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Idealistic Studies

Volume 47, Issue 1/2, Spring/Summer 2017

Liesbet De Kock
Pages 59-82
DOI: 10.5840/idstudies201892873

Being and the Body
Embodiment in J. G. Fichte’s Transcendental Analysis of Consciousness

The aim of this paper is to present an in-depth inquiry into one of the most disregarded dimensions of Fichte’s philosophy, i.e., the systematic place of embodiment in his transcendental epistemology. Highlighting the necessarily embodied nature of the constitution of the notion of thinghood or being in Fichte’s philosophy could not only help pave the way for a more elegant understanding of the relation between idealism’s and phenomenology’s subject views, it likewise enables a more comprehensive insight into Fichte’s much debated theory of subjectivity. Furthermore, Fichte’s transcendental account of the body provides one with a new vantage point from which to consider some classical interpretive issues, most notably those pertaining to Fichte’s peculiar methodology, his Ideal-Realism, and his take on the problem of explanatory circularity in trying to tackle the problem of the genesis of (bodily) self-consciousness.