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Der Begriff der Gestalt als Paradigma in der modernen Linguistik

Ernst Cassirer im Dialog mit Roman Jakobson

Müller, Ralf

Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie, Bd. 2019 (2019), Iss. 1: S. 63–86

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Müller, Ralf


Ernst Cassirer’s (1874–1945) lecture »Structuralism in Modern Linguistics«, given in 1945, not only represents a kind of late return to his intellectual origins in thetradition of Leibniz, Kant and Humboldt. It also provides a diagnosis of the importance of linguistics in his time. This diagnosis should prove far-sighted from the vantage point of both the history and philosophy of science. The thesis presented in this article is that for Cassirer, modern linguistics represents a scientific paradigm that encompasses various fields in academia and even transcends the divide between the humanities and the sciences, i. e. Geisteswissenschaften and Naturwissenschaften. In order to verify this thesis, the present essay analyzes Cassirer’s lecture and places him in a dialogue with the most important addressee of Cassirer’s: the linguist Roman Jakobson (1896–1982), who lived in New York at the same time as Cassirer