51

PIi 10 (2000), 50-76.
The Unpopularity of Transcendental Philosophy:
Fichte's Controversy With Reinhold (1799-1801)
GUNTER ZOLLER
These days common sense
is like the peasant who swallows
the prescription instead of the medicine.'
The following essay examines the account of the relation between
philosophy and life which Fichte developed at the end of his years in Jena
and at the beginning of his time in Berlin in response to contemporary
criticisms and attacks of his earlier work. It shows the increasing
importance of metaphilosophical and methodological considerations in
the development of Fichte's philosophy and documents the gradual
growth of the substance of Fichte's later work out of the positions and
problems of his earlier writings. Focussing on Reinhold's critique of
Fichte, the essay demonstrates how apparent changes in Fichte's
philosophy are part of an internal development of clarification and
consolidation that is occasioned and shaped by external factors. It also
shows the extent to which Fichte's thinking in Berlin is a response to the
* Due to a lack of English translations of a good number of the works referred to in
this essay, the following policy has been adopted: all quotations are translations by the
present author; all references are to German editions, with occasional indication of
English translations; Kant's and Fichte's works are cited according to the standard
editions by the Prussian Academy of Sciences and the Bavarian Academy of
Sciences, respectively (see notes 2 and 4). The pagination of these editions is included
in most recent English translations.
I. J. G. Fichte-Gesamtausgabe der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, ed.
Reinhard Lauth and Hans Gliwitzky (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1962ff.) (henceforth
"GA"), illS: 259 ('Bei Bardilis Logik' [Over Bardili's Logic]).
Gunter Zoller
lO'l"plion of his work in Jena in general and to his work from the last
Yl';\IS in Jena in particular.
I. Aut aut or transcendental philosophy and popUlar
philosophy
Thc type of systematic philosophy which Kant and Fichte developed and
prcsented under the titles "transcendental philosophy" and
"Wissenschaftslehre" at the close of the eighteenth century marks a sharp
cacsura in the philosophical discourse of modernity. To be sure, the
Kantian-Fichtean philosophical revolution shares in the general critical
spirit of the Enlightenment. Yet the scientific rigor of Kant' sand Fichte' s
philosophical work contrasts sharply with the essayistic manner of
thinking and writing to be found in European philosophy in the second
half of the eighteenth century and especially in its German variant, that
eclecticism in which Leibnizian heritage mixes comfortably with English,
Scottish and French inspirations. In this regard, the German philosophy of
the Enlightenment, chiefly represented by Moses Mendelssohn and
Christian Garve, with its aim of a widely comprehensible treatment of
philosophical issues, can rightly be considered to remain more faithful to
the spirit of the age than the Kantian-Fichtean movement with its
appearance of a new scholasticism and scientism in philosophy.
Accordingly, the title "popular philosophy" (Popularphilosophie),
designating the dominating efforts in late eighteenth-century Germany at
a philosophizing with a wider, cosmopolitan rather than scholastic intent,
originally had entirely positive connotations, which it lost only through
the increasing influence of Kant and his successors.
2
Kant and Fichte oppose the dominating popular philosophy, which
turns generally comprehensible presentation into a criterion of
philosophical content, with an alternative conception of philosophy that
keeps separate the popular presentation of philosophy and its scientific
development, and which places the two in a well-defined relation to each
other. Thus Kant writes the three Critiques and his other systematic works
for the professional philosopher - even the seemingly more accessible
Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics are addressed to "future
2. See Helmut Holzhey, article 'Popularphilosophie', in Historisches Worterbuch der
Philosophie, ed.loachim Ritter and Karlfriedrich Grlinder, vo!. 7 (Basel, 1981), 1093­
1100.
52 PIi 10 (2000)
Gunter Zbller 53
teachers" of the critical philosophy3 - and supplements this body of works
with a series of popular essays, most of them published in the Berlin
Monthly, the central organ of German Enlightenment.
4
In his own
foundational systematic work Kant follows closely the scientific concept
of philosophy of the German school philosophy to be found in Christian
Wolff and his successors - Kant's own distinction between his critical
conception of philosophy and traditional dogmatism notwithstanding.
S
Accordingly, Kant castigates sharply the appeal to common sense
(gemeiner Menschenverstand) in matters of foundational philosophy,
which requires not ordinary but speculative understanding (spekulativer
Verstand).6
In Kant the negative assessment of common sense and its cognitive
abilities in matters of foundational philosophy is by no means limited to
3. Kant's gesammelte Schriften, ed. Royal Prussian Academy and its successors
(Berlin, later Berlin und New York, 1900ff.) (henceforth "AA"), 4: 255
(Prolegomena, Preface).
4. These works include: 'Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weitbtirgerlicher
Absicht' (Idea for a Universal History With a Cosmopolitan Intent; AA 8: 15-32; first
publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1784); 'Beantwortung der Frage: Was heil3t
AufkHirung?' (Answer to the Question: What Does Enlightenment Mean?; AA 8: 33­
42; first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1784); 'Bestimmung des Begriffs
einer Menschenrace' (Determination of the Concept of a Human Race; AA 8: 89-106;
first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift,1785); 'Muthmal3licher Anfang der
Menschengeschichte' (Conjectural Beginning of Human History; AA 8: 107-124; first
publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1786), 'Was heiBt: Sich im Denken
orientiren?' (What Does it Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking; AA 8: 131-148; first
publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1786); 'Uber den Gemeinspruch: Das mag in
der Theorie richtig sein, taugt aber nicht fUr die Praxis' (On the Common Saying:
That May Be True in Theory But Does Not Serve Practice; AA 8: 273-314 ; first
publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1793); 'Das Ende aller Dinge' (The End of All
Things; AA 8: 325-340; first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1794); 'Von
einem neuerdings erhobenen vornehmen Ton in der Philosophie' (Of a Recently
Adopted Superior Tone in Philosophy; AA 8: 387-406; first publication: Berlinische
Monatsschrift, 1796); 'Verktindigung des nahen Abschlusses eines Tractats zum
ewigen Frieden in der Philosophie' (Announcement of the Imminent Conclusion of a
Perpetual Peace in Philosopohy; AA 8: 411-422; first publication: Berlinische
Monatsschrift, 1796); 'Uber ein vermeintes Recht aus Menschenliebe zu ltigen' (On a
Putative Right to Lie From Philanthropy; AA 8: 423-430; first publication:
Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1797).
5. See my essay, "Die Seele des Systems': Systembegriff und Begriffssystem in
Kants Transzendentalphilosophie' in: System und Architektonik in der Philosophie
Kants, ed. Hans Friedrich Fulda and Jtirgen Stolzenberg (in preparation).
6. Cf. AA 4: 258-260 (Prolegomena, Preface).
the theoretical use of reason and the latter's systematic critique in
transcendental philosophy. To be sure, Kant follows Rousseau7 in
crediting philosophically untrained reason with the ability to make correct
moral judgments.
8
But he moves the systematic foundation of the
principle of morality from "popular moral philosophy" (populiire sittliche
Weltweisheit) and the latter's restriction to the natural use of the
understanding to a "metaphysics of morals" (Metaphysik der Sitten) and
its grounding in a critique of (pure) practical reason.
9
Fichte's radical further development of Kant's transcendental
philosophy, with its integration of moral philosophy into transcendental
philosophy, its novel terminology and the highly complex conceptual
apparatus involved, further deepens the opposition between speculative
philosophical doctrine and generally comprehensible presentation. Yet in
Fichte the increasingly esoteric character of transcendental philosophy, to
be observed in the successive treatments of the Wissenschaftslehre,
coexist throughout with his theory and practice of a popular mediation of
the chief philosophical insights. Parallel to the, mostly only postumously
published, successive versions of the Wissenschaftslehre, Fichte develops
an entire body of work, mostly seen to publication by himself, consisting
of lecture courses in the popular style that reach from the early Jena
Lectures on the Vocation of the Scholar through the three series of
lectures in the Academy of Sciences in Berlin on the philosophies of
history, religion and culture to the late Lectures on the Vocation of the
Scholar. 10
To be sure, these popular writings by Fichte are not popularized
versions of his speculative philosophy but seek to import the latter's
general results and basic insights into the specifically different questions
of a practical, applied philosophy with its focus on orientation in life and
7. On Rousseau's significance for the development of Kant's philosophy in general
and especially for his practical philosophy, see Immanuel Kant, Bemerkungen in den
"Beobachtungen uber das Gefuhl des Schdnen und Erhabenen ", newly edited and
commented by Marie Rischmtiller. Kant-Forschungen, vo1. 3 (Hamburg, 1991), 37ff.,
esp. 38: "Rousseau straightened me out." ("Rousseau hat mich zurecht gebracht.")
8. See AA 4: 403 (Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Section One).
9. See AA 4: 389-391 (Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Prefilce).
10. On Fichte's cycles of popular lectures and publications, see Hartmut Traub, J. G.
Fichtes Populiirphilosophie 1804-1806 (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1992), esp. 18-24
and 288-293. These works by Fichte are now available in a single volume, with
commentary: Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Werke, vol 2: Schriften zur angewandten
Philosophie, ed. Peter Lothar Oesterreich (FrankfurtlM., 1997). See also my review in
Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 51 (1998),20-23.
1
1
1 '1
i'
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l
i'
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55 GGnter Z611er
54
PH 10 (2000)
reflection on social ethos in abstraction from speculative theorizing. The
Wissenschaftslehre as such remains outside of this philosophical public
relations work undertaken by Fichte.
Now Fichte's personality with its vehement striving after practical
efficacy, together with the pathos of his popular lectures and his central
speculative doctrine of the radical primacy of freedom in the
Wissenschaftslehre, as conveyed in its self-description as "the first system
of freedom", 11 could create the impression that Fichte' s philosophy is
practical through and through, and concerned throughout with matters
pertaining to the conduct of life. Certainly the assumption of a basic
methodical continuity between speculative foundation and popular
application underlies much of the polemical and metacritical debates
surrounding his philosophy. This assumption shows in the psychological
misunderstanding of Fichte's pure I as empirical individual 1,12 and it is
especially virulent in the reception of Fichte's philosophical theory of
religious belief or faith (Glaube) as atheism and hence disbelief
(Unglaube). In the latter case the confusion of faith philosophized-about
with faith believed-in or disbelieved is not limited to the reaction of the
religious and political authorities in the course of the so-called atheism
dispute of 1798-99
13
but is also and even prominently present in the
reactions of Fichte's fellows philosophers. Responding to this widespread
methodological misunderstanding of his work, Fichte even supplements
his public defense against the charge of atheism, in which he turns the
accusation back on the accusers,14 with clarifications in correspondence
and publications that address themselves to professional philosophers on
11. See Fichte's two drafts of his letters to Jens Baggesen of April or May 1795: "My
system is the first system of freedom." ("Mein System ist das erste System der
Freiheit.") (GA III/2: 298 and 300 [in the original emphasis]).
12. See Vergleichung des von Herm Pro! Schmid aufgestellten Systems mit der
Wissenschaftslehre (Comparison of the System Set Forth by Professor Schmid With
the Wissenschaftslehre) (GA If3: 235-271).
13. See the collection of the documents pertaining to the atheism dispute in
Appellation an das Publikum ... : Dokumente zum Atheismusstreit um Fichte, Forberg
und Niiethammer. Jena 1798/99 (Leipzig, 1991).
14. See J.G. Fichte's d. Phil. Doctors und ordentlichen Professors zu Jena
Appellation an das Publikum iiber die durch ein Kurf. Siichs. Confiscationsrescript
ihm beigemessenen atheististichen Aeuj3erungen. Eine Schrift, die man erst zu lesen
bittet, ehe man sie confiscirt (Appeal to the Public by J.G. Fichte, Doctor of
Philosophy and Professor Ordinarius, Regarding the Atheistic Pronouncements
Attributed to Him by a Confiscation Order in Electoral Saxony. A Work Which One
Asks to Read Before Confiscating It) (GA If5: 415-453).
the methodological status of theorizing in the philosophy of religion in
particular and on philosophical speculation in general.
In the course of these mainly methodological rather than doctrinal
elaborations on the alleged atheism of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte's
philosophical self-understanding gains noticeably in power of distinction
and accuracy. In fact, in these debates concerning the status and the
function of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte works out an entire
metaphilosophy of transcendental philosophy, in which the hauteur of
speculation and theferveur of concrete existence are brought together in a
consistent manner.
In this context, Fichte's controversy with Karl Leonhard Reinhold is
particularly illuminating, given that Reinhold's temporary adherence to
the early Wissenschaftslehre changes during the atheism dispute into
increasingly critical distance and soon thereafter into outright polemical
opposition to Fichte's philosophy. In his critique of Fichte, Reinhold
draws successively on the arsenals of two declared opponents of Kantian­
Fichtean transcendental philosophy, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi and
Christoph Gottfried Bardili. Fichte's continuing high regard for Jacobi
and his explicit low regard for Bardili lend to the dispute with Reinhold
during and immediately after the atheism dispute the character of a
doubly deflected reply on Fichte's part to the contemporary philosophical
opposition to the Wissenschaftslehre in Jacobi and Bardili. At the center
of Fichte's dispute with Jacobi-Reinhold stands the opposition of
speculation and life and especially the possibility or necessity of a
standpoint that mediates between speculation and life. At the core of
Fichte's dispute with Bardili-Reinhold lies the concept of thinking and
especially its relation to intuition and life. In both controversies the
prevailing arguments on Fichte's side are of a methodological and
metaphilosophical nature.
11. Et et or Reinhold's intermediate standpoint
Early in 1799, first through correspondence and later also in personal
discussions, Reinhold effectuates his rapprochement to Jacobi, who at the
time is working on his contribution to the atheism dispute, a personal
letter to Fichte that was to be published in revised form as 'Open Letter to
Fichte.'15 Reinhold's new allegiance first manifests itself in his letter to
15. See Jabobi an Fichte (Hamburg, 1799). Reprinted in GA IIII3: 224-281).
.__1
57 GOnter Zoller
PI! 10 (2000)
56
Fichte of 27 March and 6 April 1799,16 which soon thereafter is
incorporated into Reinhold's 'Open Letter to J. C. Lavater and J. G.
Fichte on the Belief in God.' 17 The close collaboration between Jacobi
and Reinhold in their disputes with Fichte can be seen from the reference
to Jacobi's open letter to Fichte in both the correspondence and published
version of Reinhold's open letter to Fichte and in the reference to
Reinhold's open letter to Lavater and Fichte in the published version of
Jacobi's letter to Fichte,18 Both Jacobi and Reinhold develop their
defense of a theistic, personal God in the context of discussing the
relation between faith or belief (Glaube) and knowledge (Wissen) in
Fichte. In his controversial essay 'On the Ground of Our Belief in a
Divine Governance of the World.' 19 Fichte had followed Kant20 and
developed a volontaristic conception of faith in which the further
questioning of theoretical grounds for beliefs of all kinds, which is always
possible, is terminated practically - through the voluntary decision to rest
with what is given through feeling as something ultimate that is not to be
questioned any further. According to Fichte, the object of the voluntary
sanction of what is affectively given is the moral order implied in moral
consciousness.
Against Fichte' s modal interpretation of faith as voluntary affinnation
of feeling and the latter's extensional restriction to the orderly nature of
the intelligible, Jacobi advances his concept of "natural faith"
(natiirlicher Glaube),21 which he had already developed under the
influence of Hume in his earlier critique of Kant's idealism and which he
16. See GA III/3: 307-320.
17. Sendschreiben an J. C. Lavater und J. G. Fichte iiber den Glauben an Gott
(Hamburg, 1799), part on Fichte: 76-113. Reprint of the preface and the part on Fichte
in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation: Der Streit um die Gestalt einer Ersten
Philosophie (1799-1807). Quellenband, ed. Walter Jaschke. Philosophisch-literarische
Streitsachen, vo!. 2.1 (Hamburg, 1993), 47-56. For the fragments of Reinhold's
personal letter to Fichte that formed the basis of the Open Letter, see GA III/3: 295­
307.
18. See GA III/3: 296 and GA III/3: 225 note (preliminary report in the printed edition
of Jacobi's letter to Fichte).
19. See GA If5: 347-357.
20. See AA 5: 143 (Critique of Practical Reason, Dialectic, Chapter Two, Section
VIII): 'Thus [... J the righteous may well say: I will that a God exists, that I exist in an
intelligible world, finally that my duration is endless." ("Also [...J darf der
Rechtschaffene wohl sagen: ich will, daB ein Gott, daB mein Dasein in einer
Verstandeswelt, endlich auch, daB meine Dauer endlos sei [... ].").
21. GA III/3: 225.
now relates specifically to the creaturely belief in a living God "outside
me" (aujJer mir) existing for itself.
22
Jacobi's reply to the undermining of
natural belief through a "new singular theism" in Fichte's moral concepts
of belief and God is met by Jacobi's reminder that transcendental
philosophy properly may be "neither theistic nor atheistic."23 Jacobi goes
on to consider (transcendental) philosophy, which is thus detheologized,
as one of the sciences (Wissenschaften) with which the human being
playfully organizes his own ignorance into a system without thereby
"approaching the cognition of the true (des Wahren) as much as by a
hair's breadth."24 The ludic comprehension of the world through
philosophy as science (transcendental philosophy or Wissenschaftslehre)
finds poignant expression in Jacobi's simile of the knit stocking in the
texture of which the movement of the needles has imbedded the world's
image without this presentation being more than a complexly turned piece
of yarn.
25
Based on his familiarity with Jacobi's critique of Fichte and against
the background of his own sympathizing with Fichte's transcendental
philosophy over several years, Reinhold attempts a mediation between
the opposed positions of Fichte and Jacobi. At the center of this search for
a position between Fichte und Jacobi stands the notion of the standpoint
(Standpunkt), which had been entered into thepost-Kantian discussion by
Jacob Sigismund Beck
26
as a means of tracing doctrinal differences back
to underlying methodological differences. The concept of the standpoint
lends expression to the dependency of specific insights on the
perspectival conditions under which they have been gained. This does not
yet imply a relativizing of such insights, for there may be well be reasons,
and good reasons at that, for assuming one rather than another standpoint.
In the introductions of his Attempt at a New Presentation of the
Wissenschaftslehre (1797-98), in The System of Ethics (1798) and in his
22. GA III/3: 251. On Jacobi's concept of belief or faith in relation to Kant and
Fichte, see my essay, "Das Element aller Gewissheit': Kanl, Jacobi und Fichte iiber
den Glauben', Fichte-Studien 14 (1998), 21-41.
23. GA III/3: 225.
24. GA III/3: 238.
25. See GA III/3: 235-237.
26. See Jakob Sigismund Beck, Erliiutemder Auszug aus den Kritischen Schriften des
Herm Pro! Kant, auf Anraten desselben. Bd. 3: Dritter Band, welcher den
Standpunkt darstellt, aus welchem die Kritische Philosophie zu beurteilen ist: Einzig
moglicher Standpunkt, aus welchem die Kritische Philosophie beurteilt werden muss
(Riga, 1793; reprint in Aetas Kantiana, Brussels, 1968).
58
PH 10 (2000)
lecture COurses on the Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo (1796-99) Fichte
had distinguished between the "standpoints" or "viewpoints" of
philosophical thinking and "common thinking" (gemeines Denken).27
From the philosophical standpoint, assertions are made about the hidden
procedures and laws of common, ordinary thinking which can neither be
fonnulated nor understood from the latter standpoint. The distinction
between ordinary thinking as such and the extraordinary, philosophical
view of the latter - incidentally carried out with clear allusion to Jacobi's
critique of Kant
28
- is designed to meet the contemporary objection that
Fichte's transcendental-idealist theory with its central thesis of the
constitution of the object in consciousness is a't odds with empirical
evidence and rendered absurd by the latter. Accordingly, a core
component of Fichte's philosophical thinking about non-philosophical
thinking is the latter's amnesia regarding its own activities of
consciousness - an amnesia by means of which that which is made or
produced by consciousness appears as given or found in consciousness.
Fichte also distinguishes the two basic views of consciousness and its
objects under the designations "standpoint of speculation" (Standpunkt
der Spekulation) and "standpoint of life and of science" (Standpunkt des
Lebens und der Wissenschaft).29 Here "speculation" is to be understood
as the specifically philosophical fonn of reflection employed in the
metatheory of all knowledge (Wissenschaftslehre), namely the
abstracting-reflecting reconstruction of the non-empirical conditions of
experience. By contrast, the grouping together of "life" and "science"
indicates the affinity of non-philosophical reflection, which occurs in the
sciences and occasionally also in non-scientific life, to "common
thinking," which is not enlightened about its Own clandestine
transcendental accomplishments.
27. See GA 1/4: 210 note, 236 note, 246, 253, 274; GA 1/5: 33f.; Wissenschaftslehre
nova methodo. Kollegnachschrift K. Chr. Fr. Krause, ed. Erich Fuchs. 2nd ed.
(Hamburg, 1995) (henceforth "WLnmK" ), 24f. The English translation of this work,
Fichte, Foundations of Transcendental Philosophy (Wissenschajtslehre) nova
