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Idealistic Studies

Volume 37, Issue 3, Fall 2007

Garth W. Green
Pages 157-178
DOI: 10.5840/idstudies200737312

Fichte’s Critique of Kant’s Doctrine of Inner Sense

In this paper, the thematic context for Fichte’s early concern with the character of the forms of intuition, and specifically inner intuition, is adumbrated. This context is provided by means of a brief exposition of Kant’s doctrine of time as the form of inner sense, and its dual role; its positive role in the “order of (synthetic) cognition” or ordo cognoscendi, and its negative role in the critique of Seelenlehre or “doctrine of the soul.” It is then argued, on this basis, that Fichte’s critique of Kant’s doctrine can serve as a principle for our understanding both of the context for, and the content of, Fichte’s early, propaedeutic writings, and thus of the character of the development of post-Kantian theoretical philosophy and doctrine of knowledge. The paper develops in three parts; through (1) an introduction, in which the importance of the theme to the development of German idealism is intimated, to (2) an exposition of the basic theses of Kant’s Sinnenlehre in the Critique of Pure Reason, and to (3) a summary of Fichte’s critique thereof, as this is set out in the Grundriss.