SYMBOLS AND THEIR AGEING IN THOMAS CARLYLE'S PHILOSOPHY
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The paper discusses Thomas Carlyle's symbolism - 'clothes philosophy' - and the problem of ageing of symbols. First, the category of 'clothes' as symbols is analysed, in the view of contemporary semiotics. Next, the spiritual meaning of 'clothes philosophy' is outlined. In the Scottish philosopher's opinion, clothes-symbols gradually wear out within the historic process, and can no longer 'dress' the spirit. Baudrillard's concept is quoted in this context. Carlylean inauthentic symbols become hollow shells or simulacra - signs with no reference to any reality which they were designed to point at, and - within certain limits - substitute. The need for new forms and 'clothes', which would appeal to contemporary generation, emerges, and the fundamental role here is to be played by heroes. The tailor should be re-tailored, as the title of Carlyle's masterpiece 'Sartor Resartus' suggests.
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