methodo (1796/99), tr. and ed. Daniel Breazeale (lthaca, New York, 1992), contains
in the margins the pagination of the German edition cited above.
28. See GA 1/4: 235, 236 note: "the clearest thinker of our age" ("der hellste Denker
unsers Zeitalters") ('Second Introduction to the Wissenschaftslehre', Section 6; the
translation of this work in Introductions to the Wissenschaftslehre and Other
Writings, ed. and tr. Daniel Breazeale [lndianapolis and Cambridge, Mass., 1994J
contains the pagination of of the German edition cited above).
29. See GA 1/4: 210.
59 Gunter Z611er
Jacobi, too, resorts in his 'Open Letter to Fichte' to the discourse of
standpoints, though not for the purpose of contrasting speculation and life
but in order to distinguish his own position from that of Fichte. Jacobi
concedes that he can very well place himself in "Fichte's standpoint" and
that he then is "almost ashamed to be of different opinion."30 He critiques
Fichte's standpoint, which he understands as nihilistic radical idealism,
not because of any inconsistencies but due to the latter's limited
viewpoint, due to which there may come into view true knowledge or
"truths" (Wahrheiten) but never "the true" itself (das Wahre) ­
epistemologically speaking, the things (in) themselves, and theologically
speaking, God.
In the part of his 'Open Letter to Lavater and Fichte' addressed to
Fichte, Reinhold follows closely Jacobi's personalized rendition of the
alternative standpoints when indicating to Fichte "that I have to take my
standpoint between him (sc. Jacobi) and you (sc. Fichte)".31 Reinhold
here considers Fichte' s standpoint to be that of "philosophical
knowledge" founded purely on itself. He does not further describe the
standpoint he attributes to Jacobi. It would have to be identified as
certainty in one's belief regarding a personal God and, more generally, of
a reality that is in principle independent of our knowledge and
inaccessible to it.
Referring to Fichte's own remarks on the function of belief as the
"element of all certainty" (Element aller Gewissheit), Reinhold now
defends the dependence of knowledge as such on natural belief. Belief is
here not supposed to be produced by philosophy as the placeholder of the
latter's own ignorance - a position which Reinhold attributes to Fichte ­
but is supposed to be posited prior to all knowledge through God's
independent existence.3
2
The internal completion and terminatiL>ll of
knowledge through moral faith in Fichte is thus countered by the external
foundation of knowledge in the belief in God in Reinhold, who here
depends on Jacobi.
After having traced Jacobi's and Fichte's positions to the opposition
between the "standpoint of conscience" and the "standpoint of
speculation",33 Reinhold seeks to alleviate this opposition by correlating
the standpoints to different aspects of human existence.3
4
The human
30. GA III/3: 222.
31. GA III/3: 308.
32. See GA III/3: 309£.
33. GA III/3: 311 and 312.
34. See GA III/3: 309.
60
PH 10 (2000)
being qua philosopher pursues the systematic goal of founding
knowledge in a purely speculative manner, independent of any factors
external to knowledge. By contrast, the human being as such--including
the philosopher qua human being-lives in the immediate certainty of
some absolute reality which he does not posit but which posits him.
Thus Reinhold's standpoint between Jacobi and Fichte is supposed to
consist in the insight that their standpoints do not exclude each other but
complement each other. This third standpoint, which might be located
above rather than between the two other standpoints, is, according to
Reinhold, a specifically philosophical standpoint, insofar as it is supposed
to maintain the practical independence of belief and faith from knowledge
against the speculative usurpation of the concept of faith through
knowledge in Fichte. Reinhold explicitly declares the role of the
intermediate standpoint in securing natural belief to be "the business of
the properly practical, not merely scientific philosophy",35 It is this
notion of a practical, applied philosophy that provokes Fichte's critical
reaction to Reinhold's attempt at mediation between Jacobi and Fichte.
Ill. Tertium non datur Or Fichte's critique of Reinhold's
doctrine of the intermediate standpoint
In his response of 22 April 1799 to Reinhold's 'Open Letter', which in
part is also contained in Fichte's written response to Jacobi's letter to
Fichte of 3 through 21 March 1799, Fichte declares with regard to
Reinhold's "present turn" that there is "no standpoint of philosophizing
between Jacobi's and mine".36 Fichte does not deny that one can alternate
between the standpoints of speculation and faith. The philosopher's
existence outright consists in the controlled transition back and forth
between the speculative standpoint and the general, "common"
standpoint. But Fichte denies that there could be a genuinely
philosophical standpoint in addition to these two standpoints. The
transition between the two standpoints is not a third standpoint of
transition.
But Fichte's critique concerns not only the alleged completion of the
alternative standpoints through a philosophical intermediary standpoint.
Drawing on an earlier philosophical portrait of his philosopher colleague,
35. GA illJ3: 309
36. GA illJ3: 326 and 327 (Fichte's emphasis).
Gunter Z611er 61
which he had given in private correspondence,3? Fichte diagnoses in
Reinhold's attempt at a "practical, not merely scientific philosophy" a
conception of philosophy that is incompatible with the
Wissenschaftslehre. According to Fichte, Reinhold shows here "a
practical warmth in philosophizing," which still stems form his earlier,
pre-Kantian phase, due to which he also originally came to Kantian
philosophy, from which he had expected himself "some practical
success",38
Fichte's philosophical portrait of Reinhold stresses the latter's ethos of
enlightenment:
You have always nourished the hope, and still do so, to better the
human beings through philosophy and to convert them, to instruct
them about their duties in this life and their hopes in the other.
39
For Fichte, Reinhold's recent turn against Fichte is due to the insight that
Kantian-Fichtean idealism, far from supporting the practical tendency of
philosophy sought by Reinhold, works against this very tendency in an
outright scandalous manner.
Fichte then contrasts Reinhold's conception of a practical, application­
oriented philosophy with his own, specifically speculative understanding
of philosophy in the Wissenschaftslehre, according to which speculative
knowledge is its own end and not suitable to practical application.
Drawing on Jacobi's terminology, Fichte calls the real that is opposed to
knowledge - the latter being always ideal - "life." In sharp contrast to the
formative influence of (philosophical knowledge) on life defended by
Reinhold, Fichte insists on the sober insight:
Only that which comes from life is capable of forming life.
40
37. See GA III/2: 342-352, esp. 343 (No. 294; letter of 2 July 1795).
38 GA illJ3: 327.
39. Ibid. On Reinhold's roots in the German Enlightenment, see Sabine Rohr, A
Primer on German Enlightenment: With a Translation of Karl Leonhard Reinhold:s
"The Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Ethics" (Columbia, Missouri, 1995).
40. Ibid. On Fichte's concept of life, see Wolfgang Schrader, Empirisches 1I1ld
absolutes Jch. Zur Geschichte des Begrijfs Leben in der Philosophie J. G. Fichtes
(Stuttgart 1972) and id., 'Philosophie als System-Reinhold und Fichte', in
Erneuerung der Transzendentalphilosophie im Anschlufi an Kant und Fichte, ed.
KJaus Hammacher and Albert Mues (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1972), 331-344.
62
PI; 10 (2000)
In relation to self-forming life, knowledge qua speculation is a mere
"image" (BUd).
Yet in spite of the strict separation between speculation and life,
Fichte maintains, and even stresses, the "practical use" of the fonner for
the latter. Indeed in Fichte's comprehensive conception of philosophy the
possible effect of the Wissenschaftslehre on the leading of one's life
provides the very goal of philosophical activity.41 But it is not philosophy
as such (as speculative science) and immediately (as doctrine) that enters
into life. Rather philosophy is of use to life by way of the instruction to
independent thinking - and this negatively in the critique of dogmatic,
unfree thinking and positively or "pedagogically, in the widest sense,"
through the exemplary presentation of the right "manner of thinking"
(Denkart).42 The chief example of Fichte's commonly useful philosophy
is The Vocation of Man, chiefly that work's Third Book.
4
3
For Fichte, Reinhold's conception of philosophy as immediately
practical is not a unique aberration but exemplifies "the prejudice that is
deeply rooted in all philosophy hitherto according to which one takes
philosophy to be life wisdom (Lebensweisheit)."44 Put into the language
of standpoints or viewpoints, this universal misunderstanding of
philosophy consists in ignoring the distinction between the
"philosophical" and the "common" view of things. Insights that are
gained from the standpoint of philosophy are treated as though they
belonged into the ordinary context of life, as though they were life
wisdom. In Fichte's Sun-Clear Report to the Larger Public on the Proper
Essence of the Newest Philosophy, which is roughly contemporaneous
with the controversy with Reinhold, Fichte uses the tenn "popular,
edifying life philosophy" or short "life philosophy" (Lebensphilosophie)
for the philosophy that is reduced to life wisdom.
45
41. On Fichte's comprehensive conception of philosophy, see Reinhard Lauth, 'J. G.
Fichtes Gesamtidee der Philosophie', in id., Zur Idee der Transzendentalphilosophie
(Miinchen and SalZburg, 1965), 73-123.
42. GA llI/3: 327 and GA lIJ5: 194 (fragment "Fichte an Jacobi").
43. See GA llI/4: 283 (letter to Fr. Schlegel): "I believe to have presented the mode of
thinking which a fully executed philosophy produces for life in the Third Book of The
Vocation of Man." ("Die Denkart, die eine durchgefiihrte Philosophie fiir das Leben
erzeuge, glaube ich im 3ten Buche der Bestimmung des Menschen dargestellt zu
haben.").
44. GA llI/3: 325.
45. GA IJ7: 261 and 256.
63 Gunter Z611er
But the traditional curtailing of philosophy to life wisdom or life
philosophy, which Fichte diagnoses in Reinhold, is not only responsible
for the misunderstandings of the Wissenschaftslehre among philosophers
such as Reinhold and Jacobi. According to Fichte, the atheistic
misinterpretation of his doctrine by a larger public is also governed by a
conception of philosophy that unreflectively locates philosophical
theorizing about religion at the level of religious practice itself. In his
unpublished comprehensive final statement on the atheism dispute under
the title Recollections, Answers, Questions,46 which dates from the same
time as the written and published response to Reinhold, Fichte identifies
Christianity with "wisdom for life or popular philosophy," from which he
then distinguishes philosophy qua Wissenschaftslehre as the "theory of
the life wisdom" - in contradistinction to life wisdom itself.
47
Fichte does
not deny the significance of life wisdom or Christianity. Rather he
defends the independence and autonomy of strict, scientific philosophy
against the traditional assimilation of all philosophizing to the striving
after life wisdom in popular philosophy. From a methodological point of
view, the atheism dispute arises from the systematic disregard for the
distinction between life as such and the wisdom pertaining to it (life
wisdom or Christianity), on the one hand, and the theoretical account
thereof in speculative philosophy (Wissenschaftslehre), on the other hand.
Yet in spite of the systematic distance from life and the wisdom
pertaining to it, which Fichte imposes on scientific philosophy or
Wissenschaftslehre, he still insists on the significance of life as the
"basis" (Basis) of his philosophy.48 Fichte illustrates the difference
between his own, scientific philosophy and the opposed, popular one by
comparing the relation between cognition and life in each of the two
types of philosophy. For this purpose, he includes under the title "actual
life" (wirkliches Leben) the power of desire (Begehrungsvermogen), the
feelings (Gefuhle) and acting (Handeln) and contrasts those to the "mere
cognition going after an object" (blosse, auf ein Object gehende, [...]
ErkenntnijJ). With its conception of an immediate application of
46. Antworten, Fragen. This work was written between March and
April 1799 but remained unpublished during Fichte's lifetime and was first published,
in a heavily edited form, by Fichte's son: Johann Gottlieb Fichte's siimmtliche Werke.
ilill
ed. Immanuel Hermann Fichte, 8 vols (Berlin, 1845/46), 5: 334-373. Reprint in
Fichtes Werke, 11 vols (Berlin, 1971), 5: 334-373. The original text (along with the
I[
son's edited version) was first published in GA lIJ5: 103-186.
II'I[
47. GA lIJ5: 132 (my emphasis). I
48. GA IIJ5: 137.
I
I
II I
11
IIII
64
PIi 10 (2000)
philosophical cogmtlon to life, popular philosophy turns (theoretical)
cognition into something primary and original, while treating life
(willing, feeling, acting) as something dependent on the former. Hence in
popular philosophy cognition is the "principle of life" (Princip des
Lebens). On the popular-philosophical view, as reconstructed by Fichte,
freely generated cognitions are supposed to "be able to affect the faculty
of desire, bring about feelings and determine the human acting."49 Thus
the practical, application-oriented methodology of popular philosophy
goes together with a decided primacy of theoretical cognition over life.
By contrast, on Fichte's conception of philosophy, cognition is
dependent on life:
Our philosophy makes [00'] life, the system of feelings, of desiring
into what is highest and leaves cognition everywhere only the
observing. 50
Hence in Fichte the speculative distance of scientific philosophy from life
is intimately tied to the primacy of life over cognition. Contrary to the
initial appearances, it is not the popular philosophy but the speculative
and scientific one that does justice to the independence of life and
specifically to the original independence of the practical from the
theoretical. In his methodological portrayal of Reinhold's philosophical
outlook Fichte uncovers an element of anti-Enlightenment in the popular
philosophy of the German late Enlightenment, its attitude of tutelage and
indoctrination of life through (theoretical) cognition and (theoretical)
thinking.
Yet Fichte' s conception of cognition as grounded in life is not
exhausted by the reversal of the relationship of dependence between
thinking and living maintained in popular philosophy. For in Fichte
thinking and cognition are by no means limited to the mediate, reflective
thinking about life but are to found in life itself and as such, as immediate
cognition. For Fichte, who here follows Kant,51 life is not a specifically
biological notion but indicates the activity structure of consciousness as
such. Life for Fichte is primarily the life of spirit or mind. Accordingly,
Fichte can ascribe to life its own, pre-reflective cognition, which is
grounded in the "system of feelings", from which it follows immediately
49. Ibid.
50. Ibid.
51. On Kant's non-biological concept of life, see my essay, "Makkreel on Imagination
and Interpretation in Kant," Philosophy Today 36 (1992),266-275, esp.. 27 If..
65 GOnter Zoller
and without reasoning. Philosophical thinking has to follow this original,
lived cognition.
52
Due to the presence of thinking and cognition both in reflective,
philosophical thinking about life as well as in pre-reflective, immediate
cognition in and through life, Fichte can maintain a far more intimate
relation between philosophy and life than could be expected form an
external relation of scientific cognition (philosophy) to its object (life).
Fichte's crucial reflections on the double presence of thinking and
cognition, objectively in life and subjectively in philosophy, are to be
found in a text entitled 'Fragment' that forms part of the larger work,
Recollections, Answers, Questions, and which had been appended to his
letter to Reinhold of 22 April 1799.
53
In the 'Fragment' Fichte begins by contrasting life and speculation as
"totality" (Totalitiit) of objective and subjective "knowledge" (Wissen),
respectively, and goes on to determine their relation to each other as that
of mutual presupposition. Fichte links the necessary mutual
supplementation of speculation and life with the conception of dual unity
which, under the title "original duplicity" (ursprungliche Duplicitiit), had
already stood in the center of his three lecture courses on the
Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo (1796-99). The term refers to the
internally complex, more precisely, duplex basic structure of
consciousness that underlies the latter's overt articulation along the
oppositional lines of the subjective and the objectives, the ideal and the
real, doing and being.
54
In the first and only chapter of the Attempt at a
New Presentation of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte had discussed this
original state of affairs also under the designation "subject-object"
(Subjekt-Objekt).55 The original doubling pervades the entire life of
consciousness in a recursive manner: in each case, two moments stand in
52. See GA II/5: 138.
53. Since the version of the 'Fragment' included wilh Fichte's letter 10 Reinhold has
survived only in Ihe edition of Fichle's'son (GA 1II13: 300-333; No. 440) and since
the first edition of Recollections, Answers, Questions was heavily edited by Fichte's
son (see note 47), it seems wise to cite and quote the 'Fragment' from the manuscript
version in GA II/5: I I1ff.
54. See WLnmK 184f., 189, 21lff., 222, 227, 234.
55. See GA 1/4: 277.
66
PIi 10 (2000)
opposition to each other, yet also refer to each other, such that one of
them cannot be what it is without the other being what it is.
56
For Fichte, the opposition of speculation and life represents the
original duplicity of the subject-object "at its highest level".57 For in this
instance, the opposed moments or members are the farthest removed from
each other and still connected to each other through their relationship of
mutual completion. In identifying both sides of the opposition,
speculation as well as life, as "knowledge", Fichte indicates that each of
the sides is itself structured in a twofold way. Drawing on Hegel's
roughly contemporaneous terminology, one could consider life the
objective sUbject-object and speculation the subjective subject-object.
58
The mutual requirement of speculation and life maintained by Fichte
would have to consist in the dependence of speculation on life together
with the reverse dependence of life on speculation. Of these two, the
necessity of life for speculation is immediately evident. Life is the object
of speculation, even if the latter removes itself from life through
reflection: "Speculation [is] not [possible] without the life from which it
abstracts."59 It proves far more difficult to establish that speculation is
necessary for life. In order to achieve this goal, Fichte has to trace back
the explicit speculation that is opposed to life to its implicit prefiguration
in life. It is not speculation qua free reflection on life that pertains to life
itself but only that generic, pre-reflective moment of consciousness which
underlies all life qua life of consciousness.
More precisely, the original subjective-objective double structure of
life consists in the cooperation between life's objective side, the proper
procedure of life ("mechanism"), and its subjective side, the free giving
oneself up to this procedure or process-Fichte's chosen term is sich
hingeben. To be sure, the latter OCcurs for the most part implicitly and
without clear awareness of it:
56. On the fundamental systematic significance of the original duplicity of the human
mind in Fichte, see my work, Fichte's Transcendental Philosophy: The Original
Duplicity ofIntelligence and Will (Cambridge, 1998).
57. GA W5: 182.
58. See Differenz der Fichte'schen und Schelling'schen Systems der Philosophie, in
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Werke in zwanzig Bdnden, ed. Eva Moldenhauer und
Karl Markus Michel (Frankfurt/M., 1970),2: 7-138, esp.. 50, 63ff., 99ff.; Hegel, The
Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy, tr. H. S. Harris
and Waiter Cerf (Albany, New York, 1977), 117, 128ff., 159ff,
59. GA W5: 182.
GOnter Z611er 67
Life, as giving oneself up to the mechanism, [is] not [possible]
without the freedom that gives itself up, even if the latter were not
to come to (actual) consciousness.
60
The pre-conscious but free giving oneself up to the mechanism of life
here has the function of a preformation within life of any subsequent
speculation about life. It is in this sense that Fichte's son, Immanuel
Hermann Fichte, in his edition of the 'Fragment' as part of Recollections,
Answers, Questions as well as in his edition of his father's
correspondence, supplements the expression "freedom" in the quotation
just given through the parenthetical remark "elsewhere speculation"
(sonst Spekulation).61
Fichte's reflections on the original duplicity of speculation and life in
the 'Fragment' from Recollections, Answers, Questions sent to Reinhold
provide a fundamental critique of Reinhold's understanding of
philosophy. They are also immediately relevant for Fichte's judgment of
Reinhold's efforts toward a philosophical standpoint in addition to
Fichte's standpoint of speculation and Jacobi's standpoint of life. For
Fichte, speculation and life may presuppose each other and thereby be
clandestinely implied in each other, but the two cannot properly be
united, if that means the elimination of their opposition to each other, as
intended in Reinhold's efforts at systematic and personal conciliation.
In the 'Fragment' communicated to Reinhold Fichte explicitly rejects
the latter's claimed intermediary standpoint by characterizing the relation
between speculation and life as an "antithesis." Their unification in a
III
I,
third philosophical standpoint, so Fichte, is as impossible as it is to
specify the unknown unitary ground behind and beneath the pervasive
:111':
dual subject-object structure of consciousness.
62
In the original
manuscript version of Recollections, Answers, Questions the passage
III
corresponding to the 'Fragment' sent to Reinhold even mentions 1I I ,
Reinhold's name parenthetically ("such as Reinhold seems to be looking
1'1
for").63 To be sure, in the 'Fragment' as well as
Answers, Questions Fichte also concedes a minimal
in Recollections,
sense in which a
1I
,1
possible unification of the two standpoints could be maintained. But this
would not be a genuine, third standpoint between those of Fichte
60. Ibid. According to a note in the J. G. Fichte-Gesamtausgabe, the parenthetical
abbreviation might also read "end!." (for "endlich", meaning "finite").
61. See GAW5: 182 (lower half of the page) and GA IIIJ3: 333.
62. See GA W5: 182 and GA III/3: 333.
63. GA II/5: 182.
68
PH 10 (2000)
(speculation) and Jacobi (life) but the philosophical consciousness of
those two standpoints as such and of their mutual exclusion and
requirement in "the mere consciousness of the actual philosophizing that
there is the possibility of those two standpoints and hence that they
exist."64
IV. Non plus ultra or Fichte pn Reinhold on Bardili
The methodological difference between transcendental or speculative and
popular or common thinking also forms the center of Fichte's critical
reaction to Reinhold' s adoption of Christoph Gottfried Bardilis Outline of
First Logic
