ABSTRACT. The issue of art in the philosophical speculation occupies an important place but, obviously, it received many solutions or definitions and some of them are diametrically opposed, as in the case of the German philosopher Ernst Cassirer and of the Italian philosopher and historian Benedetto Croce. Even though there is only one critical monograph on this topic, it is interesting to compare these two opposite visions on the nature of art, just because both Cassirer and Croce tried to collocate art in the life of Spirit. In this essay I will focus my attention on how Cassirer and Croce tried to deal the topic of art from a philosophical point of view and at the end of it, by comparing Croce’s and Cassirer’s views on art, I will explain why Croce misunderstood completely the symbolic nature of art in Cassirer’s reflection, because it is not true, as Croce upheld, that Cassirer privileged only scientific knowledge; at the opposite, Cassirer, after his critique of abstraction-theory as exposed in his Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff of 1910, extended his structural analysis of symbolic forms to all the human spheres of spiritual production (myth, religion, arts, and so on).

Keywords: abstraction; art; concretization; conventionalism; dialectics of distinct; idealization; intuition; symbolic form

How to cite: Borbone, Giacomo (2018). “Symbolic Form and Pure Intuition: Cassirer and Croce on the Nature of Art,” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 17: 29–49.

Received 31 January 2017 • Received in revised form 3 March 2017
Accepted 3 March 2017 • Available online 20 March 2017


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