Transcendental Philosophy


...Start of the Transcendental Philosophy...

Transcendental Philosophy . One needs specific initiation into the classics of transcendental philosophy (Kant’s "Criticism," Descartes’s "Metaphysics," and Fichte’s "Doctrine of Science") because all say farewell to the common sense view of things. The three types of transcendental thinking converge in conceiving rational autonomy as the ultimate ground for justification. Correspondingly, the philosophical pedagogy of all three thinkers is focused on how to seize and make that very autonomy (or active self-determination) intellectually and existentially available. In the concrete way of proceeding, however, the three models diverge. Descartes expects one to become master of oneself and "the world" by methodologically suspending his judgement on what cannot qualify itself to be undoubtable. Kant leads us to the point where we can triangulate universal conditions of the possibility of knowledge through individually acquiring the competence to judge the legitimacy of encountered propositional claims. Finally, Fichte confronts us with the idea of the identity of self-consciousness and objectivity.


...Middle of the Transcendental Philosophy...

(23) The forming of the art of understanding is an intersubjective preparation for the step into pure kowledge itself. (24) From both "activities" the rather immediate benefits on political life and public opinion are evident. The political aims of public paideia are not reduced to particular communities. By its interpersonal nature even "national education" teleologically tends further on to the unconditioned. So notwithstanding its partly historically given interests and goals it is intrinsically open to larger modes of cooperation and integration. In that sense Fichte's politics are inter-cultural and universalistic. His "nations" are — through the speakers' competence of taking an active part in public discussion — somewhat linguistically constituted; for that reason they always remain dynamic. Ultimately, however, Fichte's politics by themselves transcend even that global dimension expecting the fulfilment of intersubjective communication in nothing less than the "Realm of God". (25) We have to study the late Staatslehre (from 1813) to seize the highest scope, the self-abolishing perfection, of his paideia.


...End of the Transcendental Philosophy...

See already Fichte's Ueber den Grund unsers Glaubens an eine göttliche WeltRegierung (GA I,5 p. 347-357; especially p. 354-355). The texts of Fichte's mature Staatslehre and of his late Rechtslehre (1812) will soon be published by us in a purified version. We now know that the actually available versions (edited by Immanuel Hermann Fichte or Richard Schottky) are not always correct. Therefore a definitive judgement on Fichte's philosophy of right and politics is not yet possible. Moreover both disciplines reveal their theorematically outstanding rank by the fact that Fichte explicitely reelaborated them in the course of his giving a full "counterproof" ("Gegenprobe") of his entire transcendental approach in his last five Wissenschaftslehren (1810-1814). Concerning that objectively passioning (and subjectively very demanding) task of research, see my article: "J.G.Fichte. Perspektiven philosophischer Forschung gemäß dem Fortschritt der J.G.Fichte-Gesamtausgabe." Forschung an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München 1997/1 p. 34-37. .


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