65
for his continued metacritique of Fichte.66 In early 1800
Reinhold lets Fichte know in private correspondence that he views
Bardili's theory of thinking as such ("thinking as thinking"; Denken als
Denken) as an alternative formulation of the Kantian-Fichtean position in
general and of Fichte' s system of positing in the Foundation of the Entire
Wissenschaftslehre in particular.
67
For Reinhold, Bardili's orientation of
the conception of thinking toward logic serves to replace what he
perceives to be the psychological notion of thinking in transcendental
philosophy, especially the latter's egological variant in Fichte's doctrine
of the positing, oppositing and compositing 1.
While for Reinhold Bardili offers a logified and depsychologized
transcendental idealism, Fichte views Bardili as a dogmatist who has
fallen back into a pre-Kantian position and who "should not be in the first
place."68 But first Fichte does not make any public pronouncements
64. GA ill5: 182.
65. Grundrij3 der ersten Logik (Stuttgart 1800; reprint in Aetas Kantiana, Brussels,
1970).
66. On Bardili's logical and rational realism and its reception in Reinhold, see
Wolfgang H. Schrader, 'c.L. Reinholds 'Systemwechsel' von der Wissenschaftslehre
zum rationalen Realismus Bardilis in der Auseinandersetzung mit J.G. Fichte', in
Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation: Der Steit um die Gestalt einer Ersten
Philosophie (1799-1807), ed. Waiter Jaschke. Philosophisch-literarische Streitsachen,
vol. 2 (Hamburg, 1993), 85-104, and Martin Bondeli, Das Anfangsproblem bei Karl
Leonhard Rein/wld. Eine systematische und entwicklungsgeschichtliche
Untersuchung zur Philosophie Reinholds in der Zeit von 1789 bis 1803 (Frankfurt/M.,
1995),261-414.
67. See GA IW4: 199 (Reinhold's letter to Fichte of 23 January 1800).
68. See GA IW4: 271-273, esp. 272 (Fichte's letter to Jacobi of 4 July 1800) and GA
IW4: 311 (draft of Fichte's letter to Reinhold of 18 September 1800). Fichte's
Gunter Ztiller 69
about Bardili's work, which had been recommended to him in the highest
terms by Reinhold.
69
Only after Reinhold publishes his transcendental­
idealist interpretation of Bardili in a favorable review of the work, does
Fichte publish his own decidedly negative view of Bardili in a review that
appears in the Litteratur-Zeitung Erlangen in October 1800'?0
Right at the start of his Bardili review Fichte refers to the
incorporation of the work into the search for a "standpoint between the
Fichtean and Jacobian philosophy (which latter is notoriously an
obstinate dogmatism)",?l He reports on the allegation that the
"intermediary standpoint" sought "by fearsome [... ] minds" in order to
balance the systematic extreme of idealism, and which is supposed to
consist in an orientation toward "pure objective being" (reines objektives
Seyn), has been found in Bardili. But rather than detecting expansion and
completion of the system of transcendental idealism in Bardili's work,
Fichte finds, "that the present book is, from its most noticeable side, a
recasting of the late Reinholdian Elementary Philosophy."72
This devastating judgment not only contradicts the compatibility of
Bardili's position with Fichte's idealism publiCly defended by Reinhold
but goes further in diagnosing in Reinhold's philosophical identification
with Bardili an outright regression to Reinhold's own earlier standpoint,
which he had allegedly left behind over the encounter with Fichte's
Wissenschaftslehre. Accordingly Fichte revives his earlier criticism of
vehement reaction to Bardili's work and to its immediate absorption by Reinhold
were also influenced by the fact that the Outline of the First Logic is dedicated to
Friedrich Nicolai, the leading public and publishing representative of the opposition to
Kantian and post-Kantian transcendental philosophy on the part of popular
philosophy. See also Fichte's polemical piece, edited by A. W. Schlegel, Friedrich
Nicolai's Leben und sonderbare Meinungen. Ein Beitrag zur LitteraturGeschichte des
vergangenen und zur Piidagogik des angehenden Jahrhunderts (Friedrich Nicolai's
Life and Particular Opinions. A Contribution to the Literary History of the Previous
and the Pedagogy of the Beginning Century), from 180 I (GA I/7: 365-463).
69. For Fichte's responses in private correspondence with Reinhold after reading
Bardili's work, see GA IW4: 271-273 (4 July 1800), 311-314 (18 September 1800)
and 356-358 (15 November 1800).
70. GA I/6: 433-450; reprinted in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation,
()uellenband, 115-123. See also Fichte's notes "Zu Bardilis Grundriss der ersten
I.ogik" (On Bardilis Outline of the First Logic) in GA ill5: 243-318.
71. GA I/6: 434; Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 115.
/2. GA I/6: 434f.; Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 115f.;
,-cc also GA IW4: 358: "Iieber Reinhold, Bardili's Logik ist Thre
I '.lcrnentarPhilosophie" (Dear Reinhold, Bardili's Logic is your Elementary
I'hilosophy.).
L
70 PIi 10 (2000)
Reinhold's Elementary Philosophy and characterizes Bardili's system as
"an inventory of facts (Thatsachen) of common consciousness, together
with some transcendent assertions, a philosophy of common or sound
understanding [...]. No trace of the transcendental, of elevation above
common consciousness."73
For Fichte, the operation of philosophical reflection on the standpoint
of common consciousness in Reinhold and Bardili results in an
inadequate concept of thinking and in a basic misunderstanding of
Fichte's specifically speculative conception of thinking. Bardili conrastst
"pure thinking" (reines Denken) with the latter's subsequent, additional
application to something real that is independent of thinking and through
which an object of thinking is first supposed to arise. Pure thinking in
Bardili is the infinite repeatability of what is posited under the formula
"A=A". Fichte concedes the significance of identical positing for the
formal concept of thinking in logic - even referring to the pertinent
passages in the opening sections of his own work, Foundation of the
Entire Wissenschaftslehre. But he denies the sufficiency of Bardili's pure
thinking for the transcendental thinking that originally refers to objects
and that moreover is in this original objective reference self-referential.
In radical departure from Reinhold's assessment, Fichte then locates
Bardili's pure thinking not above Fichte's pure I but below it - as
legitimate but one-sided, merely formal view of the activity of reason.
The abstraction from the 1's basic form involved in formal, "pure"
thinking yields a derivative conception of thinking that remains at the
level of what is factually given ("facts") in consciousness and thus
corresponds exactly to the popular philosophical orientation of Reinhold
as well as Bardili. By contrast, the conception of thinking to be found in
transcendental philosophy concerns not given empirical facts but the
generic, pre- or proto-conscious activity of reason as such that is
reconstructed in speculative reflection and of which thinking, and a
fortiori Bardili's (and now Reinhold's) "pure thinking," is but one of
several possible specific actualizations. Fichte explains,
that pure thinking does not at all stand above the I, that the latter
signifies - to express myself this way - the intelligizing kat' exochen,
of which thinking, intuiting, willing, etc. are only subspecies, which
are not posited absolutely but must be derived from the former,74
73 GA 1/6: 436; Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 116.
74. GA 1/6: 447; Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 122.
71 Gunter Zoller
Moreover, according to Fichte, Reinhold's and Bardili's exclusion of the
1's basic form from the popular philosophical conception of thinking also
leaves unexplained and unexplainable the self-referential structure of
thinking, due to which thinking is more than a manifold of discrete
identical positings. The coherence of multiple, in principle infinitely
many acts of thinking and hence the unity of consciousness is provided
only by the "reflection on the being posited" (Reflexion auf das
Gesetztseyn),75 which accompanies the positing and being posited and
first renders the latter complete. Fichte considers the unitary-apperceptive
structure of consciousness to be an integral part already of the possible
use of the copula in identical positing ("A is A"). In Fichte's publications
on the Wissenschaftslehre from the Jena period this constitutive self­
referentiality of consciousness under the form of self-consciousness is
introduced under the formula of "positing oneself as positing" (sich
setzen als setzend),76 Starting with the writings and lectures on the "new
presentation" of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte addresses this state of
affairs by resorting to the phrase "for oneself' (fUr sich).77
Fichte also attributes to the one-sided, reduced concept of thinking in
the popular philosophy of Reinhold and Bardili their uncritical
assumption of an externally given matter (Stoff) on which thinking is
supposed to find its application. The external completion of pure, formal
thinking by contents that are provided in an intuition which as such
remains external to thinking has to be rectified by the insight that thinking
and intuiting do not meet subsequently but that "everything is throughout
inseparable and one, the one indivisible intelligence itself."78
Reinhold's reply to Fichte's critique of his appropriation of Bardili for
the search after an ideal-realist intermediary standpoint is contained in a
second open letter to Fichte, this one entitled Open Letter to Professor
Fichte on the Second Review of Bardili's Outline and dated 23 April
75 GA 1/6: 447; Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 121.
/('. See GA 1/2: 409 (Foundation of the Entire Wissenschaftslehre, Part Three) and
(;A I/4: 276 (Attempt at a New Presentation of the Wissenschaftslehre, Chapter 1,
Section IT). On Fichte's doctrine of positing in general and of predicative positing in
1""licular, see my essay, "Setzen und Bestimmen in Fichtes Grundlage der
!:",\"ummten Wissenschaftslehre," in Der Grundansatz der ersten Wissenschaftslehre
!""mm Gottlieb Fichtes, ed. Erich Fuchs and Ives Radrizzani (MiinchenlNeuried,
It)t)()),178-192.
// Sce GA 1/4: 273; WLnmK 54, 88 and 94.
III (;A 1/6: 448; Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 122.
72
PIi 10 (2000)
1800.7
9
Reinhold's replic employs the argumentative strategy of tu
quoque. He now declares that the "third standpoint" previously sought by
him to have been none other than the one "on which you [sc. Fichte]
placed yourself subsequently, namely in the Third Book of your work The
Vocation of Man."80 Reinhold here refers to Fichte's reflections on
practical certainty regarding the moral order under the latter's divine
creator and guarantor in the concluding section, titled "faith" (Glaube) of
that work, which had appeared in 1800.
Without further ado, Reinhold identifies the standpoint of faith in The
Vocation of Man with Fichte's own advanced philosophical position.
Reinhold even goes so far as to outright deny that the passages in The
Vocation of Man which he has in mind could be "mere condescension to
the popular manner of thinking". 81 However, this reading of Reinhold' s is
rendered more than dubious by the circumstance that The Vocation of
Man consists in a dialectical series of standpoints strategically arranged
by the author and that the concluding standpoint of faith is the
temporarily lost and then deliberatively reacquired, reassumed or
regained natural standpoint of moral certainty, which has to be
distinguished carefully from Fichte own philosophical standpoint of
speculation regarding the grounds and forms of the natural standpoint.
Completely ignoring that crucial distinction, Reinhold misunderstands
Fichte's philosophical reconstruction or deduction of the natural
standpoint of faith in The Vocation of Man as Fichte's own, finally
achieved intermediary philosophical standpoint.
While assigning Fichte's doctrine of faith in The Vocation of Man to
the standpoint between Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre and Jacobi's
philosophy of faith, Reinhold himself is no longer content with assuming
this previously sought-after standpoint. Rather than continuing to pursue
a conciliatory stand between Fichte's scientific idealism and Jacobi's
fideist realism and to interpret Bardili's position as the missing third
standpoint, Reinhold now declares to "have to leave behind for good [any
such intermediate standpoint], after I have learned to thinkfram Bardili's
(sc. standpoint) that pure being which is neither something subjective nor
something objective."82
79. Sendschreiben an den Herrn Professor Fichte iiber die zweite Rezension von
Bardilis Grundrifi (GA IW4: 372-398; reprint of the open letter without the enclosure
in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 126-134).
80. GA IW4: 378.
81. GA IW4: 379.
82. GA IW4: 382.
GCmter Z611er 73
Reinhold's definitive abandonment of idealism in favor of a Bardilism
which he now interprets realistically soon leads him to further polemical
attacks on Fichte's position as well as person, to whom the latter responds
first only selectively and finally not at all. For instance, in his work, Ideas
for a Heautogony or Natural History of I-hood Called Pure Reason
(1801),83 Reinhold repeats the charge of formalism and subjectivism
against transcendental philosophy, with which he now associates not only
Fichte but also Schelling after the latter's System of Transcendental
Idealism had appeared in the previous year. The non-distinction between
the individual or natural standpoint and the generic or speculative
standpoint, which is symptomatic of Reinhold's underlying notion of
popular philosophy, even leads him to an explicit "identification of the
pure I with the philosophizing I" and specifically with the "individual I of
Messrs. Fichte and Schelling."84 In particular, Reinhold critiques the one­
sided subjective conception of thinking in Fichte and Schelling and their
resulting desperate recourse to intellectual intuition to assure themselves
of some non-subjective reality. Reinhold responds to the final resort to
intellectual intuition in Fichte and Schelling by insisting that even the I
qua subject-object, including the latter's alleged reality in and as
intellectual intuition, is "entirely sensory (sinnlich)" and hence subject to
the charge of private individuality.8S
In his response to Reinhold's second open letter, entitled 'J.G.
Fichte's Answer to Professor Reinhold to the Latter's ... Open Letter to
the Former', 86 which appears in the same year, Fichte once again traces
83. Ideen zu einer Heautogonie oder natiirlichen Geschichte der reinen Ichheit,
genannt, reine, Vernunft. In Beytriige zur leichtern Ubersicht des Zustandes der
Philosophie beym Anfange des 19. Jahrhunderts, ed. C. L. Reinhold. Fasc. I
(Hamburg, 1801), 113-134. Reprinted in Transzendentalphilosophie wld Spekulation,
Quellenband, 137-144.
84. Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 140 and 141.
85. See ibid., 141.
86. J. G. Fichte's Antwortschreiben an Herrn Professor Reinhold auf dessen
Sendschreiben an den erstern (Tiibingen, 1801); GA [17: 289-324; reprinted in
Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 148-167. After writing the
Answer Fichte saw a further polemical attack by Reinhold on transcendental
philosophy, the essay, 'Der Geist des Zeitalters als Geist der Filosofie' (The Spirit of
Ihe Age as Spirit of Philosophy) in the Neuer Teutscher Merkur of March 1801 (167­
I 'U). Fichte said of the latter piece that he found it to be "by far sillier than it is
11Ialicious" (bei weitem diimmer, als er [se. der Beitrag] boshaft ist) (letter to
';"hclling of 31 May 1801; GA IW5: No. 605). Fichte responded by writing a
74
PIi 10 (2000)
Reinhold's individual-psychological misunderstanding of the
Wissenschaftslehre to Reinhold' s rootedness in popular philosophy.87 Yet
Fichte adds to his renewed discussion of the relation between philosophy
and life several new thoughts which already belong into the wider context
of the further development of the Wissenschaftslehre. For instance, Fichte
now understands life no longer, or no longer primarily, from its
opposition to philosophical thinking. Rather he introduces a doubling into
the concept of life itself, maintaining that this distinction is rendered by
thinking but not produced or made by it. There is now, on the one hand,
the "original, purely rational life," which cannot be known or grasped as
such by means of philosophical reflection; this is the life of reason as
such that has to be thought, negatively and minimally, as "absolute
identity of subjectivity and objectivity"88 and of which one can at most
become aware through "intellectual intuition." And then there is, on the
other hand, the empirical and knowable life, which Fichte also calls "time
life" (Zeit-Leben), and which arises from the "analysis" or temporal
~ dissolution of the original life that is in itself timeless. To be sure, the
~
ff'
:1·
doctrine of the temporal finitization of the noumenal or intelligible to the
t ~
phenomenal or sensible belongs already to the core of the lecture Courses
on the Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo. 89 But now Fichte goes even
beyond the views of his later Jena years by insisting on the (comparative)
passivity and receptivity of "time life" and by stressing that "the human
being [... ] absolutely cannot truly bring into life (erleben) and produce
alive anything, only the original pure rational life [can] represent
[darsteUen] itself [...] in time."90 The demotion of human reason from
actor to stage is entirely in line with the emerging key conception of the
'Spottgedicht auf Reinholds Bardilismus' (Satirical Poem on Reinhold's Bardilism),
which he did not publish (GA W6: IS).
87. See GA I/7: 296; Trullszelldentalphilosophie und Spekulation, Quellenband, 152:
'The systematic reflection on this common cognition is psychology proper, and hence
the Wissenschaftslehre must become for them a psychological science [... ]." ("Die
systematisehe Reflexion auf dieses gemeine Erkennen ist eigentlich Psychologie; und
die Wissenschaftslehre muB Ihnen sonach eine psychologische Wissenschaft werden
[... ]").
88. GA I/7: 300 and 294; Transzelldelltalphilosophie wzd Spekulation, Quellenband,
154 and ISO.
89. See WLnmK 135ff.
90. GA I/7: 300; Trunszendentalphilosophie ulld Spekulation, Quellenband, 154.
75 Gunter Z611er
later Wissenschaftslehre according to which knowing and willing are the
'I-ly' modes or forms for the appearance of the absolute.
91
Fichte goes on to contrast his own, enlarged, more precisely doubled
conception of life (infinite and finite life) with Reinhold's idea of the
instructing and bettering influence of thinking on life, noting that in
Reinhold there still remains from the latter's "very first period a piece of
popular philosophy".92 The elevation above life by means of thinking,
which Reinhold considers possible and is actually seeking through
popular philosophy is, in Fichte's view, entirely illusory, since life cannot
be subject to any example or image external to it but always only images
itself. Philosophy is reduced to observing (speculation). To be sure, this
does not exclude the perfectibility of life. But the latter cannot be brought
to life from without, in the manner of popular philosophy, but must
originate in life itself. 93
In the metaphilosophical debate about natural, popular and scientific,
speculative thinking between Fichte and Reinhold a dramatic, unexpected
reversal of positions has taken place. It is the representative of the
Wissenschaftslehre who cognizes and recognizes the independent and
self-forming character of life, while the representative of popular
philosophy insists on the external shaping of life through the application
91. On the decentralization of the I in the later Wissenschaftslehre, see my essays,
'Denken und Wollen beim spaten Fichte', in Fichte-Studien (in preparation), and
'Einheit und Differenz von Fichtes Theorie des Wollens,' Philosophisches Jahrbuch
106 (1999), 430-440.
92. GA I/7: 300; Transzelldentalphilosophie ulld Spekulation, Quellenband, 154.
93. Reinhold's duplic to Fichte's replic to Reinhold does not represent a further
advance in the substance of their controversy - and was never answered by Fichte. See
Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Ober das Fichtesche Alltwortschreiben auf mein
Selldschreiben (On Fichte's Answer to my Open Letter). In Beytriige ... , fasc. 3
(Hamburg, 1802), 185-209; reprinted in Transzelldelltalphilosophie !/lzd Spekulatioll,
Quellenband, 173-181. Among Fichte's literary remains there are further critical
reflections on Reinhold's Bardilism, which date from April and May 1801. In those
reflections Fichte distinguishes between (I) the unreflected immersion into an object
("contemplation"), (2) the explicit, voluntary and free return to some prior
contemplation ("reflection") and (3) the implicit, presupposed and involuntary
reflection in the form of intellectual intuition ("reflex"). This tripartite division is
designed to meet Reinhold's charge that the reflective moments of conscious life
always depend on "arbitrary choice" (Willkiir) and on the individuality of the
philosopher. In contrast to Reinhold's simplistic view of things, Fichte explicitly
attributes the character of a reflex - and of a reflection of sorts - to life itself and as
such ('Nachschrift an Reinhold' [Postscript to Reinhold], in GA W5: 457-473, bes.
469-470).
76 PIi 10 (2000)
of pure life-less thinking. In the dialectic of enlightenment the appeal to
life in popular philosophy regresses into the quackery of the prescriptions
misused as medicine, while the sustained distance from life in
transcendental philosophy takes on the traits of a speculative
macrobiotics.
Pli10 (2000), 77-95.
Identity and Original Duplicity in Fichte's Jena
Wissenschaftslehre and Schelling's Jena
Naturphilosophie
CHRISTOPHER GROVES
The putting into question of the authority of consciousness is first
and always differential. 1
Introduction
The theme of epistemological antifoundationalism has come to be central
to much recent Continental and Anglo-American philosophy. Following
research conducted by scholars into the treatment of the notion of the
Absolute by the German Idealist and Romantic schools of philosophy and
literary criticism/ it is also increasingly accepted that the question of the
viability of antifoundationalism became pivotal for philosophy's image of
I References are given to the German original first, and then to the English
II;Hlslation, if available. Where no Ebglish translation is available, English renderings
"' Ihe text are my own.
I .Jacques Derrida, 'Dijferance', trans. Alan Bass, in Peggy Kamuf, ed., A Derrida
!l1'IIt/er: Between the Blinds, New York, Columbia University Press, 1991, pp. 59-79,
•• 1 p. 70.
, ,';, >I\le examples of this scholarship are: the work of Manfred Frank, especially Der
"""III!liche Mangel an Sein, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1975, Andrew Bowie's Sche/ling
,,,,,, Modern European Philosophy: An Introduction, London, Routledge, 1993, From
,... "IIIIlIticism to Critical Theory: the Philosophy of German Literary Theory, London,
"""lkdge, 1997, Frederick C. Beiser's The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy
I ','Ill Krmt to Fichte, Cambridge (Massachusetts), Harvard University Press, 1987,
,,,,,I • ""lemporary Fichte research, some fine examples of which are collected in
1'",,<'1 I\reazeale and Tom Rockmore eds., Fichte: Historical Contexts/Contemporary
, . ,,"/, J"I'rsies, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1994.

