Idealistic Studies

Volume 53, Issue 2, Summer 2023

Seyed Masoud Hosseini
Pages 129-151

Fichte’s Contribution to German Aesthetics

In aesthetics/philosophy of art, Fichte did not produce works as great as Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment or Hegel’s Lectures on Aesthetics. As a result, it was long believed that he had no role to play in the aesthetics of German idealism. Nevertheless, there are a few works in which we can identify the materials for developing an innovative philosophy of art. In this article, it is argued that Fichte takes two fundamental steps in aesthetics: 1) by transferring the weight of the discussion of aesthetics to the philosophy of artistic creation, he makes, as it were, a Copernican revolution in aesthetics and thus transforms the aesthetics of taste into a philosophy of art based on the creative spirit; 2) he raises the status of aesthetics (in fact, the aesthetic sense) to the level of “a (or the) condition for the possibility of philosophy.”