Johann Gottlieb Fichte quotes

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Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Birthdate: 19. May 1762
Date of death: 27. January 1814
Other names: ਜੋਹਾਂਨ ਗੌਟਲੀਬ ਫਿਸ਼ਤ, Johann Fichte

Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a German philosopher who became a founding figure of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant. Recently, philosophers and scholars have begun to appreciate Fichte as an important philosopher in his own right due to his original insights into the nature of self-consciousness or self-awareness. Fichte was also the originator of thesis–antithesis–synthesis, an idea that is often erroneously attributed to Hegel. Like Descartes and Kant before him, Fichte was motivated by the problem of subjectivity and consciousness. Fichte also wrote works of political philosophy; he has a reputation as one of the fathers of German nationalism.

Works

The Vocation of Man
The Vocation of Man
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Address to the German Nation
Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Quotes Johann Gottlieb Fichte

„Blind Instinct is indeed annihilated, and in its place there now stands the clearly perceived Shall.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

XIII.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: I know now that I shall. But all Actual Knowledge brings with it, by its formal nature, its schematised apposition; — although I now know of the Schema of God, yet I am not yet immediately this Schema, but I am only a Schema of the Schema. The required Being is not yet realised.
I shall be. Who is this I? Evidently that which is, — the Ego gives in Intuition, the Individual. This shall be.
What does its Being signify? It is given as a Principle in the World of Sense. Blind Instinct is indeed annihilated, and in its place there now stands the clearly perceived Shall. But the Power that at first set this Instinct in motion remains, in order that the Shall my now set it (the Power) in motion, and become its higher determining Principle. By means of this Power, I shall therefore, within its sphere, — the World of Sense, — produce and make manifest that which I recognise as my true Being in the Supersensuous World.

„By means of this Power, I shall therefore, within its sphere, — the World of Sense, — produce and make manifest that which I recognise as my true Being in the Supersensuous World.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

XIII.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: I know now that I shall. But all Actual Knowledge brings with it, by its formal nature, its schematised apposition; — although I now know of the Schema of God, yet I am not yet immediately this Schema, but I am only a Schema of the Schema. The required Being is not yet realised.
I shall be. Who is this I? Evidently that which is, — the Ego gives in Intuition, the Individual. This shall be.
What does its Being signify? It is given as a Principle in the World of Sense. Blind Instinct is indeed annihilated, and in its place there now stands the clearly perceived Shall. But the Power that at first set this Instinct in motion remains, in order that the Shall my now set it (the Power) in motion, and become its higher determining Principle. By means of this Power, I shall therefore, within its sphere, — the World of Sense, — produce and make manifest that which I recognise as my true Being in the Supersensuous World.

„There is but One who is absolutely by and through himself, — namely, God; and God is not the mere dead conception to which we have thus given utterance, but he is in himself pure Life.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

I.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: The Doctrine of Knowledge, apart from all special and definite knowing, proceeds immediately upon Knowledge itself, in the essential unity in which it recognises Knowledge as existing; and it raises this question in the first place — How this Knowledge can come into being, and what it is in its inward and essential Nature?
The following must be apparent: — There is but One who is absolutely by and through himself, — namely, God; and God is not the mere dead conception to which we have thus given utterance, but he is in himself pure Life. He can neither change nor determine himself in aught within himself, nor become any other Being; for his Being contains within it all his Being and all possible Being, and neither within him nor out of him can any new Being arise.

„This Being out of God cannot, by any means, be a limited, completed, and inert Being, since God himself is not such a dead Being, but, on the contrary, is Life“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

III.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: This Being out of God cannot, by any means, be a limited, completed, and inert Being, since God himself is not such a dead Being, but, on the contrary, is Life; — but it can only be a Power, since only a Power is the true formal picture or Schema of Life. And indeed it can only be the Power of realising that which is contained in itself — a Schema.

„The Doctrine of Knowledge, apart from all special and definite knowing, proceeds immediately upon Knowledge itself, in the essential unity in which it recognises Knowledge as existing; and it raises this question in the first place — How this Knowledge can come into being, and what it is in its inward and essential Nature?“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

I.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: The Doctrine of Knowledge, apart from all special and definite knowing, proceeds immediately upon Knowledge itself, in the essential unity in which it recognises Knowledge as existing; and it raises this question in the first place — How this Knowledge can come into being, and what it is in its inward and essential Nature?
The following must be apparent: — There is but One who is absolutely by and through himself, — namely, God; and God is not the mere dead conception to which we have thus given utterance, but he is in himself pure Life. He can neither change nor determine himself in aught within himself, nor become any other Being; for his Being contains within it all his Being and all possible Being, and neither within him nor out of him can any new Being arise.

„If, in the onflow of Time, the Ego, in every successive moment, had to determine itself by a particular act, through the conception of what it shall, — then in its original Unity, it was assuredly indeterminate, and only continuously determinable in an Infinite Time.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

XIII.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: The Power is given as an Infinite; — hence that which in the World of Thought is absolutely One — that which I shall — becomes in the World of Intuition an infinite problem for my Power, which I have to solve in all Eternity.
This Infinitude, which is properly a mere indefiniteness, can have place only in Intuition, but by means in my true Essential Being, which, as the Schema of God, is as simple and unchangeable as himself. How then can this simplicity and unchangeableness be produced within the yet continuing Infinitude, which is expressly consecrated by the absolute Shall addressed to me as an Individual?
If, in the onflow of Time, the Ego, in every successive moment, had to determine itself by a particular act, through the conception of what it shall, — then in its original Unity, it was assuredly indeterminate, and only continuously determinable in an Infinite Time. But such an act of determination could only become possible in Time, in opposition to some resisting power. This resisting power, which was thus to be conquered by the act of determination, could be nothing else than the Sensuous Instinct; and hence the necessity of such a continuous self-determination in Time would be the sure proof that the Instinct was not yet thoroughly abolished; which abolition we have made a condition of entering upon the Life in God.