AA 8: 411-422. 10. Yet in Fichte the increasingly esoteric character of transcendental philosophy. To be sure.. esp. these popular writings by Fichte are not popularized versions of his speculative philosophy but seek to import the latter's general results and basic insights into the specifically different questions of a practical. Preface).20-23. Werke. with its integration of moral philosophy into transcendental philosophy. 1992). 1786). mostly only postumously published. AA 8: 423-430. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. see Immanuel Kant. Preface). S Accordingly. Bemerkungen in den "Beobachtungen uber das Gefuhl des Schdnen und Erhabenen ". 1796)." ("Rousseau hat mich zurecht gebracht.11 i' l ~ L . ed. 'Uber den Gemeinspruch: Das mag in der Theorie richtig sein. AA 8: 15-32. On Fichte's cycles of popular lectures and publications.. to be observed in the successive treatments of the Wissenschaftslehre. vo1. Prefilce). AA 8: 33­ 42. J. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. 1991). later Berlin und New York. religion and culture to the late Lectures on the Vocation of the Scholar. 4 In his own foundational systematic work Kant follows closely the scientific concept of philosophy of the German school philosophy to be found in Christian Wolff and his successors . 'Beantwortung der Frage: Was heil3t AufkHirung?' (Answer to the Question: What Does Enlightenment Mean?. with commentary: Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Section One). Kant-Forschungen. Cf. 1784).and supplements this body of works with a series of popular essays. 5.Kant's own distinction between his critical conception of philosophy and traditional dogmatism notwithstanding. Royal Prussian Academy and its successors (Berlin. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. consisting of lecture courses in the popular style that reach from the early Jena Lectures on the Vocation of the Scholar through the three series of lectures in the Academy of Sciences in Berlin on the philosophies of history. 1796). AA 8: 387-406. which requires not ordinary but speculative understanding (spekulativer Verstand). 1997). 37ff. 'Verktindigung des nahen Abschlusses eines Tractats zum ewigen Frieden in der Philosophie' (Announcement of the Imminent Conclusion of a Perpetual Peace in Philosopohy. "Die Seele des Systems': Systembegriff und Begriffssystem in Kants Transzendentalphilosophie' in: System und Architektonik in der Philosophie Kants. G. ed. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift.. 'Was heiBt: Sich im Denken orientiren?' (What Does it Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking. See also my review in Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 51 (1998). 8 But he moves the systematic foundation of the principle of morality from "popular moral philosophy" (populiire sittliche Weltweisheit) and the latter's restriction to the natural use of the understanding to a "metaphysics of morals" (Metaphysik der Sitten) and its grounding in a critique of (pure) practical reason. mostly seen to publication by himself. AA 8: 325-340. On Rousseau's significance for the development of Kant's philosophy in general and especially for his practical philosophy. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. 1 1 1 '1 i' . See my essay. 6. AA 8: 131-148. See AA 4: 403 (Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals.) (henceforth "AA"). newly edited and commented by Marie Rischmtiller. Fichtes Populiirphilosophie 1804-1806 (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. Kant's gesammelte Schriften. taugt aber nicht fUr die Praxis' (On the Common Saying: That May Be True in Theory But Does Not Serve Practice. ed. vol 2: Schriften zur angewandten Philosophie. 'Von einem neuerdings erhobenen vornehmen Ton in der Philosophie' (Of a Recently Adopted Superior Tone in Philosophy. 'Bestimmung des Begriffs einer Menschenrace' (Determination of the Concept of a Human Race.6 In Kant the negative assessment of common sense and its cognitive abilities in matters of foundational philosophy is by no means limited to 3. 1794). see Hartmut Traub. AA 8: 273-314 . 4. These works by Fichte are now available in a single volume. Hans Friedrich Fulda and Jtirgen Stolzenberg (in preparation). first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. AA 8: 107-124. Parallel to the. 3 (Hamburg. 18-24 and 288-293. 1900ff. 'Das Ende aller Dinge' (The End of All Things. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. most of them published in the Berlin Monthly. successive versions of the Wissenschaftslehre. the theoretical use of reason and the latter's systematic critique in transcendental philosophy. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. Fichte develops an entire body of work. See AA 4: 389-391 (Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. AA 8: 89-106. first publication: Berlinische Monatsschrift. its novel terminology and the highly complex conceptual apparatus involved. 1793). 1784). the central organ of German Enlightenment. Kant castigates sharply the appeal to common sense (gemeiner Menschenverstand) in matters of foundational philosophy. esp. coexist throughout with his theory and practice of a popular mediation of the chief philosophical insights. 9. 'Muthmal3licher Anfang der Menschengeschichte' (Conjectural Beginning of Human History. 4: 255 (Prolegomena. 38: "Rousseau straightened me out. 1797). 9 Fichte's radical further development of Kant's transcendental philosophy.1785). 10 To be sure.52 PIi 10 (2000) Gunter Zbller 53 teachers" of the critical philosophy3 . Kant follows Rousseau 7 in crediting philosophically untrained reason with the ability to make correct moral judgments. further deepens the opposition between speculative philosophical doctrine and generally comprehensible presentation. 1786).") 8. AA 4: 258-260 (Prolegomena. Peter Lothar Oesterreich (FrankfurtlM. These works include: 'Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weitbtirgerlicher Absicht' (Idea for a Universal History With a Cosmopolitan Intent. 'Uber ein vermeintes Recht aus Menschenliebe zu ltigen' (On a Putative Right to Lie From Philanthropy. applied philosophy with its focus on orientation in life and 7.

