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
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:
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article (translition)
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Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

References 

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

Andrey Sudakov. Reflective design and positive spirituality. The early Fichte and the philosophy of spirit. Vol. 1. No. 1. 2016.

Publication Details

Reflective design and positive spirituality. The early Fichte and the philosophy of spirit
Title in the language of publication: Рефлексивная конструкция и конкретная духовность. Ранний Фихте и философия духа
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:
P. 67–86.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
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Abstract

The article analyzes the very first reviews published by Fichte. The Hegel-style construal of Fichte’s system sees it as a subjective idealist philosophy of self-consciousness oriented at the principle of absolute identity (idealist monism). Contrary to this interpretation, the present paper states that Fichte’s thought at its early stage was already directed at the idea of “the I” as the integral spirit in unity with its pre-reflective reality.

The review of Creuzer (Leonhard Creuzer. Skeptische Betrachtungen über die Freyheit des Willens mit Hinsicht auf die neuesten Theorien über dieselbe. Gießen: Heyer, 1793) thematizes the concept of will as a faculty of practical self-determination within the context of Kantian ethics of autonomy. Distinction of two acts of practical self-determination serves as a focus here, notably the act of moral legislation in virtue of which reason is practical and act of self-determining to follow the law. The first act does not appear in the empirical consciousness; it is by its means that the activity of “the I” confers the form of law to the faculty of desire. The second act of self-determination is subject to the law of foundation; it is given in the empirical consciousness. The integral picture of the spirit is achieved by correlating the two acts of self-determination of the I. In Fichte’s review of Schulze-Aenesidemus (Aenesidemus, oder Über die Fundamente der von dem Herrn Prof. Reinhold in Jena gelieferten Elementar-Philosophie. Nebst einer Verteidigung des Scepticismus gegen die Anmaßungen der Vernunftkritik. O. D., 1792) Fichte’s thought proceeds from discussing “the condition of consciousness” in Reinhold. Analysis of Aenesidemus’ polemics with Reinhold helps Fichte to crystallize the idea of the absolute I, not given in empirical perception but posed in intellectual contemplation, as well as that of the absolute non-I, also not perceived but posed. Exposing the premises of the real experience of consciousness demands establishing the spirit’s universal actions; in these texts one can already trace the first two principles of the “Science of Knowledge” (Wissenschaftslehre): the thetic and antithetic ones. The focus is put on the concept of “fact and/or act” (Thathandlung) and original position. However principles posed by intellectual contemplation do not make real sense without the facticity of the experience of empirical consciousness. The image of human spirit is outlined in this light in the shape of monodualist metaphysics. Thematization addresses the pure I in intellectual contemplation as a faculty of independent self-position and I as an empirically determined effectivity of the intelligence. Both aspects should make unity, however in real experience they always contradict each other. Reason is practical since it aims at uniting these aspects of reality of the I; however it is real only as an aspiration, for abolishing their opposition would mean abolishing practical reason itself. The two cycles of reflection by which Fichte builds the system of theoretical and practical science of knowledge are also incipient at the earliest stage of its making. 

Keywords

Fichte, Kant, Reinhold, spirit, philosophy of spirit, reflection, position, self-determination, practical reason, monodualism.

References 

Creuzer L. (1793) Skeptische Betrachtungen über die Freiheit des Willens mit Hinsicht auf die neuesten Theorien über dieselbe. Gießen: Heyer.

Fichte J. G. (1965a) “[Rezension: Leonhard Creuzer. Skeptische Betrachtungen über die Freyheit des Willens mit Hinsicht auf die neuesten Theorien über dieselbe. Gießen: Heyer, 1793]”. Fichte J. G. Gesamtausgabe der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Reihe I: Werke. Bd. 2. Werke 1793–1795 (hg. v. R. Lauth, H. Jacob, M. Zahn). Stuttgart, Bad Cannstatt: Friedrich Frommann Verlag (Günter Holzboog): 7–14.

