© 2020

Cassirer’s Transformation: From a Transcendental to a Semiotic Philosophy of Forms


Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 55)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Epistemology

  3. Semiotics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Jean Lassègue
      Pages 95-101
    3. Jean Lassègue
      Pages 103-119
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 183-190

About this book


This book presents the transformation of Cassirer’s transcendental point of view. At an early stage, Cassirer was confronted with a scientific crisis triggered by the emergence of various forms of objective knowledge, such as the plurality of geometric axiom systems and non-Euclidean geometry in relativistic physics. He finally developed a solution to the problematic unity of objective knowledge by replacing the overarching notion of objectivity with that of forms of objectification. This led him to consider the notion of “symbolic forms” as the driving force in the objectification process. This concept would become instrumental in demonstrating that the objective and human sciences are not adversaries; they merely differ in their modes of semiotic construction. These modes cannot be summarized in a fixed list of symbolic forms but operate transversally, at a level where Cassirer distinguishes between three specific operators: Expression, Evocation and Objectification. The last part of the book investigates how the relationships between these three operators stabilize specific symbolic forms. Four of these forms are then studied as examples: Myth and Ritual, Language, Scientific Knowledge, and Technology.


Non-Euclidean Geometries Group of Transformation Felix Klein Geometry and Philosophy Transcendental Perspective Substantial Versus Functional Knowledge Grammatical Versus Functional Construction of Reality Post-Kantian Philosophy Transcendental Role of Symbolic Processes Symbolic Practices Cassirer’s Notion of “Symbolic Form” Expression as Sense-making Process Trans-categorial Operators in Myth and Ritual

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Centre Georg Simmel, Recherches Franco-Allemandes en Sciences Sociales (CNRS-UMR 8131)École des Hautes Études en Sciences SocialesParisFrance

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Cassirer’s Transformation: From a Transcendental to a Semiotic Philosophy of Forms
  • Authors Jean Lassègue
  • Series Title Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics
  • Series Abbreviated Title Studies Applied Philosophy, Epistemology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-42904-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-42907-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-42905-8
  • Series ISSN 2192-6255
  • Series E-ISSN 2192-6263
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 190
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Science
  • Buy this book on publisher's site