„Every Individual can and must, under the given condition, construct the True World of Sense, — for this indeed has beyond the universal and formal laws above deduced, no other Truth and Reality than this universal harmony.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

XI.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: There is but One Principle that proceeds from God; and thus, in consequence of the unity of the Power, it is possible for each Individual to schematise his World of Sense in accordance with the law of that original harmony; — and every Individual, under the condition of being found on the way towards the recognition of the Imperative, must so schematise it. I might say: — Every Individual can and must, under the given condition, construct the True World of Sense, — for this indeed has beyond the universal and formal laws above deduced, no other Truth and Reality than this universal harmony.

„I am only a Schema of the Schema.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

XIII.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: I know now that I shall. But all Actual Knowledge brings with it, by its formal nature, its schematised apposition; — although I now know of the Schema of God, yet I am not yet immediately this Schema, but I am only a Schema of the Schema. The required Being is not yet realised.
I shall be. Who is this I? Evidently that which is, — the Ego gives in Intuition, the Individual. This shall be.
What does its Being signify? It is given as a Principle in the World of Sense. Blind Instinct is indeed annihilated, and in its place there now stands the clearly perceived Shall. But the Power that at first set this Instinct in motion remains, in order that the Shall my now set it (the Power) in motion, and become its higher determining Principle. By means of this Power, I shall therefore, within its sphere, — the World of Sense, — produce and make manifest that which I recognise as my true Being in the Supersensuous World.

„Thus then does the Doctrine of Knowledge, which in its substance is the realisation of the absolute Power of intelligising which has now been defined, end with the recognition of itself as a mere Schema in a Doctrine of Wisdom“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

XIV.
Outline of the Doctrine of Knowledge (1810)
Context: Thus then does the Doctrine of Knowledge, which in its substance is the realisation of the absolute Power of intelligising which has now been defined, end with the recognition of itself as a mere Schema in a Doctrine of Wisdom, although indeed a necessary and indispensable means to such a Doctrine: — a Schema, the sole aim of which is, with the knowledge thus acquired, — by which knowledge alone a Will, clear and intelligible to itself and reposing upon itself without wavering or perplexity, is possible, — to return wholly into Actual Life; — not into the Life of blind and irrational Instinct which we have laid bare in all its nothingness, but into the Divine Life which shall become visible to us.

„Upon the progress of knowledge the whole progress of the human race is immediately dependent: he who retards that, hinders this also.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Αs translated by William Smith, in The Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889), Vol. I, Lecture IV, p. 188.
The Vocation of the Scholar (1794)
Context: Upon the progress of knowledge the whole progress of the human race is immediately dependent: he who retards that, hinders this also. And he who hinders this, —what character does he assume towards his age and posterity? Louder than with a thousand voices, by his actions he proclaims into the deafened ear of the world present and to come —"As long as I live at least, the men around me shall not become wiser or better; — for in their progress I too, notwithstanding all my efforts to the contrary, should be dragged forward in some direction; and this I detest I will not become more enlightened, — I will not become nobler. Darkness and perversion are my elements, and I will summon all my powers together that I may not be dislodged from them."

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„The law commands that the other person shall treat me as a rational being. He does not do so; and the law now absolves mc from all obligation to treat him as a rational being. But by that very absolving it makes itself valid. For the law, in saying that it depends now altogether upon my free-will how I desire to treat the other, or that I have a compulsory right against him, says, virtually, that the other person can not prevent my compulsion; that is, can not prevent it through the mere principle of law, though he may prevent it through physical strength, or through an appeal to morality, (may induce me to forego my compelling him, or prevent me from compelling him by superior strength.)If an absolute community is to be established between persons, as such, each member thereof must assume the above law; for only by constantly treating each other as free beings can they remain free beings or persons. Moreover, since it is possible for each member to treat the other as not a free being, but as a mere thing, it is also conceivable that each member may form the resolve, never to treat the others as mere things, but always as free beings; and since for such a resolve no other ground is discoverable than that such a community of free beings ought to exist, it is also conceivable that each member should have formed that resolve from this ground and upon this presupposition.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Source: The Science of Rights 1796, P. 132

„The fundamental maxim of those who stand at the head of this Age, and therefore the principle of the Age, is this,—to accept nothing as really existing or obligatory, but that which they can understand and clearly comprehend.“

—  Johann Gottlieb Fichte

With regard to this fundamental principle, as we have now declared and adopted it without farther definition or limitation, this third Age is precisely similar to that which is to follow it, the fourth, or age of Reason as Science,—and by virtue of this similarity prepares the way for it. Before the tribunal of Science, too, nothing is accepted but the Conceivable. Only in the application of the principle there is this difference between the two Ages,—that the third, which we shall shortly name that of Empty Freedom, makes its fixed and previously acquired conceptions the measure of existence; while the fourth—that of Science—on the contrary, makes existence the measure, not of its acquired, but of its desiderated beliefs.
Source: The Characteristics of the Present Age (1806), p. 19

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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