__1 .54 PH 10 (2000) GGnter Z611er 55 reflection on social ethos in abstraction from speculative theorizing. a personal letter to Fichte that was to be published in revised form as 'Open Letter to Fichte. In fact. . The Wissenschaftslehre as such remains outside of this philosophical public relations work undertaken by Fichte. Siichs. Fichte's controversy with Karl Leonhard Reinhold is particularly illuminating. In this context. together with the pathos of his popular lectures and his central speculative doctrine of the radical primacy of freedom in the Wissenschaftslehre.G. At the core of Fichte's dispute with Bardili-Reinhold lies the concept of thinking and especially its relation to intuition and life. Jena 1798/99 (Leipzig. Fichte's d. Confiscationsrescript ihm beigemessenen atheististichen Aeuj3erungen. Reprinted in GA IIII3: 224-281). At the center of Fichte's dispute with Jacobi-Reinhold stands the opposition of speculation and life and especially the possibility or necessity of a standpoint that mediates between speculation and life. Fichte even supplements his public defense against the charge of atheism. in which the hauteur of speculation and theferveur of concrete existence are brought together in a consistent manner. given that Reinhold's temporary adherence to the early Wissenschaftslehre changes during the atheism dispute into increasingly critical distance and soon thereafter into outright polemical opposition to Fichte's philosophy.") (GA III/2: 298 and 300 [in the original emphasis]). ehe man sie confiscirt (Appeal to the Public by J.: Dokumente zum Atheismusstreit um Fichte. Doctors und ordentlichen Professors zu Jena Appellation an das Publikum iiber die durch ein Kurf. Fichte. in which he turns the accusation back on the accusers. Phil..G. See Fichte's two drafts of his letters to Jens Baggesen of April or May 1795: "My system is the first system of freedom. Forberg und Niiethammer. Et et or Reinhold's intermediate standpoint Early in 1799. See the collection of the documents pertaining to the atheism dispute in Appellation an das Publikum . 1799).12 and it is especially virulent in the reception of Fichte's philosophical theory of religious belief or faith (Glaube) as atheism and hence disbelief (Unglaube). In the latter case the confusion of faith philosophized-about with faith believed-in or disbelieved is not limited to the reaction of the religious and political authorities in the course of the so-called atheism dispute of 1798-99 13 but is also and even prominently present in the reactions of Fichte's fellows philosophers.. In his critique of Fichte. the methodological status of theorizing in the philosophy of religion in particular and on philosophical speculation in general. Eine Schrift. 11 could create the impression that Fichte' s philosophy is practical through and through. Fichte's continuing high regard for Jacobi and his explicit low regard for Bardili lend to the dispute with Reinhold during and immediately after the atheism dispute the character of a doubly deflected reply on Fichte's part to the contemporary philosophical opposition to the Wissenschaftslehre in Jacobi and Bardili. See J. 11. In the course of these mainly methodological rather than doctrinal elaborations on the alleged atheism of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte's philosophical self-understanding gains noticeably in power of distinction and accuracy. Reinhold effectuates his rapprochement to Jacobi. 13.14 with clarifications in correspondence and publications that address themselves to professional philosophers on 11. Now Fichte's personality with its vehement striving after practical efficacy.'15 Reinhold's new allegiance first manifests itself in his letter to 15. Doctor of Philosophy and Professor Ordinarius. Regarding the Atheistic Pronouncements Attributed to Him by a Confiscation Order in Electoral Saxony. Certainly the assumption of a basic methodical continuity between speculative foundation and popular application underlies much of the polemical and metacritical debates surrounding his philosophy. in these debates concerning the status and the function of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte works out an entire metaphilosophy of transcendental philosophy. See Vergleichung des von Herm Pro! Schmid aufgestellten Systems mit der Wissenschaftslehre (Comparison of the System Set Forth by Professor Schmid With the Wissenschaftslehre) (GA If3: 235-271). 1991). 14. Reinhold draws successively on the arsenals of two declared opponents of Kantian­ Fichtean transcendental philosophy. See Jabobi an Fichte (Hamburg. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi and Christoph Gottfried Bardili. who at the time is working on his contribution to the atheism dispute. as conveyed in its self-description as "the first system of freedom". die man erst zu lesen bittet. A Work Which One Asks to Read Before Confiscating It) (GA If5: 415-453). first through correspondence and later also in personal discussions. and concerned throughout with matters pertaining to the conduct of life. Responding to this widespread methodological misunderstanding of his work. This assumption shows in the psychological misunderstanding of Fichte's pure I as empirical individual 1. 12. In both controversies the prevailing arguments on Fichte's side are of a methodological and metaphilosophical nature." ("Mein System ist das erste System der Freiheit.

. 21. Philosophisch-literarische Streitsachen. part on Fichte: 76-113. endlich auch. aus welchem die Kritische Philosophie zu beurteilen ist: Einzig moglicher Standpunkt. 19. Quellenband. Erliiutemder Auszug aus den Kritischen Schriften des Herm Pro! Kant.' 19 Fichte had followed Kant20 and developed a volontaristic conception of faith in which the further questioning of theoretical grounds for beliefs of all kinds. auf Anraten desselben. Sendschreiben an J. 17. GA III/3: 225.. daB meine Dauer endlos sei [.21 which he had already developed under the influence of Hume in his earlier critique of Kant's idealism and which he 16. see my essay.through the voluntary decision to rest with what is given through feeling as something ultimate that is not to be questioned any further. which had been entered into thepost-Kantian discussion by Jacob Sigismund Beck26 as a means of tracing doctrinal differences back to underlying methodological differences. C."23 Jacobi goes on to consider (transcendental) philosophy.1 (Hamburg. Fichte-Studien 14 (1998). personal God in the context of discussing the relation between faith or belief (Glaube) and knowledge (Wissen) in Fichte. which is always possible. Section VIII): 'Thus [. In his controversial essay 'On the Ground of Our Belief in a Divine Governance of the World.18 Both Jacobi and Reinhold develop their defense of a theistic. 3: Dritter Band. This does not yet imply a relativizing of such insights. 47-56. see GA III/3: 295­ 307. Lavater und J. 26. for assuming one rather than another standpoint." ("Also [. Dialectic.56 PI! 10 (2000) GOnter Zoller 57 Fichte of 27 March and 6 April 1799. is terminated practically . J the righteous may well say: I will that a God exists."24 The ludic comprehension of the world through philosophy as science (transcendental philosophy or Wissenschaftslehre) finds poignant expression in Jacobi's simile of the knit stocking in the texture of which the movement of the needles has imbedded the world's image without this presentation being more than a complexly turned piece of yarn. daB mein Dasein in einer Verstandeswelt. Fichte on the Belief in God. Reprint of the preface and the part on Fichte in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation: Der Streit um die Gestalt einer Ersten Philosophie (1799-1807). 1793. 23. 24. See AA 5: 143 (Critique of Practical Reason. 22 Jacobi's reply to the undermining of natural belief through a "new singular theism" in Fichte's moral concepts of belief and God is met by Jacobi's reminder that transcendental philosophy properly may be "neither theistic nor atheistic. In the introductions of his Attempt at a New Presentation of the Wissenschaftslehre (1797-98). 18. Chapter Two.' 17 The close collaboration between Jacobi and Reinhold in their disputes with Fichte can be seen from the reference to Jacobi's open letter to Fichte in both the correspondence and published version of Reinhold's open letter to Fichte and in the reference to Reinhold's open letter to Lavater and Fichte in the published version of Jacobi's letter to Fichte. See GA III/3: 307-320. G. and good reasons at that. See Jakob Sigismund Beck. Walter Jaschke. which is thus detheologized. that I exist in an intelligible world. Reinhold attempts a mediation between the opposed positions of Fichte and Jacobi. GA III/3: 238. "Das Element aller Gewissheit': Kanl. as one of the sciences (Wissenschaften) with which the human being playfully organizes his own ignorance into a system without thereby "approaching the cognition of the true (des Wahren) as much as by a hair's breadth. reprint in Aetas Kantiana. in The System of Ethics (1798) and in his 22. Jacobi advances his concept of "natural faith" (natiirlicher Glaube). See GA If5: 347-357. Fichte iiber den Glauben an Gott (Hamburg.]. 1968). the object of the voluntary sanction of what is affectively given is the moral order implied in moral consciousness. GA III/3: 225. 20. welcher den Standpunkt darstellt. 21-41. J darf der Rechtschaffene wohl sagen: ich will. G. 1993). At the center of this search for a position between Fichte und Jacobi stands the notion of the standpoint (Standpunkt). vo!.. for there may be well be reasons. daB ein Gott. 25. Lavater and J. See GA III/3: 296 and GA III/3: 225 note (preliminary report in the printed edition of Jacobi's letter to Fichte). 25 Based on his familiarity with Jacobi's critique of Fichte and against the background of his own sympathizing with Fichte's transcendental philosophy over several years. aus welchem die Kritische Philosophie beurteilt werden muss (Riga.. According to Fichte. now relates specifically to the creaturely belief in a living God "outside me" (aujJer mir) existing for itself. See GA III/3: 235-237. ed. Against Fichte's modal interpretation of faith as voluntary affinnation of feeling and the latter's extensional restriction to the orderly nature of the intelligible."). For the fragments of Reinhold's personal letter to Fichte that formed the basis of the Open Letter. finally that my duration is endless.. GA III/3: 251. .. On Jacobi's concept of belief or faith in relation to Kant and Fichte.16 which soon thereafter is incorporated into Reinhold's 'Open Letter to J. The concept of the standpoint lends expression to the dependency of specific insights on the perspectival conditions under which they have been gained. 2. Bd. 1799). Jacobi und Fichte iiber den Glauben'. Brussels. C.

