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Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Review of “Skeptical Reflections on Freedom of the Will with Respect to the Most Recent Theories on the Same by Leonhard Creuzer, 1793,” Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung 303 (1793), Cols. 201–205

from IV - Freedom and Skepticism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 March 2022

Edited and translated by
Jörg Noller
Affiliation:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munchen
John Walsh
Affiliation:
Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
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Summary

Johann Gottlieb Fichte addresses Creuzer’s skeptical concerns in this highly critical review published in 1793. Fichte specifically considers Creuzer’s assertion that the capacity to determine oneself to moral and immoral action violates the principle of sufficient reason. Fichte dismisses the objection as having already been refuted by Reinhold in the second volume of the latter’s Letters on the Kantian Philosophy. In that work Reinhold argues that it is absurd to inquire after an objective ground through which the free will determined itself to a given action because it is supposedly intrinsic to the freedom of our will that it have the capacity to determine itself independently of objective grounds. Furthermore, Fichte affirms Reinhold’s claim that the (logical variant) of the principle of sufficient reason demands not that all existents have an external cause, but only that nothing be thought without a ground. Although Fichte agrees with Reinhold that reason has a very real ground to think of freedom as an absolute cause, he criticizes Reinhold for supposedly naturalizing the will’s supersensible capacity of self-determination.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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