James, D. By my faith! I have been speaking prose for forty years without being aware of it at all; I am infinitely obliged to you for having taught me that. Johann Gottlieb Fichte philosophically refers to the example of Monsieur Jourdain a number of times in his works, including in the Zweite Einleitung in die Wissenschaftslehre. Moreover, he would continue to adhere to this maxim of changing his technical language in all future presentations of his philosophy. On the contrary, it was of the utmost importance, since the chief reasons behind this multiplicity were to attain ever greater clarity of expression and to present one and the same philosophy from fresh standpoints.
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James, D. By my faith! I have been speaking prose for forty years without being aware of it at all; I am infinitely obliged to you for having taught me that. Johann Gottlieb Fichte philosophically refers to the example of Monsieur Jourdain a number of times in his works, including in the Zweite Einleitung in die Wissenschaftslehre. Moreover, he would continue to adhere to this maxim of changing his technical language in all future presentations of his philosophy.
On the contrary, it was of the utmost importance, since the chief reasons behind this multiplicity were to attain ever greater clarity of expression and to present one and the same philosophy from fresh standpoints. In the fascinating but frequently overlooked small published text from , Aus einem Privatschreiben , Fichte elaborated on some of the misunderstandings connected with his choice of philosophical language.
He stated that he instinctively chose terms that could convey the living and active intentions of his philosophizing. Or do we now have a better grasp of the flexible and dynamic qualities of his vocabulary, how and why Fichte selected certain terms, not to mention the underlying concepts, ideas and acts that his words are meant to express?
Emiliano Acosta recently reviewed the Cambridge Companion to Fichte for the Revista de Estud i os sobre Fichte , giving a general overview of it. More exactly, in the opening sections of the Grundlage it concerns a rather unique act of theoretical reflection Reflexion and abstraction Abstraktion. For readers are asked to begin with any fact of empirical consciousness, then to reflect on their own inner thought activity, continually stripping away anything empirical, leading them to a more transparent consciousness of the structure of human cognition.
There we see that in Part Two Fichte does not simply consider setzen in connection with thinking and logical deductions, but also directly relates it to anschauen intuiting. In the first sense it relates to our theoretical activity, in the second to our practical activity. In essence, for Fichte, one becomes aware of the ideal ground through the activity of thinking, whereas intuiting is required for a consciousness of the real or practical ground. Moreover, the fact that setzen in the Grundlage had been be employed in a twofold sense in terms of thinking and intuiting, including in relation to the object-nature of the empirical I, is confirmed by Fichte in his System of Ethics.
Therefore, I can only agree with him when he puts forward the view that Fichte chose this unusual term positing because he needed a single linguistic formulation for capturing this unified notion of the human being. Positing is the notion he employs.
And of course, even though the terms change in the different versions of the Wissenschaftslehre , the central underlying ideas and philosophical doctrines do not change, but are carried over into subsequent presentations. Like with setzen , the word Tathandlung also seems to have dual sense, and which is directly evident in the composition of the term itself.
It is made up of the two German words Tat deed and Handlung action. In the Wissenschaftslehre , Tathandlung relates to the ability of the I as subject to carry out an action in which it becomes its own cognitive object.
Fichte repeatedly juxtaposes this inner act with Tatsachen — the facts or objects of external being. Again, it is not by chance that Fichte intentionally chose the term Tatsache to highlight this juxtaposition, for it is also a composite word formed out of two other words, Tat deed and Sachen things.
Paul Franks demonstrated twenty years ago that its origin lies in the two spheres of right and religion. Firstly, he continually changes his philosophical terms to stimulate the spirit and avoid his system becoming too static.
Inversely, Fichte often uses one and the same philosophical term like setzen that has a number of different but interrelated meanings.
A term may even have more than two meanings. No doubt most other thinkers would thoroughly distinguish between the revelations or visions of a religious mystic and the strictly deducted ideas of a philosopher. In these two late Berlin texts he employs one and the same word Gesicht for the visions of the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel on the one hand, and for the scientific ideas of the scholar of the Wissenschaftslehre on the other.
In the domain of his philosophy of religion, Fichte designated Plato as one of the philosophical forerunners to the Wissenschaftslehre. It is only when we consider them as a totality that a pattern and systematicity starts to arise. Could Fichte have intentionally and systematically used terms with almost antithetical senses — where it is left to the reader to carefully examine the context, and to actively try and overcome their apparent contradictions? To do this properly, however, the philosopher must not neglect to freely engage their power of imagination.
For it is the latter power which allows the philosopher to hover between the two extremes of the finite and the infinite, the ideal and the real, the theoretical and practical, and then to commence the process of overcoming any apparent philosophical contradiction. As Fichte writes in the Grundlage :. This is because in anyone who studies it, its foundational ideas have to be generated by the creative power of the imagination itself.
Unless otherwise indicated, all translations in the present review-essay are my own. Fichte, Introductions to the Wissenschaftslehre and Other Writings , ed. English translation: Concerning the Concept of the Wissenschaftslehre in: J. Fichte, Early Philosophical Writings , ed. Fichte, Grundlage , ibid. English translation: From a Private Letter , in: J. Michael G.
Vater and David W. Der Stand der Fichte-Forschung , eds. Erich Fuchs, Ives Radrizzani Neuried: ars una, , pp. Kant, Theoretical Philosophy , eds. Kant, Theoretical Philosophy , p. Walter E. David W. Peer-reviewed online journal devoted to the studies on J. Fichte and transcendental philosophy. Revista de Estud i os sobre Fichte. Bibliographical reference James, D. Outline 1.
Introduction: Fichtean Spirit and Letter. Conclusion: Language in the Light of the Synthetic Method. Full text PDF Send by e-mail. Introduction: Fichtean Spirit and Letter 1 The example is well-known. Unless otherwise indicated, all English transla Fichte, Grundlage der gesammten Wissenschaf Fichte, Grundlage der gesammten Wissenschaftsle English translation: From a Private Letter , i Fichte, Grundlage Fichte, Vorles Notes 1 J.
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Based on lectures Fichte had delivered as a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jena , it was later reworked in various versions. The standard Wissenschaftslehre was published in , but other versions appeared posthumously. Science of Knowledge has first established Fichte's independent philosophy. In , the German romantic Friedrich Schlegel identified the Wissenschaftslehre , together with the French revolution and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 's Wilhelm Meister , as "the most important trend-setting events Tendenzen of the age. Michael Inwood believes that the work is close in spirit to the early works of Edmund Husserl , including the Ideas and the Cartesian Meditations The Wissenschaftslehre has been described by Roger Scruton as being both "immensely difficult" and "rough-hewn and uncouth". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Grundlage Der Gesammten Wissenschaftslehre
Johann Gottlieb Fichte