Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here. Earlier editions of the handbook included the place of publication and required different punctuation such as journal editions in parentheses and colons after issue numbers. In the current version, punctuation is simpler only commas and periods separate the elementsand information about the source is kept to the basics. End this element with a period.
Fichte's Beginnings a.
Early Life Fichte was born on May 19, to a family of ribbon makers. Early in life he impressed everyone with his great intelligence, but his parents were too poor to pay for his schooling.
Through the patronage of a local nobleman, he was able to attend the Pforta school, which prepared students for a university education, and then the universities of Jena and Leipzig.
Unfortunately, little is known about this period of Fichte's life, but we do know that he intended to obtain a degree in theology, and that he had to break off his studies for financial reasons aroundwithout obtaining a degree of any sort.
Several years of earning his living as an itinerant tutor ensued, during which time he met Johanna Rahn, his future wife, while living in Zurich.
In the summer ofwhile living in Leipzig and once again in financial distress, Fichte agreed to tutor a university student in the Kantian philosophy, about which he knew very little at the time.
His immersion in Kant's writings, according to his own testimony, revolutionized his thinking and changed his life, turning him away from a deterministic view of the world at odds with human freedom towards the doctrines of the Critical philosophy and its reconciliation of freedom and determinism. Fichte's Sudden Rise to Prominence More wandering and frustration followed.
Unfortunately for Fichte, things did not go well, and Kant was not especially impressed by his visitor. In order to prove his expertise in the Critical philosophy, Fichte quickly composed a manuscript on the relation of the Critical philosophy to the question of divine revelation, an issue that Kant had yet to address in print.
This time, Kant was justifiably impressed by the results and arranged for his own publisher to bring out the work, which appeared in under the title An Attempt at a Critique of all Revelation. In this fledgling effort Fichte adhered to many of Kant's claims about morality and religion by thoughtfully extending them to the concept of revelation.
In particular, he took over Kant's idea that all religious belief must ultimately withstand critical scrutiny if it is to make a legitimate claim on us.
For Fichte, any alleged revelation of God's activity in the world must pass a moral test: Although Fichte himself did not explicitly criticize Christianity by appealing to this test, such a restriction on the content of a possible revelation, if consistently imposed, would overturn some aspects of orthodox Christian belief, including, for example, the doctrine of original sin, which states that everyone is born guilty as a result of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden.
This element of Christian theology, which is said to be grounded in the revelations contained in the Bible, is hardly compatible with the view of justice underwritten by the moral law.
Attentive readers should have instantly gleaned Fichte's radical views from the placid Kantian prose. For reasons that are still mysterious, Fichte's name and preface were omitted from the first edition of An Attempt at a Critique of all Revelation, and thus the book, which displayed an extensive and subtle appreciation of Kant's thought, was taken to be the work of Kant himself.
Once it became known that Fichte was the author, he instantly became a philosophical figure of importance; no one whose work had been mistaken for Kant's, however briefly, could be rightfully denied fame and celebrity in the German philosophical world.
Fichte continued working as a tutor while attempting to fashion his philosophical insights into a system of his own. It became widely known that he was their author; consequently, from the very beginning of his public career, he was identified with radical causes and views. Fichte arrived in Jena in May The Jena Period a.
Fichte's Philosophical Vocation In his years at Jena, which lasted untilFichte published the works that established his reputation as one of the major figures in the German philosophical tradition.
Fichte never exclusively saw himself as an academic philosopher addressing the typical audience of fellow philosophers, university colleagues, and students. Instead, he considered himself a scholar with a wider role to play beyond the confines of academia, a view eloquently expressed in "Some Lectures Concerning the Scholar's Vocation," which were delivered to an overflowing lecture hall shortly after his much anticipated arrival in Jena.
One of the tasks of philosophy, according to these lectures, is to offer rational guidance towards the ends that are most appropriate for a free and harmonious society. The particular role of the scholar — that is, of individuals such as Fichte himself, regardless of their particular academic discipline — is to be a teacher of mankind and a superintendent of its never-ending progress towards perfection.
Throughout his career Fichte alternated between composing, on the one hand, philosophical works for scholars and students of philosophy and, on the other hand, popular works for the general public. This desire to communicate to the wider public — to bridge the gap, so to speak, between theory and praxis — inspired his writings from the start.
In fact, Fichte's passion for the education of society as a whole should be seen as a necessary consequence of his philosophical system, which continues the Kantian tradition of placing philosophy in the service of enlightenment, i.
To become mature, according to Kant's way of thinking, which Fichte had adopted, is to overcome our willing refusal to think for ourselves, and thus to accept responsibility for failing to think and act independently of the guidance of external authority.
Fichte's System, the Wissenschaftslehre Fichte called his philosophical system the Wissenschaftslehre. The usual English translations of this term, such as "science of knowledge," "doctrine of science," or "theory of science," can be misleading, since today these phrases carry connotations that can be excessively theoretical or too reminiscent of the natural sciences.
Therefore, many English-language commentators and translators prefer to use the German term as the untranslated proper name that designates Fichte's system as a whole. Strictly speaking, this is incorrect, since this work, as its title indicates, was meant as the foundations of the system as a whole; the other parts of the system were to be written afterwards.
Background to the Wissenschaftslehre Before moving to Jena, and while he was living in the house of his father-in-law in Zurich, Fichte wrote two short works that presaged much of the Wissenschaftslehre that he devoted the rest of his life to developing. The first of these was a review of a skeptical critique of Kantian philosophy in general and Reinhold's so-called Elementarphilosophie "Elementary Philosophy" in particular.
The work under review, an anonymously published polemic called Aenesidemus, which was later discovered to have been written by Gottlob Ernst Schulzeand which appeared ingreatly influenced Fichte, causing him to revise many of his views, but did not lead him to abandon Reinhold's concept of philosophy as rigorous science, an interpretation of the nature of philosophy that demanded that philosophical principles be systematically derived from a single foundational principle known with certainty.A self-reflective essay is a brief paper where you describe an experience and how it has changed you or helped you to grow.
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