and tr.33 Reinhold seeks to alleviate this opposition by correlating the standpoints to different aspects of human existence. See GA 1/4: 210 note. Mass. The English translation of this work. Fr. 31." which is not enlightened about its Own clandestine transcendental accomplishments. Referring to Fichte's own remarks on the function of belief as the "element of all certainty" (Element aller Gewissheit). 236 note. Krause. 32. the grouping together of "life" and "science" indicates the affinity of non-philosophical reflection. which occurs in the sciences and occasionally also in non-scientific life. Fichte also distinguishes the two basic views of consciousness and its objects under the designations "standpoint of speculation" (Standpunkt der Spekulation) and "standpoint of life and of science" (Standpunkt des Lebens und der Wissenschaft). philosophical view of the latter . 1995) (henceforth "WLnmK" ).an amnesia by means of which that which is made or produced by consciousness appears as given or found in consciousness. New York. God. Section 6. By contrast. 24f. ordinary thinking which can neither be fonnulated nor understood from the latter standpoint. a core component of Fichte's philosophical thinking about non-philosophical thinking is the latter's amnesia regarding its own activities of consciousness . . namely the abstracting-reflecting reconstruction of the non-empirical conditions of experience. 253. 29. ed. He does not further describe the standpoint he attributes to Jacobi. Jacobi concedes that he can very well place himself in "Fichte's standpoint" and that he then is "almost ashamed to be of different opinion. of a reality that is in principle independent of our knowledge and inaccessible to it. Jacobi) and you (sc. 274. though not for the purpose of contrasting speculation and life but in order to distinguish his own position from that of Fichte. The distinction between ordinary thinking as such and the extraordinary. more generally. GA III/3: 222. 27.3 2 The internal completion and terminatiL>ll of knowledge through moral faith in Fichte is thus countered by the external foundation of knowledge in the belief in God in Reinhold. resorts in his 'Open Letter to Fichte' to the discourse of standpoints.. In the part of his 'Open Letter to Lavater and Fichte' addressed to Fichte. Fichte)". GA 1/5: 33f. 1992). the things (in) themselves. After having traced Jacobi's and Fichte's positions to the opposition between the "standpoint of conscience" and the "standpoint of speculation". 246. and ed. not because of any inconsistencies but due to the latter's limited viewpoint. due to which there may come into view true knowledge or "truths" (Wahrheiten) but never "the true" itself (das Wahre) ­ epistemologically speaking.incidentally carried out with clear allusion to Jacobi's critique of Kant 28 . Daniel Breazeale [lndianapolis and Cambridge."30 He critiques Fichte's standpoint. It would have to be identified as certainty in one's belief regarding a personal God and.is designed to meet the contemporary objection that Fichte's transcendental-idealist theory with its central thesis of the constitution of the object in consciousness is a't odds with empirical evidence and rendered absurd by the latter. who here depends on Jacobi. Belief is here not supposed to be produced by philosophy as the placeholder of the latter's own ignorance . Jacobi. Erich Fuchs.a position which Reinhold attributes to Fichte ­ but is supposed to be posited prior to all knowledge through God's independent existence. Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo. Reinhold now defends the dependence of knowledge as such on natural belief. Fichte. which he understands as nihilistic radical idealism. 34. 28. Foundations of Transcendental Philosophy (Wissenschajtslehre) nova methodo (1796/99).. too. 236 note: "the clearest thinker of our age" ("der hellste Denker unsers Zeitalters") ('Second Introduction to the Wissenschaftslehre'. See GA III/3: 309£. Daniel Breazeale (lthaca. Kollegnachschrift K. GA III/3: 308. assertions are made about the hidden procedures and laws of common. to "common thinking. 1994J contains the pagination of of the German edition cited above). 33. ed. See GA 1/4: 235. See GA 1/4: 210. GA III/3: 311 and 312. tr. Accordingly. the translation of this work in Introductions to the Wissenschaftslehre and Other Writings.31 Reinhold here considers Fichte' s standpoint to be that of "philosophical knowledge" founded purely on itself. and theologically speaking. Chr. (Hamburg.58 PH 10 (2000) Gunter Z611er 59 lecture COurses on the Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo (1796-99) Fichte had distinguished between the "standpoints" or "viewpoints" of philosophical thinking and "common thinking" (gemeines Denken).29 Here "speculation" is to be understood as the specifically philosophical fonn of reflection employed in the metatheory of all knowledge (Wissenschaftslehre). contains in the margins the pagination of the German edition cited above.27 From the philosophical standpoint. See GA III/3: 309. Reinhold follows closely Jacobi's personalized rendition of the alternative standpoints when indicating to Fichte "that I have to take my standpoint between him (sc. 2nd ed.3 4 The human 30.

Reinhold explicitly declares the role of the intermediate standpoint in securing natural belief to be "the business of the properly practical. Fichte calls the real that is opposed to knowledge . to instruct them about their duties in this life and their hopes in the other. 37. from which he had expected himself "some practical success". Reinhold's recent turn against Fichte is due to the insight that Kantian-Fichtean idealism. Fichte then contrasts Reinhold's conception of a practical. GA illJ3: 326 and 327 (Fichte's emphasis). On Fichte's concept of life. Zur Geschichte des Begrijfs Leben in der Philosophie J."life. . which he had given in private correspondence.36 Fichte does not deny that one can alternate between the standpoints of speculation and faith. "common" standpoint. is. 'Philosophie als System-Reinhold und Fichte'. ed. 39 For Fichte. insofar as it is supposed to maintain the practical independence of belief and faith from knowledge against the speculative usurpation of the concept of faith through knowledge in Fichte. But Fichte's critique concerns not only the alleged completion of the alternative standpoints through a philosophical intermediary standpoint. pre-Kantian phase.3? Fichte diagnoses in Reinhold's attempt at a "practical.the latter being always ideal . Ibid. to better the human beings through philosophy and to convert them. GA illJ3: 309 36. 1972). not merely scientific philosophy". in Erneuerung der Transzendentalphilosophie im Anschlufi an Kant und Fichte. G. not merely scientific philosophy" a conception of philosophy that is incompatible with the Wissenschaftslehre. specifically speculative understanding of philosophy in the Wissenschaftslehre. By contrast. Drawing on Jacobi's terminology. The transition between the two standpoints is not a third standpoint of transition. independent of any factors external to knowledge. 40.35 It is this notion of a practical. 38 GA illJ3: 327.60 PH 10 (2000) Gunter Z611er 61 being qua philosopher pursues the systematic goal of founding knowledge in a purely speculative manner. Tertium non datur Or Fichte's critique of Reinhold's doctrine of the intermediate standpoint In his response of 22 April 1799 to Reinhold's 'Open Letter'. a specifically philosophical standpoint. 39. applied philosophy that provokes Fichte's critical reaction to Reinhold's attempt at mediation between Jacobi and Fichte. This third standpoint. 35. 343 (No. Thus Reinhold's standpoint between Jacobi and Fichte is supposed to consist in the insight that their standpoints do not exclude each other but complement each other. which in part is also contained in Fichte's written response to Jacobi's letter to Fichte of 3 through 21 March 1799. according to Reinhold." In sharp contrast to the formative influence of (philosophical knowledge) on life defended by Reinhold.38 Fichte's philosophical portrait of Reinhold stresses the latter's ethos of enlightenment: You have always nourished the hope. the human being as such--including the philosopher qua human being-lives in the immediate certainty of some absolute reality which he does not posit but which posits him. Fichtes (Stuttgart 1972) and id. Drawing on an earlier philosophical portrait of his philosopher colleague. see Sabine Rohr. See GA III/2: 342-352. application­ oriented philosophy with his own. On Reinhold's roots in the German Enlightenment. Ibid. Fichte insists on the sober insight: Only that which comes from life is capable of forming life. far from supporting the practical tendency of philosophy sought by Reinhold. and still do so. The philosopher's existence outright consists in the controlled transition back and forth between the speculative standpoint and the general. Empirisches 1I1ld absolutes Jch.. which might be located above rather than between the two other standpoints. 40 Ill. Fichte declares with regard to Reinhold's "present turn" that there is "no standpoint of philosophizing between Jacobi's and mine". Missouri. according to which speculative knowledge is its own end and not suitable to practical application. 331-344." which still stems form his earlier. Reinhold shows here "a practical warmth in philosophizing. But Fichte denies that there could be a genuinely philosophical standpoint in addition to these two standpoints. letter of 2 July 1795). works against this very tendency in an outright scandalous manner. KJaus Hammacher and Albert Mues (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. 1995). A Primer on German Enlightenment: With a Translation of Karl Leonhard Reinhold:s "The Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Ethics" (Columbia. According to Fichte. see Wolfgang Schrader. esp. due to which he also originally came to Kantian philosophy. 294.

auf ein Object gehende. scientific philosophy against the traditional assimilation of all philosophizing to the striving after life wisdom in popular philosophy. Fichtes Gesamtidee der Philosophie'.. 47 Fichte does not deny the significance of life wisdom or Christianity. 45 41. 11 vols (Berlin. Reprint in Fichtes Werke. From a methodological point of view. the atheistic misinterpretation of his doctrine by a larger public is also governed by a conception of philosophy that unreflectively locates philosophical theorizing about religion at the level of religious practice itself.. ilill I[ II'I[ I I I II I 11 IIII .46 which dates from the same time as the written and published response to Reinhold. Fichte identifies Christianity with "wisdom for life or popular philosophy. In Fichte's Sun-Clear Report to the Larger Public on the Proper Essence of the Newest Philosophy. Insights that are gained from the standpoint of philosophy are treated as though they belonged into the ordinary context of life. 43 For Fichte. GA IIJ5: 137. and the theoretical account thereof in speculative philosophy (Wissenschaftslehre). Antworten. knowledge qua speculation is a mere "image" (BUd). Answers. 43. Immanuel Hermann Fichte. Rather he defends the independence and autonomy of strict. [.in contradistinction to life wisdom itself. Zur Idee der Transzendentalphilosophie (Miinchen and SalZburg. 1845/46). According to Fichte. GA llI/3: 327 and GA lIJ5: 194 (fragment "Fichte an Jacobi"). 10 (2000) Gunter Z611er 63 In relation to self-forming life. With its conception of an immediate application of 46. The original text (along with the son's edited version) was first published in GA lIJ5: 103-186. on the one hand. Schlegel): "I believe to have presented the mode of thinking which a fully executed philosophy produces for life in the Third Book of The Vocation of Man. in id. ed. GA IJ7: 261 and 256. 'J.. 45. chiefly that work's Third Book. 44." ("Die Denkart. and even stresses. as though they were life wisdom. which is roughly contemporaneous with the controversy with Reinhold. Fichte uses the tenn "popular. which Fichte diagnoses in Reinhold. scientific philosophy and the opposed. edifying life philosophy" or short "life philosophy" (Lebensphilosophie) for the philosophy that is reduced to life wisdom. Questions. the feelings (Gefuhle) and acting (Handeln) and contrasts those to the "mere cognition going after an object" (blosse. the atheism dispute arises from the systematic disregard for the distinction between life as such and the wisdom pertaining to it (life wisdom or Christianity).62 PI. in the widest sense.and this negatively in the critique of dogmatic. Rather philosophy is of use to life by way of the instruction to independent thinking . 5: 334-373. Fichte maintains. For this purpose.48 Fichte illustrates the difference between his own. popular one by comparing the relation between cognition and life in each of the two types of philosophy. This work was written between March and April 1799 but remained unpublished during Fichte's lifetime and was first published. this universal misunderstanding of philosophy consists in ignoring the distinction between the "philosophical" and the "common" view of things. Yet in spite of the systematic distance from life and the wisdom pertaining to it.42 The chief example of Fichte's commonly useful philosophy is The Vocation of Man." through the exemplary presentation of the right "manner of thinking" (Denkart). See GA llI/4: 283 (letter to Fr.] ErkenntnijJ). 42. unfree thinking and positively or "pedagogically. in a heavily edited form. Reinhold's conception of philosophy as immediately practical is not a unique aberration but exemplifies "the prejudice that is deeply rooted in all philosophy hitherto according to which one takes philosophy to be life wisdom (Lebensweisheit). Fragen. 1971). GA llI/3: 325. 73-123. 5: 334-373. But the traditional curtailing of philosophy to life wisdom or life philosophy. he includes under the title "actual life" (wirkliches Leben) the power of desire (Begehrungsvermogen). G. In his unpublished comprehensive final statement on the atheism dispute under the title Recollections. Indeed in Fichte's comprehensive conception of philosophy the possible effect of the Wissenschaftslehre on the leading of one's life provides the very goal of philosophical activity. by Fichte's son: Johann Gottlieb Fichte's siimmtliche Werke. glaube ich im 3ten Buche der Bestimmung des Menschen dargestellt zu haben. On Fichte's comprehensive conception of philosophy. die eine durchgefiihrte Philosophie fiir das Leben erzeuge. Yet in spite of the strict separation between speculation and life." from which he then distinguishes philosophy qua Wissenschaftslehre as the "theory of the life wisdom" ."44 Put into the language of standpoints or viewpoints. 47. on the other hand. Rakeri~nerungen. the "practical use" of the fonner for the latter. 8 vols (Berlin. is not only responsible for the misunderstandings of the Wissenschaftslehre among philosophers such as Reinhold and Jacobi. he still insists on the significance of life as the "basis" (Basis) of his philosophy. which Fichte imposes on scientific philosophy or Wissenschaftslehre."). 1965). 48.41 But it is not philosophy as such (as speculative science) and immediately (as doctrine) that enters into life. GA lIJ5: 132 (my emphasis). see Reinhard Lauth.

