Saturday, March 29, 2008

What the Fi@#te? (Part 1)

Inspired by Grundlegung's Kantian Gloom-Watch and Hegelian Glee-Watch, I thought I would start a "What the Fi@#te?" series tracking some of the more absurd, baffling, and often amusing things Fichte says. Here is Fichte on the effect attacks have on him and his drive for truth:
Whatever my views may be, whether true philosophy or enthusiasim and nonsense, it affects me personally not at all, if I have honestly sought the truth. I should no more think my personal merits enhanced by the luck of having discovered the true philosophy than I should consider them diminished by the misfortune of having piled new errors on the errors of the past. For my personal position I have no regard whatever: but I am hot for truth [für die Wahrheit bin ich entflammt], and whatever I think true, I shall continue to proclaim with all the force and decision at my command (emphasis mine, Science of Knowledge [Cambridge, 1982] p. 90).
I am hot for Fichte.


Daniel Lindquist said...

I approve of this new series.

Especially its title.

JPourtless said...

I approve of the quote. I confess it reminds me of the sentiments of a man who hated Fichte only slightly less than he hated Hegel: Schopenhauer.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest a subject for the second installment of the "What the Fi@#te?" series? In the Foundations of Natural Right - a work ostensibly devoted to political philosophy - Fichte suggests that he can derive all of the particular objects in the world as necessary conditions of the possibility of self-consciousness: "If there is any human being at all, then there is necessarily a world as well, and certainly a world such as ours, one that contains both non-rational objects and rational beings within it. (This is not the proper place to proceed further and establish the necessity of all the particular objects in nature and their necessary classification, even though this can be established, just like the necessity of a world in general)" (Foundations of Natural Right, ed. Frederick Neuhouser, Cambridge: CUP, 2000 p. 38). He continues in a footnote to the passage in parentheses: "Whoever cannot understand this should simply have patience and should conclude from his lack of understanding only what it actually implies, namely, that he cannot understand it" (op. cit. p. 38n.d).