Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
The initial impetus for this collection of essays by Ernst Cassirer was provided by the enthusiastic encouragement of John Michael Krois, to whom the volume is dedicated. Initially assisting with the selection of essays to be included here, Professor Krois was very generous with his time and knowledge of Cassirer’s philosophy throughout the manuscript’s preparation. All of the translations have benefited from discussions with him over the years about Cassirer’s philosophy and technical …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
The following study is an extended version of a paper given at the Society ·2· for Religious Studies in Hamburg in July 1921. A separate publication of this lecture was not originally intended, as I was fully aware that the problem it addresses belongs to a larger network of issues from which it would be difficult to detach it. If I have now decided to write this paper, I implore the reader to view the following merely as a first draft and sketch, which can achieve a more detailed implementation …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
If I dare to attempt in the purview of these lectures to deal with a topic ·171· that is neither historical nor specific to the sciences of culture, but is of a systematic-philosophical nature and therefore would appear to go beyond the sphere of problems that the Warburg Library sets for itself, then such an attempt needs to be accounted for and justified. I believe I can provide this justification in no better way than to speak of the personal impression that I received in my first true …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
The groundwork of critical philosophy includes not only an altered determination ·236· of the relationship of knowledge [Wissen] toward the object but also a new conceptual determination of knowing. Both essential moments of knowledge [Wissen] can themselves be combined in the demand for its objectivity and its encompassing unity. Its unity, like its objectivity, however, is now enriched and grounded in a completely new way in opposition to a dogmatic way of thinking. Just as the object is based …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
·73· The beginning of Plato’s Phaedrus depicts how Socrates is lured into conversation by Phaedrus, whom he encounters outside the gates of the city on the banks of the Ilissus. The landscape that Plato lays out in this scene is depicted in the finest detail—this presentation emits a radiance and fragrance that we rarely see in the usual classical portrayals of nature. Socrates and Phaedrus sit down under the shade of a tall plane tree, at the edge of a cool spring; the summer breeze is mild and …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
If we can measure the greatness of a thinker by the vast opposition that ·1· envelops his thinking, forcing it into a unity, then certainly Plato belongs to a clearly unique phenomenon in the history of spirit. All the problems with which Greek philosophy had up until then wrestled are organized by Plato into a completely new tension and seen with a very different intensity. If we compare Plato’s world with the image of the cosmos sketched out by Pre-Socratic philosophy, we sense that the …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
If we take as fixed and generally valid the traditional claim that the ·274· history of modern philosophy begins with Descartes, if we see in his seminal methodological works the first characteristic expression of the modern mode of philosophical thought, then this beginning exists and indeed this mode of thought embodies itself here for the first time in a closed system. This system, as well as the fundamental philosophical theory of Descartes, stands before us without historical …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
In philosophical essays written for the occasion of Eduard Zellers’s fiftieth doctoral anniversary about forty years ago, Friedrich Theodor Vischer focused attention on the concept of the symbol, which he had previously treated extensively in his aesthetics. On that occasion, he described this concept as a mutating Proteus, difficult to come to grips with and confine. In fact, there is probably no other concept in aesthetics that has proven to be so rich, so fruitful, and to have had so many …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
·39· If we judge the signification of the individual subdomains of human culture primarily by their actual effectiveness, if we determine the value of these domains according to the magnitude of their direct accomplishments, there can hardly be any doubt that by this measure technology claims first place in the construction of our contemporary culture. Likewise, no matter whether we reproach or praise, exalt or damn this “primacy of technology,” its pure factuality seems to be beyond question. …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
When we consider the position that the problem of space and time occupies ·93· in the whole of theoretical knowledge, and when we look back at the role that this problem has played in the historical and systematic development of the fundamental questions of knowledge, a characteristic and decisively essential element immediately emerges. When we grasp them solely as objects [Objekte] of knowledge, space and time occupy a special and outstanding position; they form within the architectonic …

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Description: The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
If we consider all the functions, which in their union and mutual penetration ·121· construct the figure of our psychological and spiritual reality, a twofold way of theoretically interpreting these functions presents itself. We can see in them an essentially imitative and, thus, secondary achievement or an archetypical and, thus, original achievement. In the first case, we assume that the world, the “reality” to which these functions refer as their object [Objekt], is already given as completed …

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The Warburg Years (1919–1933): Essays on Language, Art, Myth, and Technology
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