Volume 33, Issue 2/3, Summer/Fall 2003
The Shadow of Spinoza In Fichte’s WL 1804
Spinoza exerted a strong pull on many of the German idealists. This paper explores the evidence of Spinoza's influence on Fichte in the latter's 1804 lectures on his Wissenschaftslehre (the second series). Fichte explicitly mentions Spinoza's names only three times, and each of these references is critical of Spinoza. However, there are other important resonances connecting the thinking of these two philosophers, each of whom faced charges of atheism. These include the priority each grants to practical reason, the accounts each gives of what is genuinely ultimate, and their views about how human beings come into relation with the ultimate.