Philosophy Today

Founded in 1957, Philosophy Today is a quarterly magazine published by DePaul University. The magazine has a circulation of over 1,000 readers and specializes in information on contemporary philosophy and philosophers. The Editor of the magazine is David W. Pellauer.

Articles from Vol. 52, No. 3/4, Fall

Apriority from the Grundlage to the System of Ethics
This essay addresses the general topic of apriority in Fichte's writings in the mid- to late 1790s; more specifically, I will be asking what we can learn about the Fichtean conception of apriority from its deployment in the System of Ethics. This means...
Between the Ideal and the Ego Ideal: Collective Evil from Fichte to Freud
It seems that post 9/11 me topic of evil and particularly collective evil has been on almost everyone's mind. Although philosophers have always inquired about the origin and nature of evil, since 9/11 there has been an unprecedented increase of philosophical...
Feeling Is Knowing: The Centrality of Drives and Affect in Fichte's System of Ethics
As Fichte well knew, he was not a philosopher comme des autres. The obstinate consistency of his opposition to dualism and to the knowability of the real set him apart from his contemporaries and most of his successors. But was also one of the great...
Fichte against Kant in the System of Ethics
It is something of a diche to assert that what initially drove, then later oriented, and finally shaped Fichte's research in first philosophy was nothing other than ethical concerns. According to some interpreters, Fichte was supposedly converted to...
Fichte and Novalis on the Relationship between Ethics and Aesthetics
Fichte's moral [theory] contains the most correct views of morality. Morality says absolutely nothing determinate - it is conscience - a mere judge without law. Morality commands immediately, but always individually. It is decision through and through....
Fichte and the Universality of the Moral Law
"We ought all to act in the same manner."1 This bold assertion is to be found in the fifth Part of §18 of the System of Ethics. With this sentence, Fichte raises the question of the realization of the moral law by a plurality of rational beings. He is...
Fichte, Ethics, and the Pleasures of Self-Destruction
Pleasure has always been a dangerous notion for ethics. From Kant's own wariness of it to the accusations of Epicureanism that assailed Mill, pleasure's association with the causal-like mechanism of sensual nature seems to put it at odds with freedom....
Fichte, Ethics, and Transcendental Philosophy
Some two centuries after Kant, his influence continues undiminished. In many ways the later philosophical discussion consists in a series of reactions to Kant. But Kant's influence on the later debate is uneven. It is his epistemologica! views that continue...
Fichte on the Highest Good: Agent Unity and Practical Deliberation in the Jena Sittenlehre
While the primary occupation of scholars remains the explication of foundational issues in the Wissenschafislehre, Fichte's moral philosophy has also begun to receive the sort of attention that it deserves.1Fichte is no longer regarded as simply an over-zealous...
Finite and Absolute Reason in (and beyond) Fichte's System of Ethics
Systematically central to properly practical philosophy, for Fichte, are conceptions of reason as such, and of finite rational being qua finite, which together entail that "the complete annihilation of the individual and the fusion of the latter into...
Hegel on Fichte's Conception of Practical Self-Consciousnes: A Fundamental Criticism of the Sittenlehre in the Differenz-Schrift
In the Differenz-Schrift (DS), Hegel criticizes almost all of Fichte's major philosophical works published during his Jena period.1 However, his criticism is not entirely negative but rather double-sided: he admits the correctness of Fichte's fundamental...
Introduction
This combined fall and winter, 2008, issue of Philosophy Today presents papers delivered at die biannual meeting of the North American Fichte Society devoted to Fichte's Sittenlehre. The meeting, which was held at DePaul University April 10-13, 2008...
One Drive and Two Modes of Acting: Cognition and Volition
There are several philosophical innovations that we generally ascribe to Fichte's Wissenschafislehre. These include his account of the fundamental character and activity of the "I," the oscillation of the power of the imagination (Schweben der Einbildungskraft),...
On Fichte's Concept of Freedom in the System of Ethics
The notion of freedom is a central notion of Fichte's philosophical system. In his letter from 1795 Fichte calls his philosophy "the first system of freedom," comparing its theoretical significance with the import and effect that the French Revolution...
The Beautiful Soul, the Sociopath, and Fichte's Ethics
The figure of the beautiful soul (die schöne Seele) is a theme that runs through the Uterature and the philosophy of the period both before and after Fichte's System der Sittlichkeit. It also feeds into and feeds out of that work. The notion of the beautiful...
The Concept of Conscience in Fichte's System of Ethics
To explain my subject "conscience" I need to make some preliminary comments: In Part I, I shall address drive and reason, and in Part ?, Fichte's idea of morality. In Part G?, I will deal with Fichte's concept of "conscience" in some detail. In Part...
The Concept of Drive in the Sitttenlehre (1798): Fundamental Aspects of Fichte's Doctrine of Oikeiosis
To begin, there is no evidence to suggest that Fichte had any direct knowledge of the Stoic doctrine of oikeiosis. He never uses the concept of oikeiosis. It is probable he had absolutely no idea of it. And to impute him a doctrine of oikeiosis may seem...
The Empirical I in the System of Ethics
Fichte has a reputation outside of Fichte scholarship for being individualistic, even solipsistic. Within Fichte scholarship, however, he is well known for the importance placed on intersubjectivity as the condition for the possibility of individual...
The First-Person Standpoint of Fichte's Ethics
We live in exciting times - a generalization that can be extended to contemporary philosophy, and particularly to contemporary work in ethics. Not only is the shop-worn debate between deontologists and utilitarians no longer the only game in town, with...
The Function and Significance of Longing in the System of Ethics
In the Critique of Judgment, Kant defines longing, in a footnote, as an affect which demonstrates an inchoate agreement with his doctrine of desire on the part of anyone who makes an incredible wish; "fantastic desires" indicate that we are aware that...
The Transcendental Deduction of the Categorial Imperative in Fichte's System of Ethics
In Fichte's System of Ethics we find a double deduction of categorial imperative. The first one, in §1-3, is for the philosopher, based on the essence of I. The second one appears in §9-13 and 16, where Fichte shows how the I-self rises genetically to...
Two Hundred Years of Solitude: The Failed Reception of Fichte's System of Ethics
Of all the works that Fichte himself saw to publication, the System of Ethics, which first appeared in installments beginning in December 1797 and was completely published at the end of March 1798, probably has received the least attention and has been...