Volume 49, 2021

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

Stefan Schick
Pages 139-160

From Being Reflexive to Absolute Reflection – Fichte’s Original Insight Reconsidered

This paper defends Fichte’s conception of the absolute I by interpreting it as a modification of the reflection theory. It firstly provides a short outline of Dieter Henrich’s idea of Fichte’s “original insight,” before delineating the problems of Fichte’s “original insight” as they are presented by Henrich. It then analyzes Fichte’s concept of the absolute I by reconstructing its deduction in the Foundations of the Science of Knowledge (1794). With the concept of the absolute I delineated in this manner, it then argues against Henrich’s objections. It concludes that Fichte’s conception of the absolute I is not a rejection of the reflection theory, but rather a radical re-interpretation of it.

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