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

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Fordham Univ Press, 2010 - Philosophy - 205 pages

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 symbolic
forms; 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 is
at 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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Contents

I
1
II
15
III
33
IV
66
V
95
VI
125
VII
151
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About the author (2010)


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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