Andrey Sudakov. Pure Activity: In Search of a Philosophical Theology in Fichte’s Early Science of Knowledge. Vol. 3. No. 1. 2018

Publication Details

Pure Activity: In Search of a Philosophical Theology in Fichte’s Early Science of Knowledge
Title in the language of publication: Чистая деятельность: в поисках философской теологии в раннем наукоучении Фихте
Author:
Andrey Sudakov
Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Leading Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Address: 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow 109240, Russia.
Issue:
ESSE: The philosophical and theological studies. Vol. 3. No. 1. 2018.
P. 117–138.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31119/essephts.2018.1.6
 

Abstract

The paper raises an issue of a possibility of transcendental and philosophical doctrine of God in Fichte’s metaphysics as represented in his Foundation of the Entire Science of Knowledge of 1794. The traditional explication of early Fichtian ethical metaphysics as a conceptualization of pantheism of moral world order, which has immediately caused the “atheism controversy” and where the deity has been dissolved in the endless moral progress, tends to understand the initial point of the Science of Knowledge as an unconditional identification of the absolute and the empirical I. Subsequently, in such a concept the early version of Science of Knowledge appears a variation of the metaphysics of “all-unity”. In the paper, we will provide a more accurate account of Fichte’s reflections upon the absolute I of the first principle and its pure activity of self-posing in its paradoxically controversial (and insomuch life-bearing for every finite spirit) diunity with the objective activity of that very I, which Fichte has deployed in contraposition to Spinozism as ontology of an absolute objectless subject. It will allow us to find certain traits for a new philosophical theology in the 1794 version of the Science of Knowledge, where the idea of God is aligned to an absolute subject-object. The deity, though being no definite thing with regard to its form, and therefore allowing no direct reflections upon itself, is conceived in this doctrine with regard to its content as a totality of positions of the spirit. Therefore, this productive paradoxon of the absolute I may obtain some realization in terms of speculative theology already on this stage of conceptual development, being distinct from any pantheistic philosophy of “all-unity”. For what the finite self along with the entirety of such selves could receive merely in its perspective and in its endless strife, is constantly actualized in the self-conscience of the deity. Thus, a perspective for a philosophy of religion backed by the idea of realm of the spirit as a supreme divine reality has already been outlined in the early version of the Science of Knowledge, requiring but a “new method” of reflection on the practical I.

Keywords

Fichte, absolute I, empirical I, position (Setzen), reality, pure activity, objective activity, striving (Streben), reflection, Spinozism.

References 

Fichte I. G. (1993a) “Ueber den Begriff der Wissenschaftslehre oder der sogenannten Philosophie, als Einladungsschrift”. Fichte I. G. Sochineniya v dvukh tomakh. T. 1 [Works in two volumes. Vol. 1]. St. Petersburg: Mifril: 5–64. (in Russian).

Fichte I. G. (1993b) “Grundlage des gesamten Wissenschaftslehre”. Fichte I. G. Sochineniya v dvukh tomakh. T. 1 [Works in two volumes. Vol. 1]. St. Petersburg: Mifril: 65–337. (in Russian).

Fichte I. G. (1993c) “Ueber die Würde des Menschen, Beym Schlusse seiner philosophischen Vorlesungen gesprochen”. Fichte I. G. Sochineniya v dvukh tomakh. T. 1 [Works in two volumes. Vol. 1]. St. Petersburg: Mifril: 435–441. (in Russian).

Fichte I. G. (1993d) “Versuch einer neuen Darstellung der Wissenschaftslehre”. Fichte I. G. Sochineniya v dvukh tomakh. T. 1 [Works in two volumes. Vol. 1]. St. Petersburg: Mifril: 547–562. (in Russian).

Fichte I. G. (1993e) “Die Grundzüge des gegenwärtigen Zeitalters”. Fichte I. G. Sochineniya v dvukh tomakh. T. 2 [Works in two volumes. Vol. 2]. St. Petersburg: Mifril: 359–617. (in Russian).

Fichte I. G. (1997) “Die Anweisung zum seligen Leben, oder auch die Religionslehre”. Fichte I. G. Nastavlenie k blazhennoi zhizni [The Way Towards the Blessed Life]. Moscow: “Kanon-plyus” ROOI “Reabilitatsiya” (Istoriya filosofii v pamyatnikakh [History of philosophy in monuments]): 5–166. (in Russian).

Fichte I. G. (2012) “Ueber den Grund unseres Glaubens an eine göttliche Weltregierung”. Ivanenko A. A. Filosofiya kak naukouchenie: genezis nauchnogo metoda v trudakh I. G. Fichte [Philosophy as Science of Knowledge: Genesis of Scientific Method in the Works of I. G. Fichte]. St. Petersburg: Vladimir Dal: 296–312. (in Russian).

Haydenko P. P. (1979) Filosofiya Fichte i sovremennost’ [Philosophy of Fichte and Modernity]. Moscow: Mysl’. (in Russian).

Kroner R. (1921) Von Kant bis Hegel. Bd. I. Von der Vernunftkritik zur Naturphilosophie. Tuebingen: Verlag von J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck).

Lukyanov A. V. (1993) Problema dukhovnogo “Ya” v filosofii I. G. Fichte [The Problem of Spiritual I in the Philosophy of I. G. Fichte]. Ufa: RIO BashSU. (in Russian).

Schad J. B. (1802) Absolute Harmonie des Fichteschen Systems mit der Religion. Erfurt: in der Henningschen Buchhandlung.

Windelband W. (1904) Die Geschichte der neueren Philosophie in ihrem Zusammenhange mit der allgemeinen Kultur und den besonderen Wissenschaften. Bd. 2. Von Kant bis Hegel und Herbart. Leipzig: Verlag Breitkopf & Haertel.

Wundt M. (1929) “Das absolute Ich”. Wundt M. Fichte-Forschungen. Stuttgart: Fr. Frommann Verlag (H. Kurtz): 265–280.

© Andrey Sudakov, 2018

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.