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Ernst Cassirer was slightly familiar to me as the editor of Kant's works which ended with a final volume Life of Kant by himself that was published in 1918 when the end of World War I made other aspects of German culture a big deal. Cassirer came to the United States so most of his papers from 1935 to 1945, when he died unexpectedly, were written in English in the form of public lectures about the nature of myth as a form of guide to action that usually become more exciting than what thinkers are doing if the thinkers are being paid by institutions that coast from age to age with little to upset the applecart. Events can sneak into a life of intellectual infiltration when the highest expectations, like working for Columbia University in an atmosphere that makes philosophy a duty for those who would guide culture, coincide with a significant shift in the way things are going. Ernst Cassirer died in April, 1945, on the afternoon of the day after FDR died.
Far be it from me to know precisely what augers make 2013 such a sticky skip year for so many people, but Cassirer thinks Germans were reacting to a book by Oswald Spengler in 1918: Der Untergang . . .
History reveals many years of occult science. By the time Bacon wrote his Novum Organum, he tried to teach us to clear away "all sorts of illusions, fallacies and prejudices and from our human freaks and fancies." (p. 264).
The footnotes in Symbol, Myth, and Culture by Donald Phillip Verene frequently point out the fuller treatment of ideas in Cassirer's book The Myth of the State.
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