more from Johann Fichte

Single Idea 21964

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / d. Absolute idealism]

Full Idea

Not by any law of nature do we attain to reason; we achieve it by absolute freedom. ...In philosophy, therefore, we must necessarily start from the self. The materialists' project of deriving the appearance of reason from natural laws is impossible.

Gist of Idea

Reason arises from freedom, so philosophy starts from the self, and not from the laws of nature


Johann Fichte (works [1798], I:298), quoted by A.W. Moore - The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics

Book Reference

Moore,A.W.: 'The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics' [CUP 2013], p.149

A Reaction

I blame Descartes' Cogito for this misunderstanding. The underlying idea (in Kant, and probably earlier) is that pure reason needs pure free will. Modern thought usually sees reason as extremely impure.