2019-02Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
Antoine Mooij’s Phenomenology of Symbolization: Synthesizing Lacan and Cassirer


/Review:Antoine Mooij, Lacan and Cassirer: An Essay on Symbolisation, translated by Peter van Nieuwkoop (Leiden: Brill Rodopi, 2018), 256 pages./

The central argument of Lacan and Cassirer: An Essay on Symbolisation is that each thinker approaches the problem of symbolization in a way that ultimately complements the other; “that their opposing views are in fact mutually complementary, indeed correcting each other in essential ways” (LC, 4). Mooij argues that Cassirer, “gives primacy to meaning, to signification” (LC, 3), whereas Lacan, “draws attention… to the symbolising ‘signifiers’ even before a meaning has been established” (LC, 4). In other words, while both are concerned with symbolization, Cassirer emphasizes the signification (the meaning) whereas Lacan gives primacy to the signifier (the sign/symbol itself, rather than the meaning it signifies). Mooij believes that these two views can and should be integrated into what he calls a “third theory of representation” (LC, 4), that synthesizes these two complementary approaches. Mooij will later christen this third theory that he seeks to develop as a “phenomenology of symbolization” (LC, 173).

How to cite:

Kemling, Jared. “Antoine Mooij’s Phenomenology of Symbolization: Synthesizing Lacan and Cassirer.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 3, no. 2(8) (2019): 135-139. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2019.0023.


Jared Kemling
Arts and Sciences Division, Rend Lake College
468 N. Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, IL 62846, USA

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