The Neo-Kantian philosopher Cassirer and the psychoanalyst Lacan are two key figures in the so-called medial turn in philosophy: the notion that any form of access to reality is mediated by symbols (images, words, signifiers). This explains why the theories of both philosophers merit a description in their own unique idioms, as well as having their respective basic tenets compared. It will be argued that, rather surprisingly, these tenets turn out be complementary - actually correcting each other – based on their shared notion of man as an
animal symbolicum. Its fruitfulness will be substantiated for a limited number of topics within the humanities: perception, language, politics and ethics, and mental disorder, all to be considered from this perspective.
Antoine Mooij, Ph.D (1975), is Professor Emeritus of Law and Psychiatry, Utrecht University. He has published on Lacanian psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and hermeneutical psychiatry. Among his books are
Intentionality, Desire, Responsibility. A Study in Phenomenology, Psychoanalysis and Law (Brill, 2010) and
Psychiatry as a Human Science. Phenomenological, Hermeneutical and Lacanian Perspectives (Rodopi, 2012).
All interested in 20th century continental philosophy, in contemporary psychoanalysis and cultural theory