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2 - German Idealism's Trinitarian legacy: the nineteenth century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2013

Dale Schlitt
Oblate School of Theology
Nicholas Boyle
University of Cambridge
Liz Disley
University of Cambridge
Nicholas Adams
University of Edinburgh
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Fichte, Hegel and Schelling have had an enormous impact on the development of Trinitarian thought. Hegel and Schelling, in particular, have profoundly influenced Trinitarian thinking from their day until today. The root reason for this influence can be traced back to the way in which these three German Idealists embraced, from early on and each in his own way, what they understood to be the triadic structure of dynamically developing subjectivity.

J. G. Fichte: setting the stage

Fichte (1762–1814) was the earliest of the three to focus so intensely on what came to be this Idealist trademark; namely, the triadic structure of subjectivity. In his search to find a way to ground all experience and knowledge, he rejected Kant's notion of the thing-in-itself and argued at length that all we had to deal with was consciousness as such. In his ground-breaking work of 1794–5, Science of Knowledge, he laid out a basic principle followed by two further principles – all three were then to ground all science and thinking.

The Impact of Idealism
The Legacy of Post-Kantian German Thought
, pp. 48 - 68
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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