This bookthe first commentary on Ernst Cassirers Metaphysics of Symbolic Formsprovides an introduction to the metaphysical views that underlie the philosophers conceptions of symbolic form and human culture.Thora Ilin Bayer focuses on the meaning of Cassirers claim that philosophy is not itself a symbolic form but the thought around which all aspects of human activity are seen as a whole. Underlying the symbolic forms are Cassirers two metaphysical principles, spirit (Geist) and life, which interact to produce the reality of the human world. Bayer shows how these two principles of Cassirers early philosophy are connected with the phenomenology of his later philosophy, which centers on his conception of basis phenomenaself, will, and work.

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