Fichte J. G. (1965b) “[Rezension: Aenesidemus, oder Über die Fundamente der von dem Herrn Prof. Reinhold in Jena gelieferten Elementar-Philosophie. Nebst einer Verteidigung des Scepticismus gegen die Anmaßungen der Vernunftkritik. O. D., 1792]”. Fichte J. G. Gesamtausgabe der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Reihe I: Werke. Bd. 2. Werke 1793–1795 (hg. v. R. Lauth, H. Jacob, M. Zahn). Stuttgart, Bad Cannstatt: Friedrich Frommann Verlag (Günter Holzboog): 41–67.

Frank S. L. (1990) “Nepostizhimoe. Ontologicheskoe vvedenie v filosofiyu religii” [The Unfathomable. An ontological introduction the philosophy of religion]. Frank S. L. Sochineniya [Works]. Moscow: Pravda (Iz istorii otechestvennoi filosofskoi mysli [From the history of Russian philosophical thought]): 181–559. (in Russian).

Hegel G. W. F. (1988) “Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie in Beziehung auf Reinholds Beiträge zur leichtern Übersicht des Zustands der Philosophie zu Anfang des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts”. Kantovskii sbornik. Mezhvuzovskii tematicheskii sbornik nauchnykh trudov. Vypusk 13 [Collection of works on Kant. An Inter-university thematic collection of scholarly works. Issue 13]. Kaliningrad: 150–174. (in Russian).

Hegel G. W. F. (1989) “Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie in Beziehung auf Reinholds Beiträge zur leichtern Übersicht des Zustands der Philosophie zu Anfang des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts”. Kantovskii sbornik. Mezhvuzovskii tematicheskii sbornik nauchnykh trudov. Vypusk 14 [Collection of works on Kant. An Inter-university thematic collection of scholarly works. Issue 14]. Kaliningrad: 126–156. (in Russian).

Hegel G. W. F. (1990) “Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie in Beziehung auf Reinholds Beiträge zur leichtern Übersicht des Zustands der Philosophie zu Anfang des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts”. Kantovskii sbornik. Mezhvuzovskii tematicheskii sbornik nauchnykh trudov. Vypusk 15 [Collection of works on Kant. An Inter-university thematic collection of scholarly works. Issue 15]. Kaliningrad: 127–157. (in Russian).

Hösle V. (1992) Genii filosofii Novogo vremeni: Lektsii v institute filosofii RAN [Genii of the philosophy of Modernity: Lectures at the RAS Institute of Philosophy]. Moscow: Nauka (Filosofy sovremennogo mira [Philosophers of the present day world]). (in Russian).

Kant I. (1997) “Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten”. Kant I. Soch. na nem. i rus. yaz.: v 4 t. T. 3 [Works in German and Russian in 4 vol. Vol. 3]. Moscow: Kami: 38–275. (in Russian).

Kireevsky I. V. (2002) “O kharaktere prosveshcheniya Evropy i o ego otnoshenii k prosveshcheniyu Rossii (pis’mo k grafu E. E. Komarovskomu)” [On the character of Enlightenment in Europe and its Relation to Enlightenment in Russia (a letter to Count A. A. Komarovsky)]. Kireevsky I. V. Razum na puti k istine [Reason on the Way to Truth]. Moscow: Pravilo Very: 151–213. (in Russian).

Reinhold K. L. (1790) Beyträge zur Berichtigung bisheriger Mißverständnisse der Philosophen. Erster Band, das Fundament der Elementarphilosophie betreffend. Jena: Johann Michael Mauke.

[Schulze G. E.] (1792) Aenesidemus, oder Über die Fundamente der von dem Herrn Prof. Reinhold in Jena gelieferten Elementar-Philosophie. Nebst einer Verteidigung des Scepticismus gegen die Anmaßungen der Vernunftkritik. O. D.

Sudakov A. K. (1998) Absolyutnaya nravstvennost’: etika avtonomii i absolyutnyi zakon [Absolute Morality: the Ethics of Autonomy and the Absolute Law]. Moscow: Editorial URSS. (in Russian).

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© Andrey Sudakov, 2016

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

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