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Fichte’s Certainty in the Spirit by the Letter

  • ANTÓN BARBA-KAY (a1)

Abstract

Fichte’s Jena writings sought to combine the apparently conflicting requirements of settling philosophy on scientific grounds and of respecting its character as a self-determined vocation. In reconciling these tasks, he understood himself to be faced at once with the meta-philosophical one of motivating the questions he addressed, the pedagogical one of adequately communicating his position, and the polemical one of accounting for the incomprehension of his adversaries. I show how these layers constitute Fichte’s response to the larger problem of specifying the relation between the rote ‘letter’ of a philosophical doctrine and the intersubjective ‘spirit’ of its communicability.

Dans ses écrits de Jena, Fichte tente de résoudre l’apparent conflit entre la nécessité de faire reposer la philosophie sur des principes scientifiques et celle de respecter sa nature de vocation autonome. Ce faisant, il a prétendu accomplir d’autres tâches, sur les plans métaphilosophique, pédagogique et polémique : justifier les questions qui l’occupaient, communiquer sa pensée correctement et répondre aux incompréhensions de ses adversaires. Cet article montre qu’à travers ces considérations, Fichte s’essaie aussi au problème plus vaste qui consiste à préciser la relation entre la «lettre» de la philosophie comme doctrine et son «esprit» intersubjectif.

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Fichte’s Certainty in the Spirit by the Letter

  • ANTÓN BARBA-KAY (a1)

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