The Semiotic Situation of Cassirer

  • Jean Lassègue
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 55)


This chapter endeavors to examine the relationship between science, myth and their common semiotic foundation which has two aspects. The first one is shared by scientific and mythical thinking alike: it is the very existence of semiotic mediations such as linguistic signs and human institutions in general to conceal their role in the construction of reality, be it scientific or mythical. That is the reason why scientific and mythical thinking are being caught in the illusion that semiotic mediations can be disposed of and that reality can be grasped directly “as it is”. But scientific and mythical thinking strongly differ in their way of constructing reality through the concealed power of semiotic mediations: whereas scientific thinking builds a limited knowledge in specific domains expanding through history, mythical thinking keeps an all-encompassing viewpoint on reality that keeps it close to the very source of sense-making but does not develop through time. Philosophy appears therefore as a specific knowledge that takes distance from the illusion of the passive role played by semiotic mediations and reflects on their role in the construction of reality, be it mythical or scientific.


General epistemological project of symbolic practices Meaning and sense Positive and productive knowledge 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Lassègue
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre Georg Simmel, Recherches Franco-Allemandes en Sciences Sociales (CNRS-UMR 8131)École des Hautes Études en Sciences SocialesParisFrance

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