Symbolic Forms for a New Humanity: Cultural and Racial Reconfigurations of Critical Theory / Edition 4

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Overview


In dialogue with afro-caribbean philosophy, this book seeks in Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms a new vocabulary for approaching central intellectual and political issues of our time. For Cassirer, what makes humans unique is that we are symbolizing creatures destined to come into a world through varied symbolicforms; we pluralistically work with and develop these forms as we struggle to come to terms with who we are and our place in the universe.This approach can be used as a powerful challenge to hegemonic modes of study that mistakenly place the Western world at the center of intellectual and political life. Indeed, the authors argue that the symbolic dimension of Cassirer's thinking of possibility can be linked to a symbolic dimension in revolution via the ideas of Frantz Fanon, who argued that revolution must be a thoroughgoing cultural process, in which what isat stake is nothing less than how we symbolize a new humanity and bring into being a new set of social institutions worthy of that new humanity.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An exciting and path-breaking work of philosophy . . . the authors have not only broken new ground but have also opened up new discursive spaces into which many are likely to follow.-Paget Henry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823232505
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2010
  • Series: Just Ideas Series
  • Edition description: 4
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Drucilla Cornell is National Research Foundation Professor in Customary Law, Indigenous Ideals, and the Dignity Jurisprudence at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Professor of Political Science, Women & Gender Studies, and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University.

KENNETH MICHAEL PANFILIO is Assistant Professor at Illinois State University in the Department of Politics and Government. Both authors are co-editors of the book series Just Ideas: Transformative Ideals of Justice in Ethicaland Political Thought.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 The World of Symbolic Forms: Ernst Cassirer and the Legacy of Immanuel Kant 15

2 The Word Magic of Being: On the Mythical Origins of Thinking 33

3 The Always Unfinished Project of Modernity: The Fragile Life of Symbols 66

4 Transformative Revolution: Repairing the Fractured Ethical World 95

5 Unfree Black Labor: The Telos of History and the Struggle against Racialized Capitalism 125

Conclusion: The Work of Transformative Constitutionalism 151

Notes 177

Bibliography 193

Index 201

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