Jonas Hansson & Svante Nordin: Ernst Cassirer – The Swedish Years

Peter Lang, 2006

Back Cover:

Hansson NordinErnst Cassirer was professor in Göteborg from 1935 to 1941. This episode of his life is little known, even though the Swedish years were very important. During that time of political turmoil he wrote several books and most of the papers that are now being published posthumously.

This book – based on recently discovered sources – gives a detailed picture of Cassirer’s life and work in Sweden. It explains how he was invited to Sweden and why he became a Swedish citizen. The analyses show how Cassirer’s exchange with Swedish philosophers influenced his work and shed new light on his development during exile.

This study also contains an introduction by John Michael Krois, a chronology of the Swedish years and a description of the long lost manuscript of Das Erkenntnisproblem, volume four.


John Michael Krois: Ernst Cassirer’s Philosophical Development in Sweden – An Unknown Chapter in Intellectual History


The Swedish Years

The Philosophical Scene in Sweden at Cassirer’s time

Konrad Marc-Wogau and the Logic of Symbolic Forms

Axel Hägerström and Uppsala Philosophy

Descartes and Queen Christina

Thomas Thorild and 18th Century Philosophy

Cassirer in Göteborg

Appendix 1: The Manuscript of Das Erkenntnisproblem, Volume 4

Appendix 2: Chronology

Appendix 3: Cassirer’s Lectures in Sweden

Appendix 4: Cssirer’s Lectures and Seminars at Göteborg 1935-1941

Appendix 5: Cassirer’s Academic Writings during his Swedish Years


About the Authors:

Jonas Hansson, born in 1967, is Lecturer in the History of Science and Ideas at the universities of Lund and Halmstad.

Svante Nordin, born in 1946, is Professor of the History of Science and Ideas at the University of Lund.

JOB’s Comment:

This book is of considerable importance for understanding the origins of value-centered historicism as developed by Claes Ryn and his teacher Folke Leander, inasmuch as it contains an extensive discussion of the relation between Leander and Cassirer, who supported Leander at Gothenburg against the representatives of the dominant trend of Swedish philosophy at the time. Leander was the only Swedish philosopher who contributed to the volume devoted to Cassirer in The Library of Living Philosophers in 1949.

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All original writing and photography © Jan Olof Bengtsson

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