Theory and Practice in Fichte

Jean-François Rioux

Saturday, Concordia – 15h30 à 16h15

In this paper, I argue that Fichte’s philosophy (as developed in The Science of Knowledge of 1794/95 and The Vocation of Man) surpasses both the Critique of Pure Reason’s insufficiencies about the thing in itself and Jacobi’s false dilemma between philosophy (or radical idealism) and non-philosophy (his own realism). First, I describe the idealism put forward by Fichte in the foundation of theoretical knowledge. Second, I detail Jacobi’s critiques to Fichte and consider them as valid if restricted to this first foundation. Third, I demonstrate why the foundation of knowledge of the practical prevents Fichte’s philosophy from falling into the trap of radical idealism. Fourth, I emphasize Fichte’s argument for the necessity of both idealism and realism.