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61. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Stefan Schick From Being Reflexive to Absolute Reflection – Fichte’s Original Insight Reconsidered
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This paper defends Fichte’s conception of the absolute I by interpreting it as a modification of the reflection theory. It firstly provides a short outline of Dieter Henrich’s idea of Fichte’s “original insight,” before delineating the problems of Fichte’s “original insight” as they are presented by Henrich. It then analyzes Fichte’s concept of the absolute I by reconstructing its deduction in the Foundations of the Science of Knowledge (1794). With the concept of the absolute I delineated in this manner, it then argues against Henrich’s objections. It concludes that Fichte’s conception of the absolute I is not a rejection of the reflection theory, but rather a radical re-interpretation of it.
62. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Esma Kayar The First Principle of the Wissenschaftslehre and the Logical Principle of Identity
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The first principle of Fichte’s philosophy, the Wissenschaftslehre, is “I am,” whereas the logical principle of identity is “A is A.” The relationship of Fichte’s philosophy to logic helps us understand the relation between the principles of these two disciplines. The first principle of the Wissenschaftslehre as an Act (Thathandlung) is the ground of consciousness and therefore renders logic possible as a science. Even though logic is grounded on the Wissenschaftslehre, the form of logic is used by the latter to comprehend itself. The difference between logic and the Wissenschaftslehre consists in the fact that the former merely supplies a form and the latter contains both the form and the content. Logic arises from the Wissenschaftslehre through the free acts termed “abstraction” and “reflection.” In the Wissenschaftslehre, the form of logical propositions as equality, affirmation and substitution, are derived from the primordial act of the self-positing of the I.
63. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
G. Anthony Bruno Facticity and Genesis: Tracking Fichte’s Method in the Berlin Wissenschaftslehre
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The concept of facticity denotes conditions of experience whose necessity is not logical yet whose contingency is not empirical. Although often associated with Heidegger, Fichte coins ‘facticity’ in his Berlin period to refer to the conclusion of Kant’s metaphysical deduction of the categories, which he argues leaves it a contingent matter that we have the conditions of experience that we do. Such rhapsodic or factical conditions, he argues, must follow necessarily, independent of empirical givenness, from the I through a process of ‘genesis.’ I reconstruct Fichte’s argument by (1) tracing the origin of his neologism, (2) presenting his Jena critique of Kant’s rhapsodic appeal to the forms of judgment, and (3) illustrating the Jena period’s continuity with the Berlin period’s genetic method, while noting a methodological shift whereby Fichte directs his critique against his own doctrine of intellectual intuition in order to eliminate its ‘factical terms.’
64. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Laure Cahen-Maurel The Monogram of the "Sweet Songstress of the Night": The Hovering of the Imagination as the First Principle of Fichte’s Aesthetics
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This article presents a new reading of Fichte’s aesthetics that differs from a primarily functionalist interpretation of the imagination and art. It demonstrates that the “hovering” (Schweben) of the creative imagination should be viewed as the first principle of Fichte’s aesthetics, in which the latter consists of a triad of the pleasant, the beautiful and the sublime. Moreover, it argues that in the text Ueber Geist und Buchstab in der Philosophie (1795/1800) Fichte created a real and original monogram of the hovering creative imagination, a monogram whose theoretical basis stems from Kant’s concept of the monogram in the 1st Critique as a “wavering sketch”. It contends that this overlooked but key artistic and practical example of a monogram opens up new perspectives for Fichtean aesthetics, further confirming that its first principle should be explicitly identified with the theory of the hovering imagination in the Grundlage der gesammten Wissenschaftslehre of 1794/95.
65. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Robert G. Seymour "Knowledge Is Existence" – Ascent to the First Principle in Fichte’s 1805 Erlangen Wissenschaftslehre
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Whereas in the Wl1794 the transition from the facts of empirical consciousness to the absolutely unconditioned and self-evident Grundsatz is undertaken briskly, Fichte begins the wl1805 by stating the Grundsatz with the proviso that it cannot immediately be recognised as such. Instead of proceeding from a self-evident starting point to derive the specific a priori determinations of knowledge, there follows a long process of “ascent” to clarify the Grundsatz, in what Fichte calls the Existenzlehre. This “ascent” does not correlate to any component of the Jena Wl, yet it constitutes the bulk of the 1805 presentation. In order to explain this, I will argue that the “ascent” can be reconstructed as meta-level discourse on possible candidates for first principles. Such a reconstruction can make sense of the highly abstract and paradoxical form of argument to which Fichte resorts. I will consider why Fichte comes to believe this meta-discourse is necessary and will analyse the form of argument Fichte employs in the Existenzlehre. I argue that this involves an attempt to resolve an antinomy between ‘idealist’ and ‘realist’ interpretations of the idea of an absolute presupposition of all knowledge. This resolution takes place by showing how each interpretation gives rise to a dilemma which demonstrates its inadequacy as an explanation of the absolute.
66. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Michael Nance Fichte’s First Principle of Right
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This paper addresses the following questions: what is Fichte’s first principle of right, how does he argue for it, and how does it function as the first principle of his substantive political theory? To answer these questions, the paper offers an overview of the main steps of Fichte’s derivation of the principle of right, explains its relationship to Fichte’s account of individual personhood, and then specifies some of the senses in which the resulting principle serves as the foundation of the rest of Fichte’s political and economic theory. I focus on the developmental logic of Fichte’s account of the “summons” and the “relation of right.” This developmental logic, I argue, is both recapitulated and completed within Fichte’s political theory and political economy.
67. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Pavel Reichl The Role of First Principles in Fichte’s Philosophy of History
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In this article, I explore the role of the first principle in Fichte’s philosophy of history and assess the extent to which its introduction is able to resolve problems in the philosophies of history of his predecessors. Particularly, I focus on Fichte’s response to the question of how history can be grasped in a systematic manner for the purposes of theoretical cognition. I argue that while Fichte is able to resolve the tension between Herder’s pluralism and Kant’s chiliasm in an innovative manner, the deployment of his first principle is ultimately unsuccessful in establishing historiography on a firmer scientific foundation.
68. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Kienhow Goh I-Hood as the Speculative Ground of Fichte’s Real Ethics
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This article considers how the I furnishes a ground for the reality or applicability of the moral principle, or the synthetic unification of the higher and the lower powers of desire, through its originally determined nature. It argues that the nature of I-hood as an immediate unity of seeing and being, an absolute identity of the subjective and objective, is key to establishing the moral principle’s applicability. On its basis, Fichte envisages an originally determined system of drives and feelings on the one side, and of ends on the other, in and through which each of our dutiful actions in each given situation is determined. For Fichte, the question of the moral law’s application has more to do with demonstrating the moral law’s applicability as a principium executionis (or what is the same, the real, practical efficacy of reason) than with employing the law as a discursive criterion for deciding whether actions are dutiful or not. The article clarifies this point by reference to Rehberg’s critique of Kant’s ethics.
69. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Carlos Zorrilla Piña Circumvolutions of the Mind: Fichte on First Principles and Transcendental Circuits
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Fichte once described the first principle of his philosophical system as a globe or attractor point which rests on nothing else but its own power, and which – as by the inception of a gravitational field – thereby simultaneously sets the conditions for the groundedness of all the components of the edifice of knowledge which follow. This description suggests his philosophical enterprise is articulated in accordance to the linear structure of foundationalism. At the same time, however, Fichte’s enterprise is unequivocally transparent regarding its many circularities, the most interesting of which is described by the relation between the I under philosophical observation and the I of the transcendental philosopher who undertakes the observation. Indeed, such a relation – which Fichte called not only a circle but a circuit – is what explains his assertion that the task of the transcendental philosopher is to be a pragmatic historiographer rather than a legislator of the mind. The philosopher’s task is historical insofar as the I who undertakes the examination is at every move trying to repeat its genesis in a conscious manner. It is circular, in turn, insofar as the activity of the examined I is supposed to culminate in precisely the point where the examining I stands, but not forgetting that it has to account for the possibility of the latter’s very examination. To map the horizon and grounding capacity of such circumvolutions of the mind is what this paper aims to do.
70. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Elena Ficara 'Transcendental' in Kant and Fichte: A Conceptual Shift and Its Philosophical Meaning
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The article is about the meaning of the word ‘transcendental’ in Kant and Fichte. Its aim is not merely exegetical. It is a common hermeneutical insight (now revitalised by research on conceptual engineering and conceptual genealogy for analytic philosophy) that analysing the use and definitions of concepts in history, and their shifts in the development of the history of philosophy, is a crucial tool we have to understand those concepts and to assess their viability for philosophy today. In this paper, I focus on Kant’s use and definitions of the word ‘transcendental’ and suggest that they are symptomatic of a fundamental question that is not completely answered in Kant’s philosophy. If transcendental philosophy deals not with objects but rather the conditions of possibility of objective knowledge, then important questions emerge: What are these possibility conditions? Do they exist? Are they special objects? What is their nature? I show that the shift in Fichte’s use and understanding of the concept of ‘transcendental’ leads to a possible solution of the problem Kant was struggling with.
71. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Roberto Horácio Sá Pereira Fichte’s Original Insight Reviewed
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This paper addresses Fichte’s puzzle of self-consciousness. I propose a new reading of “Fichte’s original insight”, inspired by Pareyson’s general reading, which I call here the “Fichtean metaphysical turn in transcendental philosophy”. Against the mainstream view in Fichte’s scholarship, I argue that Fichte’s and Kant’s views do not concur regarding the primary reference of the “I”, namely spontaneous agency in thinking, which Fichte calls “Tathandlung”. Yet, their views do in fact concur when Fichte claims that this spontaneous agency in thinking is the “essence” or the underlying nature of the self, which Kant denies. Regarding this I take the side of Fichte. But how is Fichte’s original insight supposed to solve the puzzle of self-consciousness? At that transcendental level, the puzzle does not arise because there is no need for self-identification in the first place. Transcendental self-knowledge results from the sui generis intellectual Selbstanschauung that everyone has of oneself as sheer spontaneous agency in thinking. But at the empirical level, the puzzle does not arise either and for the same reason. Reference to the embodied self dispenses with any self-identification because it is based on the fundamental metaphysical relation everybody has to their own body, namely identity.
72. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49
Antonella Carbone Luis Fellipe Garcia, La philosophie comme Wissenschaftslehre. Le projet fichtéen d’une nouvelle pratique du savoir
73. Fichte-Studien: Volume > 49