Repository | Book | Chapter


(2016) Transcendental inquiry, Dordrecht, Springer.

Kant and Fichte on the notion of (transcendental) freedom

Violetta L Waibel

pp. 35-54

Fichte can be considered the one philosopher beside Sartre who thought most emphatically about the notion of freedom. Fichte, however, develops a theory of freedom in his System of Ethics (1798), introducing the three stages of freedom. These three stages are (1) thinking in concepts, which is what sets man apart from natural drives; (2) intentional, purposeful thinking, decision-making and acting; and (3) acting morally in the full sense of autonomous reason. The names of the three alone make us wonder why Kant had not included them in his system as well. Whereas Fichte recognizes different forms of human freedom on all three levels, Kant only explicitly defines the third stage as an expression of freedom. Does this mean that Kant does not consider the expression of spontaneity on the one hand and planning, decision-making and purposive rational acting on the other as manifestations of human freedom? This is what this chapter investigates.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40715-9_3

Full citation:

L Waibel, V. (2016)., Kant and Fichte on the notion of (transcendental) freedom, in H. Kim & S. Hoeltzel (eds.), Transcendental inquiry, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 35-54.

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.