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The Meaning of ‘Art as the symbolic Form’ in E. Cassirer's Study of Schiller

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2017, 50(), pp.137-164
  • DOI : 10.17527/JASA.50.0.05
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : February 28, 2017

Jung-Hee Chu 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This thesis starts that artistic and aesthetic thinking of Ernst Cassirer have much to do with the philosophy of symbolic forms which are known as his main ideas. Cassirer's study of Schiller not only makes clear the relation with aesthetic thinking of Schiller and its methodology, but also infers that it has something to do with Cassirer's cultural philosophy and its methodology. This thesis should impart clearness to a thinking way of Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms through his study of Schiller and make clear the meaning of art as the symbolic form. Especially, this thesis pays attention to the idea of freedom. It is not the source of the idea of freedom, but its developmental method that Cassirer pays attention to Schiller. In terms of way of thought, Schiller takes his way from metaphysical to transcendental, from the latter to dialectic. He claims ‘heautonomie’, ‘self-determinism’ as common principles of morals and aesthetics, views freedom as the pure form of mind and the base of beauty. Taking own's way the dialectic on the basis of freedom, he asserts that beauty is ‘autonomy in phenomenon’ and connects the play and the beauty with the world of freedom. Also, Schiller himself defines the beauty as ‘living form’, which is a completed form in oneself throughout infinite motions of life. To him, the awareness of living form is the first and indispensible step which leads to the experience of freedom. So, he says, it is only through Beauty that man makes his way to Freedom. Cassirer says symbolic form as roads that the spirit proceeds towards its objectification. His idea of freedom comes from his attention to expressing forms of the life of human mind. Cassirer's study of Schiller gives us some idea of the his way of culture study. Cassirer says, “Art is a way to freedom, the process of the liberation of the human mind which is the real and ultimate aim of all education.” So, the art as the symbolic form is the living form objectifying and condensing the life of human mind, and at the same time, it becomes us aware of the fact that freedom is at the root of the life of human mind. In this way, the art as the symbolic form is the form of human freedom.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.