Volume 48, 2020

Fichtes Bildtheorie im Kontext, Teil II

Susan-Judith Hoffmann
Pages 293-304

Breathing Life into Primal Beauty
The Imagination at work in Fichte

In Über den Unterschied des Geistes u. des Buchstabens in der Philosophie, Fichte writes that man’s most fundamental tendency to philosophize is simply the drive to represent for the sake of representing—the same drive which is the ultimate basis of the fine arts. The process of representing for the sake of representing is grounded in “spirit”, which is nothing other than the power of the imagination to raise to consciousness images of das Urschöne. In this paper, I suggest that the affinity between artistic activity and Fichte’s transcendental philosophy is closer than previously thought. I further suggest that for Fichte, transcendental philosophy is a performance and that such an interpretation of Fichte’s thought points to a way out of the circularity in his transcendental project.