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Human Studies

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 41–57 | Cite as

Gestalt Psychology as a Missing Link in Ernst Cassirer’s Mythical Symbolic Form

Theoretical / Philosophical Paper
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Abstract

The main goal of this article is to investigate the mythical symbolic form in Cassirer’s Philosophy of Symbolic Form regarding its connection with visual perception. The article argues that mythical symbolic form is rooted in Gestalt principles of perception for organizing the perceptual field, and shows that these principles shape the main features of space and time in Cassirer’s mythical symbolic form. This argument challenges Heidegger’s critique of Cassirer’s definition of a mythical symbolic form that it is directionless and not grounded in man’s being. The combination of Gestalt principles and mythical symbolic forms supports the argument about the active role of visual perception, and clarifies Cassirer’s application and re-definition of Kantian and Neo-Kantian concepts. The investigation opens a perspective for comprehending the mythic-religious phenomenon as well as for comprehending visual perception.

Keywords

Ernst Cassirer Martin Heidegger Gestalt psychology Mythical space and time 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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