Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Symbols: The concept of a symbol has, in a broader sense, the same meaning as the concept of a sign. The special use of the concept in different authors differs in some respects fundamentally, for example, with regard to which role conventions play in the formation of symbols and whether symbols form a system. See also signs, icons, conventions, meaning, reference, picture theory, representation, substitution, code.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Immanuel Kant on Symbols - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 80
Symbols/Kant/Gadamer: It is precisely the indeterminacy of its meaning that allows the word and concept of the symbolic to rise victoriously when the rationalist aesthetics of the Age of Enlightenment succumbed to critical philosophy and the aesthetics of genius. >Genius/Gadamer.
What became decisive was that Kant, in §59, gave the Critique of Judgement a logical analysis of the concept of the symbol, which puts precisely this point in the brightest light. Symbolic representation is set off by him against the schematic one. It is representation (and not mere designation as in so-called "logical symbolism"), only that the symbolic representation does not directly represent a concept (as Kant's philosophy of transcendental schematism does), but indirectly, "whereby the expression is not the actual scheme for the concept, but merely a
Gadamer I 81
symbol for reflection."
Gadamer: Kant thus does justice to the theological truth that has given itself its scholastic form in the thought of the Analogia entis, and keeps human concepts away from God.
Kant: "Beauty is the symbol of the moral good": in this just as careful as concise formula, Kant united the demand for full freedom of reflection of the aesthetic power of judgement with its humane meaning - a thought that became of the greatest historical impact. Schiller was his successor here (1). If he based the idea of an aesthetic education of the human race on the analogy of beauty and morality formulated by Kant, he could follow an explicit reference of Kant: "Taste makes a transition possible - a transition from the stimulus of the senses to the habitual moral interest without a too violent leap"(2).

1.Schiller says for example in "Grace and Dignity" that the beautiful object can become symbol of an idea (Werke ed. Güntter u. Witkowski, 1910ff., Teil 17, S. 322).
2. Kant, Kritik der Urteilskraft3, S. 260.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
I. Kant
I Günter Schulte Kant Einführung (Campus) Frankfurt 1994
Externe Quellen. ZEIT-Artikel 11/02 (Ludger Heidbrink über Rawls)
Volker Gerhard "Die Frucht der Freiheit" Plädoyer für die Stammzellforschung ZEIT 27.11.03
Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-08-12
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