Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson

By Benjamin Rand | Go to book overview

JOHANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE (1762-1814)

FIRST INTRODUCTION INTO THE SCIENCE OF KNOWLEDGE

Translatedfrom the German* by BENJAMIN RAND

ATTEND to thyself; turn thy glance away from all that surrounds thee and upon thine own innermost self. Such is the first demand which philosophy makes of its disciples. We speak of nothing that is without thee, but wholly of thyself.

In the most fleeting self-observation every one must perceive a marked difference between the various immediate determinations of his consciousness, which we may also call representations. Some of them appear entirely dependent upon our freedom, and it is impossible for us to believe that there is anything without us corresponding to them. Our imagination, our will, appears to us as free. Others, however, we refer to a truth, as their model, which is held to be established, independent of us; and in the attempt to determine such representations, we find ourselves conditioned by the necessity of their harmony with this truth. In the knowledge of their contents we do not consider ourselves free. In brief, we can say, some of our representations are accompanied by the feeling of freedom, others by the feeling of necessity.

The question cannot reasonably arise: Why are the representations, which are directly dependent upon our freedom, determined in precisely this manner and not otherwise? For when it is affirmed that they are dependent upon our freedom, all application of the conception of a ground is dismissed; they

____________________
*
From Erste Einleitung in die Wissenschaftslehre in Philosophisches Journal, Bd. v, 1797, pp. 1-47; id., Sämmtliche Werke, Berlin, 1845, i, pp. 422- 436.

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Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) 1
  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626) 24
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) 57
  • RenÉ Descartes (1596-1650) 101
  • Baruch De Spinoza (1632-1677) 148
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibnitz (1646-1716) 199
  • John Locke (1632-1704) 215
  • George Berkeley (1685-1753) 263
  • David Hume (1711-1766) 307
  • Etienne Bonnot De Condillac (1715-1780) 347
  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) 376
  • Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) 486
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Von Schelling. (1775-1854) 535
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) 569
  • Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) 629
  • Auguste Comte (1798-1857) 672
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) 690
  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) 703
  • Index 733
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