Fichte and Kant on reason's final ends and highest ideas

Steven Hoeltzel

In this paper, I argue that Fichte’s account of pure reason and its supreme self-wrought Idea is, in its transcendental essentials, very much modeled on Kant’s. The key difference between their positions, I suggest, is simply that Fichte operates with a more abstract understanding of the transcendentally basic elements of finite rationality; consequently, he arrives at a conceptually more concentrated understanding of pure reason’s preeminent Idea. In section one, I supply some context for that comparison. In section two, I recount Fichte’s depiction of “the I as an Idea” and note some importantly related concepts and claims. In section three, I examine a pair of interestingly different approaches taken by Kant to understanding and identifying the Ideas engendered by reason’s basic aims and operations. Finally, in section four, I suggest that the Jena Wissenschaftslehre reflects Fichte’s tacit appropriation of the transcendentally more fundamental of those two Kantian approaches.

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Full citation:

Hoeltzel, S. (2018). Fichte and Kant on reason's final ends and highest ideas. Revista de estud(i)os sobre Fichte 16, pp. n/a.

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