Andrey Sudakov. All-unity of the Absolute and monoduality of the I. Metaphysics and reflexivity in light of the “deduction” of the principles of Fichte’s Science of Knowledge. Vol. 1. No. 2. 2016

Publication Details

All-unity of the Absolute and monoduality of the I. Metaphysics and reflexivity in light of the “deduction” of the principles of Fichte’s Science of Knowledge
Title in the language of publication: Всеединство абсолюта и двуединство Я. Метафизика и рефлексия в структуре «дедукции» основоположений наукоучения Фихте
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.
P. 99–128.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
Acknowledgments:  The present study is a part of the project No. 15-03-00211, “Metaphysics within an intercultural context: history and contemporaneity”, implemented with a financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.


The paper analyzes the section of Fichte’s Foundations of the “Science of Knowledge” (Wissenschaftslehre) concerning its basic principles, with regard to the interrelation of reflective-logical and metaphysical elements in the science of knowledge. It is shown that the basic principles themselves, not excepting the first completely unconditional one, as well as the deductive procedures leading to them, are only partly reflective-logical, designating a monoduality of the I as “subject-object” and of its entire acts as a “fact and/or act” (Thathandlung), which is intangible for thought. Behind the reflective appearance of Fichte’s deductions there are hiding ultimate transcendental philosophical procedures. The metalogical moment therein is the pure self-position of the absolute freedom of the I; the antithesis is the moment of distinction, and the synthesis is the moment of concrete definiteness. Under close consideration the first basic principle postulates not the absolute I as all-unity of the abstract subject but the absolute I as unity of the objective-factual and subjective-active aspects. Self-position of the original I is accomplished before awareness and should be philosophically correctly introduced into consciousness without losing its transrational character. The same method of distinguishing and conjoining position and consciousness and the same monoduality of position as fact/act is employed by Fichte with regard to the second basic principle affirming the original non-I. The two first principles would engender an irreparable antinomy of foundations unless they were completed to achieve an integral image of the spirit’s original acts by a third synthetic principle introducing the categories of qualitative divisibility and correspondingly the notion of the finite I and non-I. The original acts of the free spirit of man, and the basic principles of the system of its philosophical reflection expressing them, are inseparably interconnected and become distinguished merely in reflection. Within this transcendental unity the metaphysical condition is thoroughly expressed by the third basic principle whose synthesis should comprise all the possible syntheses of thought; while the absolute thesis expressed by the first principle imparts to the whole of the system of science of knowledge firmness and completion. In this connection the ontology of thetic judgments in early Fichte is considered; one of such judgments being Fichtean counterpart of Kantian postulate of transcendental freedom of man. If however this reflection claims to embrace the metalogical in the I, this leads to the temptation of a purely reflective, Neoplatonizing metaphysics of the absolute seen as all-unity. The article shows that all along the section on the basic principles of Fichte’s entire science of knowledge he has twice to overcome this temptation motivated by his own reckless formulations.


Fichte, science of knowledge, basic principle, conscience, self-position, contraposition, synthesis, absolute I, freedom, metalogical monoduality, philosophy of reflection, metaphysics of all-unity.


Buchner H. (1980) “Editorischer Bericht [zur Schrift “Vom Ich als Princip der Philosophie”]”. Schelling F. W. J. Werke. Historisch-kritische Ausgabe (hg. v. H.-M. Baumgartner). Reihe I: Werke. Bd. 2. Stuttgart: Frommann-Holzboog: 3–63.

Fichte I. G. (1993) “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).

Kant I. (1980) “Erklaerung in Beziehung auf Fichtes Wissenschaftslehre”. Kant I. Traktaty i pis’ma [Treatises and letters]. Moscow: Nauka (Pamyatniki filosofskoi mysli [Monuments of philosophical thought]): 624–626. (in Russian).

© Andrey Sudakov, 2016

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