Volume 2, Issue 3, 2011
“Lebendige Formen.” Zu Ernst Cassirers Konzept der “Formwissenschaft”
The following text analyses the essays Cassirer made in his published articles and in his manuscripts of the exile period in order to dismiss the possibility of a unique science based on the physical causality (Wiener Kreis) and thus to assert the autonomy and specificity of the Kulturwissenschaft. In the same time, it guards against the identification of cultural knowledge and historical knowledge (Windelband, Rickert). The specific way to build concepts within the Kulturwissenschaften targets the objective relation between the Particular and the General and is to be found in the consideration of the form or style
based on the experience of the expression (Ausdruckserleben). History or biology offers fruitful analogies to the understanding of the concepts or methods of Kulturwissenschaft.