Review of Metaphysics 24 (3):542-542 (1971)
AbstractOne of the scandals of Anglo-American philosophical scholarship is its neglect of the German Idealist tradition. Even in the case of Hegel himself, many important works are either untranslated or have received only inadequate or outdated renderings and suffer from a lack of first-rate, full-length commentaries. The situation is much worse, when one turns to Schelling and Fichte. Lachs and Heath have rendered a real service in providing us with a new translation, available in a well-bound papercover edition, of Fichte's major work, the Wissenschaftslehre of 1794, to supplant the very objectionable Kroeger translation which is, in any case, long since out of print. This is an essential work for comprehending the development of European philosophy in the short but extraordinarily productive period from 1781 to 1807. Along with Schelling's System des transzendentalen Idealismus, Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre constitutes the bridge between Kant's three Critique's and Hegel's Phenomenology. Both of the famous "Introductions" are translated in the current edition. Despite their torturous text, their renderings are clearer than one might expect. There is an extremely helpful introduction by Lachs (who also translated the "First Introduction of 1797," a German-English glossary, and a detailed index. The translators also supply the standard marginal pagination from the Gesamtausgabe of 1834-1846. In all, the work is professionally done, a permanent and much needed contribution of the study of Fichte for English-reading students.--J. D. C.
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