The Symbol – Code of the Past, Record of Human (Existence) Life, and Ontopoiesis of Life

  • Joanna Hańderek
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 102)


The article focuses on the analysis of the memory in the aspect of it’s functioning in culture as a symbol. Starting from Ernst Cassirer, the author shows, that the symbolical consciousness is the basis of cultural world of man. In Cassires’s philosophy the man, as a animal symbolicum cannot free himself from symbolizing. Ipso facto, the reality is given to us in an intermediary, symbolical from. The symbolical forms constitute background for language, thinking and what is the most important, the memory in historical and psychological aspect. Going further to the concept of Paul Ricoeur, one can grasp the complex structure of the symbol and its importance for man’s culture. The symbol is, above all, the space of human communication, reciprocation, myth, consciousness and memory. The memory is understood as a cultural phenomenon, which unifies with tradition and creates the identity of man. As Paul Ricoeur wrote, The symbol gives rise to the thought, which means engagement of man in culture and it’s various contents. Such engaging symbol doesn’t allow indifference to appear, making from memory’s ambiguous contents the foundation of existential development.


Human Existence Symbolic Form Human Consciousness Symbolic Memory Danish Philosopher 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna Hańderek

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