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Fichte-Studien

Volume 49, 2021

The Enigma of Fichte’s First Principles (Das Rätsel von Fichtes Grundsätzen)

Pavel Reichl
Pages 288-308

The Role of First Principles in Fichte’s Philosophy of History

In this article, I explore the role of the first principle in Fichte’s philosophy of history and assess the extent to which its introduction is able to resolve problems in the philosophies of history of his predecessors. Particularly, I focus on Fichte’s response to the question of how history can be grasped in a systematic manner for the purposes of theoretical cognition. I argue that while Fichte is able to resolve the tension between Herder’s pluralism and Kant’s chiliasm in an innovative manner, the deployment of his first principle is ultimately unsuccessful in establishing historiography on a firmer scientific foundation.