In giving a philosophical account of the rise of National Socialism in early- and mid-twentieth-century Germany, many philosophers have pointed to myth as an explanatory feature. The work of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno in the Dialectic of Enlightenment is renowned. This essay confronts Horkheimer and Adorno's argument with the less-celebrated work of the German philosopher Ernst Cassirer, whose functionalistic concept of myth as a symbolic form enables him to give detailed philosophical analyses of myth as a long-established form of life and as an artificial weapon in the service of modern politics. Cassirer's concept of myth was inspired by the German theologian Rudolf Otto and his use of phenomenological description of the transcendent experience of the holy.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| August 01 2008
The Holy as an Epistemic Category and a Political Tool: Ernst Cassirer's and Rudolf Otto's Philosophies of Myth and Religion
Esther Oluffa Pedersen
New German Critique (2008) 35 (2 (104)): 207–227.
Esther Oluffa Pedersen; The Holy as an Epistemic Category and a Political Tool: Ernst Cassirer's and Rudolf Otto's Philosophies of Myth and Religion. New German Critique 1 August 2008; 35 (2 (104)): 207–227. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2008-009
Download citation file:
Don't already have an account? Register
You could not be signed in. Please check your email address / username and password and try again.
Could not validate captcha. Please try again.
Sign in via your InstitutionSign In
Citing articles via
In Memory of Ernst Cassirer: Speech Delivered in Acceptance of the Kuno Fischer Prize of the University of Heidelberg, 1974