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41. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 47
Joao Geraldo Martins da Cunha The Concept of the Image in the Berlin Lectures on Transcendental Logic
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In the present paper, i propose, first, to present some aspects of what we may call a type of "phenomenology" of the image contained in the Berlin lectures on transcendental logic – notably, in the second of these courses in Berlin. Second, i would like to return to the problem of the relationship between logic and philosophy, starting from these indications with regard to the "image", and, if possible, outline some parallel with certain theses on the same subject from the Jena years. Finally, in what i consider a novelty concerning these lessons, i would like to conclude my exposition by raising the question of the foundational character of Fichte’s project.
42. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 47
Giovanni Alberti The Cambridge Companion to Fichte
43. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 48
Giovanni Cogliandro Concepts, Images, Determination. Some remarks on the understanding of Transcendental Philosophy by McDowell and Fichte
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McDowell in Mind and World developed a post-transcendental understanding of some core philosophical puzzles of subjectivity, like consciousness, conceptual capacity and perception. One of the main assumptions in the background of his philosophical proposal is that all our possible experience has to be determined and therefore has to be acknowledged as conceptual, therefore this very experience has to be both relational and representational.After this statement of conceptual experience in the early 2000’s a debate started which still involves philosophers like Brandom, Gaskin, Wright, Heck, Stalnaker, Peacocke, Dreyfus.The discussion in the beginning was focused on the definition of the Space of Reasons, what is most lively today is the epistemological uncertainty of the possibility of perceiving imagines in a reductive view as perceptual (non-conceptual) experience. The proposal of McDowell is a quasi-Hegelian understanding of concepts. I think that is possible an alternative path, moving from a new understanding of conceptual spontaneity and of the determination in general, rooted in J. G. Fichte Sittenlehre (1812) and in the general framework of the Wissenschaftslehre (mostly the WL Nova methodo and some later expositions) in a broader and more nuanced understanding of the postkantian transcendental philosophy.
44. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 48
Luciano Corsico Image and Freedom in Fichte’s Doctrine of the State of 1813
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In this paper, my aim is to offer an approach to the practical meaning of the concept of image in Fichte’s Doctrine of the State of 1813. The word “image” (Bild) plays an important role within Fichte’s philosophical terminology, especially during the last period of his intellectual production and his academic life, after leaving the University of Jena. Even a superficial reading of the several different versions of the Doctrine of Science allows one to recognize that the above-mentioned term is used by Fichte more frequently during his years in Berlin (1800–1814). Despite this, the determination of the concrete meaning of the term “image” represents a difficult interpretative challenge for readers of Fichte’s philosophy. From my point of view, Fichte uses the term “image” not only at the level of theoretical or methodological reflection, but also at that of praxis. For this reason, Fichte’s transcendental reflection in the Doctrine of the State contains not only an analysis of the negative relationship between image and being, but also, necessarily, an analysis of the positive relationship between image and freedom (Freiheit). Although his Doctrine of the State is based on a theological-religious conception, which could be questioned from the perspective of a secularized rationality, Fichte maintains a consistent conception of knowledge as an image of a world ordered by the moral law. Definitively, this image plays a central role as an original model for the action of every rational being in the sensible world.
45. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 48
Susan-Judith Hoffmann Breathing Life into Primal Beauty: The Imagination at work in Fichte
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In Über den Unterschied des Geistes u. des Buchstabens in der Philosophie, Fichte writes that man’s most fundamental tendency to philosophize is simply the drive to represent for the sake of representing—the same drive which is the ultimate basis of the fine arts. The process of representing for the sake of representing is grounded in “spirit”, which is nothing other than the power of the imagination to raise to consciousness images of das Urschöne. In this paper, I suggest that the affinity between artistic activity and Fichte’s transcendental philosophy is closer than previously thought. I further suggest that for Fichte, transcendental philosophy is a performance and that such an interpretation of Fichte’s thought points to a way out of the circularity in his transcendental project.
46. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 48
Marco Dozzi The Problem of the Unconscious in Fichte’s Later Jena Wissenschaftslehre
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This essay argues for the applicability and importance of the notion of the unconscious (in the limited sense of any form of mental activity of which one is not or cannot be aware) in Fichte’s Jena period, with a focus on the ,second’ Wissenschaftslehre (1796–99). The essay begins by arguing for the existence of a fundamental tension in Fichte’s philosophy: namely, between a ,transcendence’ principle – that the conditions for consciousness cannot themselves be present within experience, since they ground that experience – and an ,immanence’ principle that there is no genuine reality outside of consciousness. It is shown that this tension is particularly evident if one observes some of the conflicting ways in which Fichte employs the notions of ,intellektuelle Anschauung’ and ,unmittelbares Bewusstsein.’ Fichte seems to violate the immanence principle especially insofar as he characterizes the conditions of the possibility of consciousness as a series of ,actions,’ which, qua actions, must be ,real’ in some sense: insofar as they are both real and not present to consciousness, it is argued, they must be unconscious. Although Fichte does not wholly embrace the notion of unconscious mental activity due to his adherence to the immanence principle, his conception of the ,two series’ of the Wissenschaftslehre as well as some of his uses of the notion of ,unmittelbares Bewusstsein’ in particular allow the recognition that Fichte has a rich but inchoate conception of the unconscious.
47. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 37
Liu Zhe Fichte’s Practical Self-Consciousness and Hegel’s Speculation. A Fundamental Dialogue in the Differenz-Schrift (1801)
48. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 44
Daniel Breazeale Fichte, Skepticism, and the ‘Agrippan Trilemma'
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In his recent All or Nothing: Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 2005), Paul Franks defends Maimonian skepticism and explicitly criticizes Fichte’s response to the same. I argue that Franks’ interpretation of Fichte’s response to skepticism is fundamentally flawed in that it ignores or misinterprets the critically important practical/moral dimension of Fichte’s response. I also challenge Franks’ interpretation of the Jena Wissenschaftslehre as a »derivation holistic monism« and argue for a more modest interpretation of the same and one more in keeping with Fichte’s appreciation of the force of philosophical skepticism and the limits of transcendental philosophizing.
49. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 44
Luc Langlois The Meaning of Life According to Fichte (1796–1800)
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In a letter to Jacobi dated August 30, 1795, Fichte writes: »What is the purpose of the speculative standpoint, and indeed of philosophy as a whole, if it does not serve life?« But the question is also: in what sense is the meaning of life founded on the meaning of freedom? What I would like to suggest here is that the Science of Knowledge (Wissenschaftslehre) Nova methodo (1796–99), probably the pinnacle of Fichte’s thought during the Jena period, should be read together with the Bestimmung, which brought this period (1800) to a close. The two works tackle head-on the question of the meaning of freedom, which directly links up with the question of the meaning of human existence, with both questions being entirely immanent to the reflection of finite consciousness on its synthetic activity.
50. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 44
George Di Giovanni The Spinozism of Fichte’s Transcendental Argument in the Lecture Notes of 1804
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In a transcendental argument, a judgement ≫S is P≪ is unpacked into the two reflective claims: ≫I say that S is P≪, and ≫What I say is indeed the case≪; and the truth of the second is made to rest on the authority of the ≫I say≪ of the first. The argument has all the features of a testimony, where the reliability of the testimony (as in juridical cases) depends on the extent to which, in being rendered, it conforms to stipulated canons of objectivity. As presented in 1804, Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre can be interpreted as a protracted argument of this kind, inasmuch as, since its avowed subject-matter, the One, is ex hypothesi ineffable, its validity as a narrative about it depends solely on its internal logic as narrative. Such a narrative can only be one which, in constructing any schema about its transcendent subject-matter, at the same time de-constructs it: in the course of this process it methodically and exhaustively uncovers the genesis of otherwise merely accepted facts of experience, manifesting them for what they truly are (a disappearing appearing), and also allowing the necessarily unspoken evidence of the One to shine through (at least, for those willing to freely give themselves over to the discipline of Fichte’s Science). The Wissenschaftslehre 1804 is a type of apophantic theology. It is a Spinozism, but one developed from the standpoint of a finite subject who knows that he exists in a universe where, in truth, there is no explainable room for finitude.
51. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 44
Ezequiel L. Posesorski Enlightenment, Historicity, and the Teleological Overcoming of Skepticism
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One recently discovered aspect of Reinhold’s early Elementarphilosophie is that it constitutes the last historical step of a teleological activity of reason that ends the history of philosophy. The historical emergence of Reinhold’s system first enables the recognition of the ever-existing laws of the human spirit, and hence, the definitive grounding of philosophy on an unquestionable Grundsatz. According to Reinhold, this also meant that all pre-critical or non-enlightened, partisan assertions, including those of skepticism, lose their raison-d’être. One failure of Reinhold’s approach is its inability to provide a justification of reason’s historical ability to make teleological progress. A Schulzean skeptic might argue that this reveals the inexhaustive character of Reinhold’s Grundsatz, its inability to determine a constitutive aspect of his concept of historical reason. A critical re-articulation of the early Elementarphilosophie after Schulze’s objections required that this issue be reworked. This was one of the tasks that August L. Hülsen, one of Reinhold’s former students who embraced Fichte’s system in 1795 addressed in Preisschrift, his virtually neglected book of 1796. This paper outlines Reinhold’s approach, and shows how Hülsen’s normative reading of the Wissenschaftslehre allowed Fichte’s concept of self-positing activity to become a historical mechanism of teleological striving capable of providing an enlightened or skeptically ›immune‹ alternative to Reinhold’s concept.
52. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 44
Douglas Moggach Verso l’eticità. Saggi di storia della filosofia
53. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Beiträgerverzeichnis / Notes on Contributors
54. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
David W. Wood Vorwort / Preface: Fichte’s First Principles and the Total System of the Wissenschaftslehre
55. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Elise Frketich The First Principle of Philosophy in Fichte’s 1794 Aenesidemus Review
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In Aenesidemus, G.E. Schulze adopts the skeptical voice of Aenesidemus and engages in critical dialogue with Hermias, a Kantian, in the hopes of laying bare what he views as the fundamental issues of K.L. Reinhold’s version of critical philosophy. While some attacks reveal a deep misunderstanding of Reinhold’s Elementarphilosophie on Schulze’s part, others hit their mark. In the Aenesidemus Review (1794), J.G. Fichte at times agrees with criticisms raised by Aenesidemus and at times defends Reinhold against them. On Fichte’s view, Schulze succeeds in proving that the first principle of Reinhold’s Elementarphilosophie, the principle of consciousness (Satz des Bewußtseins), is neither self-evident nor self-determining. Therefore, it cannot be the first principle of philosophy. However, Schulze fails to dissuade Fichte from viewing Reinhold’s principle of consciousness as the pithiest expression of human consciousness of the time. For these reasons, Fichte holds that Reinhold’s principle of consciousness must be deduced from an even higher principle. The goal of this paper is to assess whether Fichte puts forth his own candidate for the first principle of philosophy in his Aenesidemus Review.
56. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Jason M. Yonover Fichte’s First First Principles, in the Aphorisms on Religion and Deism (1790) and Prior
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The idea of a “first principle” looms large in Fichte’s thought, and its first real appearance is in his “Aphorisms on Religion and Deism” (1790), which has received little attention. I begin this paper by providing some context on that piece, and then developing a reconstruction of the position presented within it. Next, I establish that Fichte’s views at the time of writing, and for some years prior, are those of the “deist,” and clarify why he sensed he had to leave this stance represented in the “Aphorisms” behind. I conclude that understanding Fichte’s shift away from “deism,” a species of what he would eventually call “dogmatism,” can also help us understand Fichte’s critique of the latter kind of thinking and so shed light on Fichte’s better-known views; and I emphasize that Fichte’s transition from a strict rationalism to a form of Kantianism may be of interest not only to scholarship on Fichte and the period, but likewise to work on rationalism in contemporary metaphysics. Finally, in an appendix I supplement the paper with a first English translation of the entire text of the “Aphorisms,” complete with annotations.
57. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
David Sommer General Logic and the Foundational Demonstration of the First Principle in Fichte’s Eigene Meditationen and Early Wissenschaftslehre
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In this paper I inquire into the role of general logic in Fichte’s early formulations of his first principle. This inquiry contains three main parts. First, I summarize the role of general logic in Kant’s theoretical philosophy, as well as Gottlob Schulze’s critical claims regarding their relation in Reinhold’s Elementarphilosophie. Second, I examine the first three sections of Fichte’s private notes on the Elementarphilosophie, called the Eigene Meditationen, and closely follow his early attempts to provide a basic principle that is systematically prior both to Reinhold’s principle of consciousness, as well as the logical principle of contradiction. I examine Fichte’s struggles with relating the principles of a foundational transcendental philosophy to those of general logic, in order to emphasize his own doubts in systematically motivating the use of logical rules in the exhibition of his first principle. In the third section, I examine the manner in which these principles are introduced in the 1794 Wissenschaftslehre via the logical principles of identity and contradiction, and argue that Fichte’s procedure is problematic given the programmatic constraints on general logic put forward in the meditations on the philosophy of the elements. I conclude by briefly relating Fichte’s doubts in such a procedure, as well as an alternative procedure he already proposed in his private notes, to the method that he would later adopt in the Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo.
58. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Alexander Schnell Why Is the First Principle of the Grundlage der gesamten Wissenschaftslehre Foundational for Fichte’s Entire Wissenschaftslehre?
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This article aims at a new interpretation of paragraph §1 of Fichte’s main work of 1794/95, the Grundlage der gesammten Wissenschaftslehre. This well-known text of the early Jena period explicitly introduces a number of thought motifs that will prove to be valuable for the later versions of the Wissenschaftslehre – including the second version of 1804 – and these motifs will furthermore illuminate the significance of the first principle for Fichte’s entire Wissenschaftslehre.
59. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Philipp Schwab Difference within Identity? Fichte’s Reevaluation of the First Principle of Philosophy in §5 of the Foundation of the Entire Wissenschaftslehre
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The aim of the article is to discuss a reevaluation of the first principle in §5 of Fichte’s Foundation of the Entire Wissenschaftslehre. The article makes the case that this reevaluation takes place in an attempt to resolve the key systematic issue of a transition from identity to difference, which can be traced back to the very first draft of Fichte’s system in the Own Meditations on Elementary Philosophy. Especially as Fichte, in §1 of the Foundation, conceptualizes the principle of the I as pure identical self-positing, it proves deeply questionable how any proper transition can take place from this immanent self-relation to any other element of the system. While the first sections of the Foundation do not address this issue directly, it is in §5 that Fichte truly approaches the problem. In this light, §5 of the Foundation shall be interpreted as Fichte’s quite dramatic struggle with the absolute I, and as a complex back and forth movement: On the one hand, even more clearly than in §1, Fichte repeatedly stresses that the absolute I must have the structure of absolute identity. Yet on the other hand, he thereby realizes that it is indeed impossible to construct a plausible transition from pure identity to difference, and that he thus has to modify his first principle. Ultimately, Fichte outright sacrifices the idea of a first principle of identity, and rather inserts difference into the identity principle, unfolding a much more complex structure of I-hood than before.
60. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Gesa Wellmann "The Subsequent Delivery of the Deduction" – Fichte’s Transformation of Kant’s Deduction of the Categories
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In the wake of the massive criticism of Kant’s deduction of the categories in the first Critique, Fichte starts providing what he takes an improved version of such a deduction to be. This article aims at investigating the transformation he thereby introduces into the Kantian thought. I will do so mainly with respect to the deduction’s architectonical dimension, i.e. by investigating the role of the deduction for the Wissenschaftslehre as a whole. Concretely, I will defend the following theses: (1) By identifying the deduction of the categories and the metaphysical system, Fichte moves away both from Kant’s conception of a system and from that of a deduction. (2) It is the unique character of Fichte’s conception of a first principle of a system that allows for an identification between system and deduction.