Cassirer, Ernst (1874–1945)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD013-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2017
Retrieved March 03, 2024, from

1. Life

Ernst Cassirer was born in the German city of Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) on 28 July 1874; he died suddenly, of a heart attack, on the Columbia University campus in New York on 13 April 1945. His life was a personal and intellectual ‘odyssey’ that took him from Europe to the USA, and led him from the Marburg Neo-Kantianism of his teacher, Hermann Cohen, to his own broad vision of human culture and a critique of the modern state. Cassirer lectured as Privatdozent at the University of Berlin from 1906 until 1919, when he accepted a professorship at the newly founded University of Hamburg; he served as its rector in 1929–30.

After Hitler’s assumption of the chancellorship of Germany in January 1933, Cassirer left Germany. He taught from 1933 to 1935 at All Souls College, Oxford and then accepted a professorship at the University of Göteborg, Sweden. In 1941 he moved to Yale University in the USA, and then went to Columbia University for the academic year 1944–5. Cassirer published nearly 125 books, essays and reviews and left a number of unpublished papers.

Citing this article:
Verene, Donald Phillip. Life. Cassirer, Ernst (1874–1945), 2017, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD013-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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