Ideas of Johann Fichte, by Theme

[German, 1762 - 1814, Born Leipzig. Taught at the University of Jena. In 1810 the first Professor of Philosophy at the new University of Berlin.]

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Philosophy attains its goal if one person feels perfect accord between their system and experience
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 5. Objectivity
Fichte's subjectivity struggles to then give any account of objectivity [Pinkard]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 7. Status of Reason
For Fichte there is no God outside the ego, and 'our religion is reason' [Feuerbach]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / c. not
Normativity needs the possibility of negation, in affirmation and denial [Pinkard]
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 4. Necessity from Concepts
Necessary truths from basic assertion and negation [Pinkard]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / a. Idealism
Mental presentation are not empirical, but concern the strivings of the self
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / b. Transcendental idealism
The thing-in-itself is an empty dream [Pinkard]
Fichte's logic is much too narrow, and doesn't deduce ethics, art, society or life [Schlegel,F]
Fichte believed in things-in-themselves [Moore,AW]
We can deduce experience from self-consciousness, without the thing-in-itself
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / d. Absolute idealism
Fichte's key claim was that the subjective-objective distinction must itself be subjective [Pinkard]
The absolute I divides into consciousness, and a world which is not-I [Bowie]
Reason arises from freedom, so philosophy starts from the self, and not from the laws of nature
Abandon the thing-in-itself; things only exist in relation to our thinking
Self-consciousness is the basis of knowledge, and knowing something is knowing myself
There is nothing to say about anything which is outside my consciousness
Awareness of reality comes from the free activity of consciousness
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / a. Other minds
We only see ourselves as self-conscious and rational in relation to other rationalities
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self
The Self is the spontaneity, self-relatedness and unity needed for knowledge [Siep]
Novalis sought a much wider concept of the ego than Fichte's proposal [Novalis]
The self is not a 'thing', but what emerges from an assertion of normativity [Pinkard]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 6. Self as Higher Awareness
Consciousness of an object always entails awareness of the self
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 6. Body sustains Self
Effective individuals must posit a specific material body for themselves
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 4. For Free Will
Spinoza could not actually believe his determinism, because living requires free will
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / a. Nature of Judgement
Judgement is distinguishing concepts, and seeing their relations [Siep]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
Fichte's idea of spontaneity implied that nothing counts unless we give it status [Pinkard]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature
Fichte reduces nature to a lifeless immobility [Schlegel,F]