Cassirer essay

The second text in Verene and Krois’s assembled volume comes from 1940, well after the project had been otherwise finished, and its theme is what Cassirer terms “basis phenomena”: phenomena so fundamental that they cannot be derived from anything else. The main basis phenomena concerns how the tripartite structure of the self’s personal relation to the environment is mirrored in a tripartite social structure of the “I,” the “you,” and that which binds society: “work.” Not to be confused with the Marxist conception of work, for Cassirer work is anything made or effected, any subjective operation on the objective world. The initial and most fundamental production of work, for Cassirer, is culture—the sphere in which the “I” and “you” come together in active life.

Cassirer essay

cassirer essay

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