Volume 49, 2021
The Enigma of Fichte’s First Principles (Das Rätsel von Fichtes Grundsätzen)
The First Principle of the Wissenschaftslehre and the Logical Principle of Identity
The first principle of Fichte’s philosophy, the Wissenschaftslehre, is “I am,” whereas the logical principle of identity is “A is A.” The relationship of Fichte’s philosophy to logic helps us understand the relation between the principles of these two disciplines. The first principle of the Wissenschaftslehre as an Act (Thathandlung) is the ground of consciousness and therefore renders logic possible as a science. Even though logic is grounded on the Wissenschaftslehre, the form of logic is used by the latter to comprehend itself. The difference between logic and the Wissenschaftslehre consists in the fact that the former merely supplies a form and the latter contains both the form and the content. Logic arises from the Wissenschaftslehre through the free acts termed “abstraction” and “reflection.” In the Wissenschaftslehre, the form of logical propositions as equality, affirmation and substitution, are derived from the primordial act of the self-positing of the I.