idea that all religious belief must ultimately withstand critical scrutiny if it is to ma#e a legitimate claim on us. For Fichte, any alleged reelation of God's actiity in the world must pass a moral test: namely, no immoral command or action, i.e., nothing that iolates the moral law, can be attributed to Him. ;lthough Fichte himself did not e$plicitly critici2e hristianity by appealing to this test, such a restriction on the content of a possible reelation, if consistently imposed, would oerturn some aspects of orthodo$ hristian belief, including, for e$ample, the doctrine of original sin, which states that eeryone is born guilty as a result of ;dam and )e's disobedience in the Garden of )den. "his element of hristian theology, which is said to be grounded in the reelations contained in the 8ible, is hardly compatible with the iew of justice underwritten by the moral law. ;ttentie readers should hae instantly gleaned Fichte's radical iews from the placid Kantian prose. For reasons that are still mysterious, Fichte's name and preface were omitted from the first edition of
An Attempt at a Critique of all Revelation
, and thus the boo#, which displayed an e$tensie and subtle appreciation of Kant's thought, was ta#en to be the wor# of Kant himself. <nce it became #nown that Fichte was the author, he instantly became a philosophical figure of importance= no one whose wor# had been mista#en for Kant's, howeer briefly, could be rightfully denied fame and celebrity in the German philosophical world. Fichte continued wor#ing as a tutor while attempting to fashion his philosophical insights into a system of his own. He also anonymously published two political wor#s, >5eclamation of the Freedom of "hought from the 0rinces of )urope, ?ho Hae <ppressed It %ntil @ow> and
Contribution to the Rectification of the Public's Judgment of the French Revolution
. It became widely #nown that he was their author= conse&uently, from the ery beginning of his public career, he was identified with radical causes and iews. In <ctober +-A he married his fiancBe, and shortly thereafter une$pectedly receied a call from the %niersity of Jena to ta#e oer the chair in philosophy that Karl 1eonhard 5einhold C+-D3!+3/AE, a well!#nown e$ponent and interpreter of the Kantian philosophy, had recently acated. Fichte arried in Jena in *ay +-4.
2. The Jena Period (1794-1799)
/a. Fichte's philosophical ocation
In his years at Jena, which lasted until +-, Fichte published the wor#s that established his reputation as one of the major figures in the German philosophical tradition. Fichte neer e$clusiely saw himself as an academic philosopher addressing the typical audience of fellow philosophers, uniersity colleagues, and students. Instead, he considered himself a scholar with a wider role to play beyond the confines of academia, a iew elo&uently e$pressed in >(ome 1ectures oncerning the (cholar's ocation,> which were deliered to an oerflowing lecture hall shortly after his much anticipated arrial in Jena. <ne of the tas#s of philosophy, according to these lectures, is to offer rational guidance towards the ends that are most appropriate for a free and harmonious society. "he particular role of the scholar that is, of indiiduals such as Fichte himself, regardless of their particular academic discipline is to be a teacher of man#ind and a superintendent of its neer!ending progress towards perfection. "hroughout his career Fichte alternated between composing, on the one hand, philosophical wor#s for scholars and students of philosophy and, on the other hand, popular wor#s for the