50 Hence in Fichte the speculative distance of scientific philosophy from life is intimately tied to the primacy of life over cognition. Questions was heavily edited by Fichte's son (see note 47).. Questions. 53 In the 'Fragment' Fichte begins by contrasting life and speculation as "totality" (Totalitiit) of objective and subjective "knowledge" (Wissen). who here follows Kant. For in Fichte thinking and cognition are by no means limited to the mediate. reflective thinking about life but are to found in life itself and as such. pre-reflective cognition. feeling.51 life is not a specifically biological notion but indicates the activity structure of consciousness as such. 440) and since the first edition of Recollections. 50. two moments stand in 52. Recollections. Ibid. freely generated cognitions are supposed to "be able to affect the faculty of desire. see my essay. 222. as reconstructed by Fichte. had already stood in the center of his three lecture courses on the Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo (1796-99). No." Philosophy Today 36 (1992). under the title "original duplicity" (ursprungliche Duplicitiit). Fichte can maintain a far more intimate relation between philosophy and life than could be expected form an external relation of scientific cognition (philosophy) to its object (life). its attitude of tutelage and indoctrination of life through (theoretical) cognition and (theoretical) thinking. By contrast. Since the version of the 'Fragment' included wilh Fichte's letter 10 Reinhold has survived only in Ihe edition of Fichle's'son (GA 1II13: 300-333. Fichte can ascribe to life its own. 189.55 The original doubling pervades the entire life of consciousness in a recursive manner: in each case. more precisely. Hence in popular philosophy cognition is the "principle of life" (Princip des Lebens). Fichte links the necessary mutual supplementation of speculation and life with the conception of dual unity which. philosophical thinking about life as well as in pre-reflective. Ibid. acting) as something dependent on the former. the system of feelings. from which it follows immediately 49. The term refers to the internally complex. 54 In the first and only chapter of the Attempt at a New Presentation of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte had discussed this original state of affairs also under the designation "subject-object" (Subjekt-Objekt). Answers. Answers. 21lff. lived cognition.64 PIi 10 (2000) GOnter Zoller 65 philosophical cogmtlon to life. Life for Fichte is primarily the life of spirit or mind. 53. Philosophical thinking has to follow this original. and without reasoning. 51.. 54. On the popular-philosophical view. while treating life (willing. doing and being. cognition is dependent on life: Our philosophy makes [00'] life. are to be found in a text entitled 'Fragment' that forms part of the larger work. the ideal and the real.. it is not the popular philosophy but the speculative and scientific one that does justice to the independence of life and specifically to the original independence of the practical from the theoretical. See WLnmK 184f. application-oriented methodology of popular philosophy goes together with a decided primacy of theoretical cognition over life. See GA II/5: 138. 55. duplex basic structure of consciousness that underlies the latter's overt articulation along the oppositional lines of the subjective and the objectives. Contrary to the initial appearances. 227. popular philosophy turns (theoretical) cognition into something primary and original. Yet Fichte's conception of cognition as grounded in life is not exhausted by the reversal of the relationship of dependence between thinking and living maintained in popular philosophy."49 Thus the practical. For Fichte.266-275. 52 Due to the presence of thinking and cognition both in reflective. objectively in life and subjectively in philosophy. as immediate cognition. on Fichte's conception of philosophy.. and goes on to determine their relation to each other as that of mutual presupposition. Accordingly. of desiring into what is highest and leaves cognition everywhere only the observing. respectively. esp. 27 If. and which had been appended to his letter to Reinhold of 22 April 1799. Fichte's crucial reflections on the double presence of thinking and cognition. On Kant's non-biological concept of life. See GA 1/4: 277. bring about feelings and determine the human acting. which is grounded in the "system of feelings". 234. "Makkreel on Imagination and Interpretation in Kant. . In his methodological portrayal of Reinhold's philosophical outlook Fichte uncovers an element of anti-Enlightenment in the popular philosophy of the German late Enlightenment. immediate cognition in and through life. it seems wise to cite and quote the 'Fragment' from the manuscript version in GA II/5: I I1ff.

159ff. In identifying both sides of the opposition. 57. speculation as well as life. 1'1 1I 56. but the two cannot properly be united. 99ff. as intended in Reinhold's efforts at systematic and personal conciliation. Fichte has to trace back the explicit speculation that is opposed to life to its implicit prefiguration in life.66 PIi 10 (2000) GOnter Z611er 67 opposition to each other. Eva Moldenhauer und Karl Markus Michel (Frankfurt/M. See Differenz der Fichte'schen und Schelling'schen Systems der Philosophie. as "knowledge". Questions as well as in his edition of his father's correspondence. 62 In the original manuscript version of Recollections. But this would not be a genuine.1 . 59..63 To be sure. 50." Their unification in a third philosophical standpoint. so Fichte. 1970). See GAW5: 182 (lower half of the page) and GA IIIJ3: 333. 58. Ibid. Answers. and its subjective side. see my work. . as giving oneself up to the mechanism. It is not speculation qua free reflection on life that pertains to life itself but only that generic.. 117. is as impossible as it is to specify the unknown unitary ground behind and beneath the pervasive dual subject-object structure of consciousness. the opposed moments or members are the farthest removed from each other and still connected to each other through their relationship of mutual completion. Questions the passage corresponding to the 'Fragment' sent to Reinhold even mentions Reinhold's name parenthetically ("such as Reinhold seems to be looking for"). Answers. pre-reflective moment of consciousness which underlies all life qua life of consciousness. Answers. GA II/5: 182. Hegel.57 For in this instance. 63ff. Of these two. Fichte-Gesamtausgabe. They are also immediately relevant for Fichte's judgment of Reinhold's efforts toward a philosophical standpoint in addition to Fichte's standpoint of speculation and Jacobi's standpoint of life. It is in this sense that Fichte's son. 63. S. even if the latter were not to come to (actual) consciousness.61 Fichte's reflections on the original duplicity of speculation and life in the 'Fragment' from Recollections. 62. the necessity of life for speculation is immediately evident. Questions Fichte also concedes a minimal sense in which a possible unification of the two standpoints could be maintained. In the 'Fragment' communicated to Reinhold Fichte explicitly rejects the latter's claimed intermediary standpoint by characterizing the relation between speculation and life as an "antithesis. GA W5: 182. Fichte indicates that each of the sides is itself structured in a twofold way. Questions sent to Reinhold provide a fundamental critique of Reinhold's understanding of philosophy. yet also refer to each other.. H.2: 7-138. the proper procedure of life ("mechanism"). third standpoint between those of Fichte 60. Immanuel Hermann Fichte. 60 The pre-conscious but free giving oneself up to the mechanism of life here has the function of a preformation within life of any subsequent speculation about life. even if the latter removes itself from life through reflection: "Speculation [is] not [possible] without the life from which it abstracts. supplements the expression "freedom" in the quotation just given through the parenthetical remark "elsewhere speculation" (sonst Spekulation). See GA W5: 182 and GA III/3: 333. 1977). The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy. meaning "finite"). 1998). the original subjective-objective double structure of life consists in the cooperation between life's objective side. Harris and Waiter Cerf (Albany. Life is the object of speculation. Werke in zwanzig Bdnden. More precisely. such that one of them cannot be what it is without the other being what it is. the opposition of speculation and life represents the original duplicity of the subject-object "at its highest level". 56 For Fichte.. ed. speculation and life may presuppose each other and thereby be clandestinely implied in each other. To be sure. tr. in the 'Fragment' as well as in Recollections. :111': III 1I I . one could consider life the objective sUbject-object and speculation the subjective subject-object. the latter OCcurs for the most part implicitly and without clear awareness of it: Life. According to a note in the J."59 It proves far more difficult to establish that speculation is necessary for life. in his edition of the 'Fragment' as part of Recollections. in Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. 61. Answers. New York. the free giving oneself up to this procedure or process-Fichte's chosen term is sich hingeben." (for "endlich". 58 The mutual requirement of speculation and life maintained by Fichte would have to consist in the dependence of speculation on life together with the reverse dependence of life on speculation. the parenthetical abbreviation might also read "end!. [is] not [possible] without the freedom that gives itself up. GA W5: 182. if that means the elimination of their opposition to each other. IIII. In order to achieve this goal. Drawing on Hegel's roughly contemporaneous terminology. For Fichte. G. On the fundamental systematic significance of the original duplicity of the human mind in Fichte.. 128ff. esp. Fichte's Transcendental Philosophy: The Original Duplicity ofIntelligence and Will (Cambridge.

See also Fichte's polemical piece. 69. Schlegel.68 PH 10 (2000) Gunter Ztiller 69 (speculation) and Jacobi (life) but the philosophical consciousness of those two standpoints as such and of their mutual exclusion and requirement in "the mere consciousness of the actual philosophizing that there is the possibility of those two standpoints and hence that they exist. Eine systematische und entwicklungsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zur Philosophie Reinholds in der Zeit von 1789 bis 1803 (Frankfurt/M. Das Anfangsproblem bei Karl Leonhard Rein/wld. 68. reprinted in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. See GA IW4: 271-273. 1993). Accordingly Fichte revives his earlier criticism of vehement reaction to Bardili's work and to its immediate absorption by Reinhold were also influenced by the fact that the Outline of the First Logic is dedicated to Friedrich Nicolai. 115f. 115-123. . 67. Fichte's about Bardili's work.] minds" in order to balance the systematic extreme of idealism. GA I/6: 434f. especially the latter's egological variant in Fichte's doctrine of the positing.L. vol. But rather than detecting expansion and completion of the system of transcendental idealism in Bardili's work. Ein Beitrag zur LitteraturGeschichte des vergangenen und zur Piidagogik des angehenden Jahrhunderts (Friedrich Nicolai's Life and Particular Opinions. Reinholds 'Systemwechsel' von der Wissenschaftslehre zum rationalen Realismus Bardilis in der Auseinandersetzung mit J. which he had allegedly left behind over the encounter with Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre.. from 180 I (GA I/7: 365-463). Bardili's orientation of the conception of thinking toward logic serves to replace what he perceives to be the psychological notion of thinking in transcendental philosophy. W. 67 For Reinhold. See also Fichte's notes "Zu Bardilis Grundriss der ersten I.?l He reports on the allegation that the "intermediary standpoint" sought "by fearsome [. Bardili's Logik ist Thre I '. Denken als Denken) as an alternative formulation of the Kantian-Fichtean position in general and of Fichte' s system of positing in the Foundation of the Entire Wissenschaftslehre in particular. from its most noticeable side. Philosophisch-literarische Streitsachen. GA I/6: 434. 1970). does Fichte publish his own decidedly negative view of Bardili in a review that appears in the Litteratur-Zeitung Erlangen in October 1800'?0 Right at the start of his Bardili review Fichte refers to the incorporation of the work into the search for a "standpoint between the Fichtean and Jacobian philosophy (which latter is notoriously an obstinate dogmatism)". Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. GA ill5: 182. 71."72 This devastating judgment not only contradicts the compatibility of Bardili's position with Fichte's idealism publiCly defended by Reinhold but goes further in diagnosing in Reinhold's philosophical identification with Bardili an outright regression to Reinhold's own earlier standpoint. Schrader. 69 Only after Reinhold publishes his transcendental­ idealist interpretation of Bardili in a favorable review of the work. Grundrij3 der ersten Logik (Stuttgart 1800. 70."64 IV. 2 (Hamburg. see Wolfgang H. ed. See GA IW4: 199 (Reinhold's letter to Fichte of 23 January 1800). Bardili's Logic is your Elementary I'hilosophy. reprint in Aetas Kantiana. 85-104. On Bardili's logical and rational realism and its reception in Reinhold. and which is supposed to consist in an orientation toward "pure objective being" (reines objektives Seyn).G. oppositing and compositing 1. 66. a recasting of the late Reinholdian Elementary Philosophy. in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation: Der Steit um die Gestalt einer Ersten Philosophie (1799-1807). "that the present book is. Fichte views Bardili as a dogmatist who has fallen back into a pre-Kantian position and who "should not be in the first place. Quellenband. 'c. see GA IW4: 271-273 (4 July 1800). Fichte finds. GA I/6: 433-450. Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation.lcrnentarPhilosophie" (Dear Reinhold...261-414.). L . /2. While for Reinhold Bardili offers a logified and depsychologized transcendental idealism. For Fichte's responses in private correspondence with Reinhold after reading Bardili's work. Friedrich Nicolai's Leben und sonderbare Meinungen.. 65. A Contribution to the Literary History of the Previous and the Pedagogy of the Beginning Century). and Martin Bondeli.66 In early 1800 Reinhold lets Fichte know in private correspondence that he views Bardili's theory of thinking as such ("thinking as thinking". Brussels.. Non plus ultra or Fichte pn Reinhold on Bardili The methodological difference between transcendental or speculative and popular or common thinking also forms the center of Fichte's critical reaction to Reinhold' s adoption of Christoph Gottfried Bardilis Outline of First Logic65 for his continued metacritique of Fichte. ()uellenband. 272 (Fichte's letter to Jacobi of 4 July 1800) and GA IW4: 311 (draft of Fichte's letter to Reinhold of 18 September 1800). 1995). which had been recommended to him in the highest terms by Reinhold."68 But first Fichte does not make any public pronouncements 64. has been found in Bardili. edited by A. Quellenband. 311-314 (18 September 1800) and 356-358 (15 November 1800).ogik" (On Bardilis Outline of the First Logic) in GA ill5: 243-318. the leading public and publishing representative of the opposition to Kantian and post-Kantian transcendental philosophy on the part of popular philosophy. esp. Fichte'.-cc also GA IW4: 358: "Iieber Reinhold. 115. Waiter Jaschke.

