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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 12, Issue 1, Fall 2007

Christian Lotz
Pages 109-135

Existential Idealism?
Fichte and Heidegger

In this essay, I shall attempt to shed light on central practical concepts, such as action and decision, in Heidegger’s existentialism and in Fichte’s idealism. Both Fichte and Heidegger, though from different philosophical frameworks and with different results, address the practical moment by developing [1] a non-epistemic concept of certainty, in connection with [2] a temporal analysis of the conditions of action, which leads to the primacy of future in their analyses. Both [1] and [2] shed light on their concept of the self, and on the concept of freedom. In addition, my paper offers a further clarification of what was called before Fichte’s “proto-existentialism” (G. Zöller, D. Henrich). The ontological framework of both philosophies and their concept of the practical self, finally, leads to the proposal to merge both perspectives into what I would like to call “existential idealism.” Fichte’s and Heidegger’s practical philosophies can be taken as two sides of the same coin.

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