Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friedman on Cassirer

"[According to Friedman] Cassirer was making "an heroic attempt to bridge the ever widening gap between the scientifically oriented approach to philosophy championed by Carnap and the decisive attempt to move philosophy in a quite contrary direction represented by Heidegger" (xii). His work can, for that reason, serve to "provide us with new possibilities and renewed motivation for making a similarly heroic effort for ourselves" (xii). Friedman considers it, in fact, "hard to imagine making progress without increased appreciation for both the strengths and weaknesses" of Cassirer's wide-ranging and deeply synthetic style of philosophical thought (xii). He concludes his monograph accordingly with the words:

Those interested in finally beginning a reconciliation of the analytic and continental traditions ...can find no better starting point than the rich
treasure of ideas, ambitions, and analyses stored in his astonishingly
comprehensive body of philosophical work (159)
." (Sluga, H, The Journal of Philosophy, 2001, 607, reviewing, Friedman, A parting of the ways . . .]

Habermas in my opinion is even better situated than Cassirer to play this role.

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