic forms and Cassirer's commitment to the ideal of Enlightenment that rules out genuine relativism, and to explain why Cassirer did not write on ethics and did not even include ethics among the different symbolic forms. The chapter suggests that the kernel of Cassirer's philosophy is the notion of a fully developed “free and autonomous personality” or “hero of Enlightenment.”

Keywords: Ernst Cassirer; Fascism; Germany; Myth of State; symbolic forms; Enlightenment; ethics; autonomous personality

Chapter.  10779 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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