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An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture Paperback – September 10, 1962

ISBN-13: 978-0300000344 ISBN-10: 0300000340 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Reprint edition (September 10, 1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300000340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300000344
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best philosophy of human culture. It unifies art, myth, religion, language, history and sciences in a coherent organism. Under the concept of the symbol Cassier brings toghether embodiments of culture that have been thought to be opposite (such as myth and religion). His theory of art is especially sharp and enlighting. A must read for any student of social sciences or philosphy. One of the best systems of human culture. Down the earth, not like many other systems.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By PhiloX on October 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you have read & enjoyed Ernst Cassirer's smaller to the point book "Language & Myth", this is the Next Step! "Essay on Man" is the fuller more advance version, with greater philosophical & historical detail than the pervious gem of a book. Don't worry, it's still easy to read. Maybe a little harder to read than Karl Jasper, but this is not Hegel's Outer Limits of personal idealist words. The most important historical highlights of human expression in language is written with clear insight that only Ernst Cassirer can do. I would consider this Ernst Cassirer's intermediate book with the classic "Philosophy of Symbolic Forms" being his Opus. If I may suggest: start with "Language & Myth", than "Essay on Man", & finish with "Philosophy of Symbolic Forms".
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Cassier born in Breslau on July 28,1874 graduated from the University of Berlin and studied at Marburg. He taught at Berlin and Hamburg until the Nazis prompted his departure from Germany in 1932. He taught at Oxford and then at Yale , and finished his career at Columbia.

He began his work in the field of Epistemology , writing 'The Problem of Knowledge' and then 'Substance and Function' These preceded the work he is most known form the three-volume 'Philosophy of Symbolic Forms.'

The 'Essay on Man' was the major work of the last period of his life.It is in a sense a summary and precis of his earlier monumental work.

In it he asks the question which is first and fundamental to Philosophy as he sees it, the question of 'What is Man?'

His concluding words give the flavor of the whole.They show how he tries to comprehend all major areas of human endeavor in one unified philosophical structure.

"Human culture taken as a whole may be described as the process of man's progressive self- liberation. Language, art, religion, science , are various phases in the process.In all of them man discovers and proves a new power-the power to build up a world of his own, an "ideal"world. Philosophy cannot give up its search for a fundamental unity in this ideal world. But it does not confound this unity with simplicity. It does not overlook the tensions and frictions, the strong contrasts, and deep conflicts between the various powers of man.These cannot be reduced to a common denominator. They tend in different directions and obey different principles. But this multiplicity and disparateness do not denote discord or disharmony. All these functions complete and complement one another. Each one opens a new horizon and shows us a new aspect of humanity.
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