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.]

green numbers give full details    |    back to list of philosophers    |     expand these ideas
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]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 8. Naturalising Reason
The need to act produces consciousness, and practical reason is the root of all reason
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 2. Sufficient Reason
Sufficient reason makes the transition from the particular to the general
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / c. not
Normativity needs the possibility of negation, in affirmation and denial [Pinkard]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
Each object has a precise number of properties, each to a precise degree
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
The principle of activity and generation is found in a self-moving basic force
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 4. Necessity from Concepts
Necessary truths derive 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
I am myself, but not the external object; so I only sense myself, and not the object
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
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 6. Inference in Perception
I immediately know myself, and anything beyond that is an inference
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 2. Intuition
Faith is not knowledge; it is a decision of the will
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / b. Basic beliefs
Knowledge can't be its own foundation; there has to be regress of higher and higher authorities
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / c. Features of mind
Consciousness has two parts, passively receiving sensation, and actively causing productions
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
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 7. Blindsight
We can't know by sight or hearing without realising that we are doing so
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]
Consciousness of external things is always accompanied by an unnoticed consciousness of self
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 / 1. Nature of Free Will
The capacity for freedom is above the laws of nature, with its own power of purpose and will
Forming purposes is absolutely free, and produces something from nothing
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 2. Sources of Free Will
I want independent control of the fundamental cause of my decisions
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 4. For Free Will
Spinoza could not actually believe his determinism, because living requires free will
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 3. Panpsychism
Nature contains a fundamental force of thought
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / a. Nature of Judgement
Judgement is distinguishing concepts, and seeing their relations [Siep]
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / a. Will to Act
The will is awareness of one of our inner natural forces
22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature
I cannot change the nature which has been determined for me
22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / g. Will to power
The self is, apart from outward behaviour, a drive in your nature
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
Fichte's idea of spontaneity implied that nothing counts unless we give it status [Pinkard]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / g. Love
If life lacks love it becomes destruction
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 6. Authentic Self
Freedom means making yourself become true to your essential nature
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature
Fichte reduces nature to a lifeless immobility [Schlegel,F]
Nature is wholly interconnected, and the tiniest change affects everything