Symbol Philosophy And The Opening Into Consciousness And Creativity: And The Opening Into Consciousness And Creativity
Anton Hardy received his doctorate in psychology from Clark University. Concerned about the path psychology was taking with its focus on “behavior,” he searched for the cause of this direction in the discipline’s philosophical assumptions. These stemmed from the paradigm of “Realism,” he found, a system that denigrated everything that was mental. Looking for a paradigm that would be friendlier to psychology’s human subject, he adopted the symbol philosophy of Ernst Cassirer. He applied this paradigm to psychology in his book Psychology and the Critical Revolution, and is elaborating its implications further in the present book.
The author introduces the little-known symbol philosophy of Ernst Cassirer and demonstrates how it opens the door to mental life. In clear and readable prose, he shows how symbol philosophy enables us to understand “consciousness” and “creativity,” two subjects that have long been resistant to explanation. He explores such matters as the nature of our perceiving, the way in which our concepts are formed, and the role that language plays in our seeing and thinking. Overcoming traditional divisions between “objective” and “subjective,” “I” and “world,” and “mind” and “body,” he refers frequently to our everyday experience to validate his ideas.
Not since Suzanne Langer’s Philosophy in a New Key has such a vigorous effort been made to bring Cassirer’s seminal ideas before the public. The result is a breath of fresh air for a psychology that is made shallow by a narrow scientism and a philosophy that is in danger of becoming irrelevant. The author writes for the general reader rather than the professional scholar, and his prose is highly engaging and readable.