Cassirer und Husserl

Studia Phaenomenologica 23:59-88 (2023)
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Abstract

This article inquires firstly into the descriptive and affective function of images as examples and exemplars in both Cassirer’s and Husserl’s conceptions of perception and aesthetics in order to disclose their respective relationship to reality, that is, mimesis. In view of the correlation between symbolic comportment and symbolic forms at Cassirer, it will secondly show that the ensuing hermeneutical circle can be overcome by taking recourse on Husserl’s genetic analyses on passive sense constitution. It will thus set the basis for a “hermeneutics of expression” that should, thirdly, shed light on the possibility of establishing an aesthetical knowledge. For this purpose, it will disclose an excess of sensuous expression that is determined by a pre-categorial limit-concept within the process of sense-formation. This inquiry shows that, while images as examples are characterized by their ideal arbitrariness, aesthetic images as singular and categorially determined exemplars can be understood as the affective expression of reality.

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