New Work Introduces Case for Humanist Revival in Philosophy and Psychology

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Author Anton G. Hardy uses the paradigm of little-known philosopher Ernst Cassirer to show how we may understand consciousness and creativity

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Author Anton G. Hardy applied Ernst Cassirer’s paradigm to psychology in his book Psychology and the Critical Revolution, and is elaborating its implications further in this present book. Whereas animals create their world by means of instincts and sitmulus-reponse learning, humans create a universe of symbolic meanings. It is this ability that Cassirer explores as he studies the key role of the symbol in developing such cultural forms as myth and religion, art and literature, science and mathematics, Symbol Philosophy And The Opening Into Consciousness And Creativity is a milestone in furthering our understanding of these realms.

But Cassirer’s interests go further. In exceptionally lucid prose, the author details how symbol philosophy opens the door to our mental life. He brings fresh understanding to such topics 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. In the course of his exposition, he overcomes traditional divisions between “objective” and “subjective,” “I” and “world,” and “mind” and “body,” He ends by testing his tenets against the long-obscure topics “consciousness” and “creativity.”

Not since Suzanne Langer’s Philosophy in a New Key has such a vigorous effort been made to bring the ideas of this seminal philosopher before the public. The result is a breath of fresh air for a psychology that is trapped in a shallow scientism and a philosophy that is in danger of becoming irrelevant. The author writes for the general reader rather than the professional scholar. He makes constant reference to our everyday experience and, throughout, his prose is engaging and highly readable.

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About the Author
Anton G. 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.

Symbol Philosophy And The Opening Into Consciousness And Creativity * by Anton G. Hardy
Publication Date: August 9, 2012
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 153 pages; 978-1-4771-3066-7
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 153 pages; 978-1-4771-3067-4

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