the conception of thinking to be found in transcendental philosophy concerns not given empirical facts but the generic. merely formal view of the activity of reason. Pure thinking in Bardili is the infinite repeatability of what is posited under the formula "A=A"." is but one of several possible specific actualizations. together with some transcendent assertions.or proto-conscious activity of reason as such that is reconstructed in speculative reflection and of which thinking. Quellenband. Foundation of the Entire Wissenschaftslehre. see my essay. Section IT). Erich Fuchs and Ives Radrizzani (MiinchenlNeuried. Part Three) and (. WLnmK 54. Fichte considers the unitary-apperceptive structure of consciousness to be an integral part already of the possible use of the copula in identical positing ("A is A"). intuiting. Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. Quellenband. By contrast. Quellenband. a philosophy of common or sound understanding [. . Fichte concedes the significance of identical positing for the formal concept of thinking in logic . Fichte then locates Bardili's pure thinking not above Fichte's pure I but below it .]. See GA 1/2: 409 (Foundation of the Entire Wissenschaftslehre. ed. 121. 73 GA 1/6: 436. the one indivisible intelligence itself.even referring to the pertinent passages in the opening sections of his own work.70 PIi 10 (2000) Gunter Zoller 71 Reinhold's Elementary Philosophy and characterizes Bardili's system as "an inventory of facts (Thatsachen) of common consciousness. Reinhold's and Bardili's exclusion of the 1's basic form from the popular philosophical conception of thinking also leaves unexplained and unexplainable the self-referential structure of thinking. 74.A I/4: 276 (Attempt at a New Presentation of the Wissenschaftslehre. On Fichte's doctrine of positing in general and of predicative positing in 1""licular."73 For Fichte.75 which accompanies the positing and being posited and first renders the latter complete. GA 1/6: 447. reduced concept of thinking in the popular philosophy of Reinhold and Bardili their uncritical assumption of an externally given matter (Stoff) on which thinking is supposed to find its application. The external completion of pure.. No trace of the transcendental. In Fichte's publications on the Wissenschaftslehre from the Jena period this constitutive self­ referentiality of consciousness under the form of self-consciousness is introduced under the formula of "positing oneself as positing" (sich setzen als setzend). 116.76 Starting with the writings and lectures on the "new presentation" of the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte addresses this state of affairs by resorting to the phrase "for oneself' (fUr sich). additional application to something real that is independent of thinking and through which an object of thinking is first supposed to arise. are only subspecies. But he denies the sufficiency of Bardili's pure thinking for the transcendental thinking that originally refers to objects and that moreover is in this original objective reference self-referential. // Sce GA 1/4: 273. of which thinking. that pure thinking does not at all stand above the I.\"ummten Wissenschaftslehre. It)t)()). In radical departure from Reinhold's assessment..74 Moreover. Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation.77 Fichte also attributes to the one-sided.the intelligizing kat'exochen. and a fortiori Bardili's (and now Reinhold's) "pure thinking. Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. which are not posited absolutely but must be derived from the former. The abstraction from the 1's basic form involved in formal.as legitimate but one-sided. that the latter signifies . Fichte explains. this one entitled Open Letter to Professor Fichte on the Second Review of Bardili's Outline and dated 23 April 75 GA 1/6: 447. Quellenband. 122. 122. of elevation above common consciousness. Bardili conrastst "pure thinking" (reines Denken) with the latter's subsequent.to express myself this way . willing. formal thinking by contents that are provided in an intuition which as such remains external to thinking has to be rectified by the insight that thinking and intuiting do not meet subsequently but that "everything is throughout inseparable and one. due to which thinking is more than a manifold of discrete identical positings. "pure" thinking yields a derivative conception of thinking that remains at the level of what is factually given ("facts") in consciousness and thus corresponds exactly to the popular philosophical orientation of Reinhold as well as Bardili. 88 and 94. Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. Chapter 1. according to Fichte. /('. the operation of philosophical reflection on the standpoint of common consciousness in Reinhold and Bardili results in an inadequate concept of thinking and in a basic misunderstanding of Fichte's specifically speculative conception of thinking. "Setzen und Bestimmen in Fichtes Grundlage der !:". pre."78 Reinhold's reply to Fichte's critique of his appropriation of Bardili for the search after an ideal-realist intermediary standpoint is contained in a second open letter to Fichte.A 1/6: 448. in principle infinitely many acts of thinking and hence the unity of consciousness is provided only by the "reflection on the being posited" (Reflexion auf das Gesetztseyn). The coherence of multiple.178-192. III (." in Der Grundansatz der ersten Wissenschaftslehre !""mm Gottlieb Fichtes. etc.

in his work.7 Reinhold's replic employs the argumentative strategy of tu quoque. Vernunft. I (Hamburg. with which he now associates not only Fichte but also Schelling after the latter's System of Transcendental Idealism had appeared in the previous year. Ideas for a Heautogony or Natural History of I-hood Called Pure Reason (1801). L. Reprinted in Transzendentalphilosophie wld Spekulation."84 In particular. 82. Reinhold identifies the standpoint of faith in The Vocation of Man with Fichte's own advanced philosophical position. While assigning Fichte's doctrine of faith in The Vocation of Man to the standpoint between Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre and Jacobi's philosophy of faith. 140 and 141.G. Fichte said of the latter piece that he found it to be "by far sillier than it is 11Ialicious" (bei weitem diimmer.. Without further ado."hclling of 31 May 1801. 86. genannt. including the latter's alleged reality in and as intellectual intuition. after I have learned to thinkfram Bardili's (sc. 137-144. GA IW4: 382. GA IW5: No. 81 However. Reinhold responds to the final resort to intellectual intuition in Fichte and Schelling by insisting that even the I qua subject-object. Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. Reinhold critiques the one­ sided subjective conception of thinking in Fichte and Schelling and their resulting desperate recourse to intellectual intuition to assure themselves of some non-subjective reality. 81. which has to be distinguished carefully from Fichte own philosophical standpoint of speculation regarding the grounds and forms of the natural standpoint. 141. GA IW4: 378. Fichte and Schelling. 85. reprint of the open letter without the enclosure in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. even leads him to an explicit "identification of the pure I with the philosophizing I" and specifically with the "individual I of Messrs. 'Der Geist des Zeitalters als Geist der Filosofie' (The Spirit of Ihe Age as Spirit of Philosophy) in the Neuer Teutscher Merkur of March 1801 (167­ I 'U). 1801). In Beytriige zur leichtern Ubersicht des Zustandes der Philosophie beym Anfange des 19.. Fichte responded by writing a . Fichte] placed yourself subsequently. He now declares that the "third standpoint" previously sought by him to have been none other than the one "on which you [sc. entitled 'J. The non-distinction between the individual or natural standpoint and the generic or speculative standpoint. G. which is symptomatic of Reinhold's underlying notion of popular philosophy.. Reinhold now declares to "have to leave behind for good [any such intermediate standpoint]. reine.83 Reinhold repeats the charge of formalism and subjectivism against transcendental philosophy. For instance. Rather than continuing to pursue a conciliatory stand between Fichte's scientific idealism and Jacobi's fideist realism and to interpret Bardili's position as the missing third standpoint."82 79. Sendschreiben an den Herrn Professor Fichte iiber die zweite Rezension von Bardilis Grundrifi (GA IW4: 372-398. Ideen zu einer Heautogonie oder natiirlichen Geschichte der reinen Ichheit. which had appeared in 1800. titled "faith" (Glaube) of that work. See ibid. Fasc. Quellenband.72 9 PIi 10 (2000) GCmter Z611er 73 1800. Jahrhunderts.8S In his response to Reinhold's second open letter. is "entirely sensory (sinnlich)" and hence subject to the charge of private individuality. 80. Quellenband. Quellenband. reprinted in Transzendentalphilosophie und Spekulation. 148-167."80 Reinhold here refers to Fichte's reflections on practical certainty regarding the moral order under the latter's divine creator and guarantor in the concluding section. 1801).86 which appears in the same year. ed. C. Completely ignoring that crucial distinction. 126-134). der Beitrag] boshaft ist) (letter to '. reassumed or regained natural standpoint of moral certainty. 113-134. Reinhold's definitive abandonment of idealism in favor of a Bardilism which he now interprets realistically soon leads him to further polemical attacks on Fichte's position as well as person. 605). Fichte's Antwortschreiben an Herrn Professor Reinhold auf dessen Sendschreiben an den erstern (Tiibingen. Reinhold. the essay. Open Letter to the Former'. GA [17: 289-324. this reading of Reinhold' s is rendered more than dubious by the circumstance that The Vocation of Man consists in a dialectical series of standpoints strategically arranged by the author and that the concluding standpoint of faith is the temporarily lost and then deliberatively reacquired. standpoint) that pure being which is neither something subjective nor something objective. After writing the Answer Fichte saw a further polemical attack by Reinhold on transcendental philosophy. to whom the latter responds first only selectively and finally not at all. 84. Reinhold misunderstands Fichte's philosophical reconstruction or deduction of the natural standpoint of faith in The Vocation of Man as Fichte's own. Reinhold himself is no longer content with assuming this previously sought-after standpoint. finally achieved intermediary philosophical standpoint. J. Quellenband. Fichte's Answer to Professor Reinhold to the Latter's . namely in the Third Book of your work The Vocation of Man. Reinhold even goes so far as to outright deny that the passages in The Vocation of Man which he has in mind could be "mere condescension to the popular manner of thinking". Fichte once again traces 83. als er [se. GA IW4: 379.

.' Philosophisches Jahrbuch 106 (1999). Quellenband. on the other hand." ("Die systematisehe Reflexion auf dieses gemeine Erkennen ist eigentlich Psychologie.92 The elevation above life by means of thinking. Ober das Fichtesche Alltwortschreiben auf mein Selldschreiben (On Fichte's Answer to my Open Letter). purely rational life..].] in time. GA I/7: 300. entirely illusory. the empirical and knowable life. while the representative of popular philosophy insists on the external shaping of life through the application 'Spottgedicht auf Reinholds Bardilismus' (Satirical Poem on Reinhold's Bardilism). popular and scientific. in Fichte-Studien (in preparation). See Karl Leonhard Reinhold. See GA I/7: 296. Fichte explicitly attributes the character of a reflex . 90. which Fichte also calls "time life" (Zeit-Leben). only the original pure rational life [can] represent [darsteUen] itself [. 173-181. For instance. voluntary and free return to some prior contemplation ("reflection") and (3) the implicit."90 The demotion of human reason from actor to stage is entirely in line with the emerging key conception of the ~ ~ ff' t~ :1· later Wissenschaftslehre according to which knowing and willing are the 'I-ly' modes or forms for the appearance of the absolute. To be sure. 'Denken und Wollen beim spaten Fichte'. But the latter cannot be brought to life from without. There is now.to life itself and as such ('Nachschrift an Reinhold' [Postscript to Reinhold]. Quellenband. which Reinhold considers possible and is actually seeking through popular philosophy is. which he did not publish (GA W6: IS).. 154. the doctrine of the temporal finitization of the noumenal or intelligible to the phenomenal or sensible belongs already to the core of the lecture Courses on the Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo. as "absolute identity of subjectivity and objectivity"88 and of which one can at most become aware through "intellectual intuition.. 154. in GA W5: 457-473. 91 Fichte goes on to contrast his own. Transzelldelltalphilosophie wzd Spekulation... reprinted in Transzelldelltalphilosophie !/lzd Spekulatioll. 185-209. In Beytriige . Among Fichte's literary remains there are further critical reflections on Reinhold's Bardilism. this is the life of reason as such that has to be thought. see my essays.. In contrast to Reinhold's simplistic view of things. ]"). GA I/7: 300 and 294.. more precisely doubled conception of life (infinite and finite life) with Reinhold's idea of the instructing and bettering influence of thinking on life. 89. Trunszendentalphilosophie ulld Spekulation. und die Wissenschaftslehre muB Ihnen sonach eine psychologische Wissenschaft werden [. On the decentralization of the I in the later Wissenschaftslehre. noting that in Reinhold there still remains from the latter's "very first period a piece of popular philosophy". (2) the explicit. GA I/7: 300. Rather he introduces a doubling into the concept of life itself. the "original. presupposed and involuntary reflection in the form of intellectual intuition ("reflex"). since life cannot be subject to any example or image external to it but always only images itself. Trullszelldentalphilosophie und Spekulation. 430-440. and which arises from the "analysis" or temporal dissolution of the original life that is in itself timeless. 1802). bes. speculative thinking between Fichte and Reinhold a dramatic.and of a reflection of sorts . 93. negatively and minimally. . 3 (Hamburg. on the one hand. 89 But now Fichte goes even beyond the views of his later Jena years by insisting on the (comparative) passivity and receptivity of "time life" and by stressing that "the human being [. which date from April and May 1801." And then there is. maintaining that this distinction is rendered by thinking but not produced or made by it.87 Yet Fichte adds to his renewed discussion of the relation between philosophy and life several new thoughts which already belong into the wider context of the further development of the Wissenschaftslehre.and was never answered by Fichte. and 'Einheit und Differenz von Fichtes Theorie des Wollens.74 PIi 10 (2000) Gunter Z611er 75 Reinhold's individual-psychological misunderstanding of the Wissenschaftslehre to Reinhold' s rootedness in popular philosophy. This tripartite division is designed to meet Reinhold's charge that the reflective moments of conscious life always depend on "arbitrary choice" (Willkiir) and on the individuality of the philosopher. ] absolutely cannot truly bring into life (erleben) and produce alive anything. this does not exclude the perfectibility of life. unexpected reversal of positions has taken place. 154 and ISO... 88. In those reflections Fichte distinguishes between (I) the unreflected immersion into an object ("contemplation"). Quellenband." which cannot be known or grasped as such by means of philosophical reflection. in the manner of popular philosophy. fasc.93 In the metaphilosophical debate about natural. 91. in Fichte's view. 87. from its opposition to philosophical thinking.. Reinhold's duplic to Fichte's replic to Reinhold does not represent a further advance in the substance of their controversy . and hence the Wissenschaftslehre must become for them a psychological science [. or no longer primarily. See WLnmK 135ff. To be sure. Quellenband. 92. 469-470). It is the representative of the Wissenschaftslehre who cognizes and recognizes the independent and self-forming character of life. Philosophy is reduced to observing (speculation). 152: 'The systematic reflection on this common cognition is psychology proper. Quellenband. Transzelldentalphilosophie ulld Spekulation. but must originate in life itself. enlarged. Fichte now understands life no longer.

.. . Humanities Press. Beiser's The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy I '. 59-79. Where no Ebglish translation is available.. and then to the English II. Harvard University Press. 1975. New Jersey...<'1 I\reazeale and Tom Rockmore eds. pp. 1 Introduction The theme of epistemological antifoundationalism has come to be central to much recent Continental and Anglo-American philosophy. 1987. 77-95... . 1994. New York. 1993. 'Dijferance'. "IIIIlIticism to Critical Theory: the Philosophy of German Literary Theory.. English renderings "' Ihe text are my own.. . trans. of pure life-less thinking.I • ""lemporary Fichte research.. in Peggy Kamuf.76 PIi 10 (2000) Pli10 (2000). 1991. •• 1 p. Cambridge (Massachusetts). Frankfurt. London. Suhrkamp. J"I'rsies. >I\le examples of this scholarship are: the work of Manfred Frank. Following research conducted by scholars into the treatment of the notion of the Absolute by the German Idealist and Romantic schools of philosophy and literary criticism/ it is also increasingly accepted that the question of the viability of antifoundationalism became pivotal for philosophy's image of I References are given to the German original first.. Modern European Philosophy: An Introduction. """lkdge. 70..'. ."/. while the sustained distance from life in transcendental philosophy takes on the traits of a speculative macrobiotics... especially Der """III!liche Mangel an Sein. Columbia University Press. if available.'Ill Krmt to Fichte. Routledge. Frederick C... Identity and Original Duplicity in Fichte's Jena Wissenschaftslehre and Schelling's Jena Naturphilosophie CHRISTOPHER GROVES The putting into question of the authority of consciousness is first and always differential. I . Fichte: Historical Contexts/Contemporary . Alan Bass. From ..Hlslation. A Derrida !l1'IIt/er: Between the Blinds.. 1997. ed. Andrew Bowie's Sche/ling . London. some fine examples of which are collected in 1'"..Jacques Derrida. In the dialectic of enlightenment the appeal to life in popular philosophy regresses into the quackery of the prescriptions misused as medicine.

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