Political tradition as a sacred connection of times - Political philosophy

Political tradition as a sacred connection of times

Ernst Cassirer in his works on the philosophy of culture was one of the first to pay attention to how socio-cultural representations of people determine their political behavior in a traditional society. Appealing to cultural values, a person through political action translates traditional relations in time in spite of social crises, natural disasters, and sometimes personal aspirations. In essence, traditionalism as a form of organizing the socio-cultural life of people means that socio-political relations are continuously formed, maintained, changed as a result of the reproduction of tradition. Thus, a person creates a program of political activity from the treasury of his culture - carefully accumulated by generations of value-colored experience.

Curriculum Vitae

Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945), German philosopher, representative of the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism, studied under Hermann Cohen, was a professor in Berlin and Hamburg (1919-1933), rector of the University of Hamburg (1930-1933) ). Since 1933 he was in exile, first in Oxford (Great Britain), in 1935-1941. in Gothenburg (Sweden), and since 1941 in the United States, where he held the department of professor at Yale University. In the first period of creativity Cassirer is engaged in the historical and systematic development of the theory of knowledge, focusing on the philosophical problems of natural science. In the second period (1919-1933) he creates an original philosophy of culture, going beyond the traditional framework of neo-Kantianism. In the late period, he turns to philosophical-anthropological and socio-philosophical problems. Cassirer is the author of numerous historical and philosophical studies about G. Leibniz (1902), I. Kant (1918), R. Descartes and Renaissance philosophy (1927), the Age of Enlightenment (1932), etc. His views had a great influence on philosophy, sociology , the history of culture and science, philosophical and cultural anthropology, the theory of myth and language. His main works are: "Einstein's Theory of Relativity" (1921), "The Experience of Man" (1944), etc.

In the work "Conceptual Form in Mythical Thinking" Cassirer investigated the phenomenon of totemism in a traditional society. He saw that even in its most primitive forms it is not just the principle of social division, but the universal principle of the division of the world and, at the same time, the principle of social action, which at the later stages of social development will take the form of political action. For a traditional person it was fundamentally important that each of his actions, every impact on the world of things and people, occur under the sign of the invisible identity of the essence of a certain totem - only then could it be crowned with success.

The reason for establishing a totemic relationship could be some kind of accident or community in some respects: the name of the ancestor, the name of the tree or animal. For example, describing the clan structure of the Indian Zunya tribe, Cassirer lists the totemic clans of Crane, Antelope, Evergreen Oak and Parrot. The name of the totem here has a pronounced sacred character and completely determines the structure of social action, forming a certain tradition.

Gradually, tradition becomes the cementing foundation of society. When a tribe breaks up a camp, no one has the slightest doubt about what place each individual clan should occupy in it. There are no holidays, ceremonies, meetings, processions, during which there could be a misunderstanding about the actions of individual clans or their representatives: everything is clearly regulated at the sacred level, consecrated by tradition and therefore unshakable.

Opinion of a famous philosopher

Johan Heisinga (1872-1945), a Dutch philosopher and cultural researcher, on this occasion remarked that politics for traditional consciousness is a sacrament in which rituals and rituals are essential: "Elemental personification any idea that for a time takes a spirit, apparently a function of high abstraction, is in fact more a primitive habitus (behavior, state) that is very close to the child's play. " That is why the main political figures of the traditional society were prophets, shamans, clairvoyants, wizards, poets and sophists.

Hazing pays special attention to the thinking of the traditional person: it in some ways resembles the thinking of the participant in an armed duel, which sharply criticizes the opponent, touching and challenging, and praises his line with youthful self-confidence as the ultimate truth. But it is this sacred ardor and trembling with which all traditional actions are carried out, and makes the political institutions of a traditional society unusually strong and self-sufficient.

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