J. G. Fichte

Idealistic Studies 6 (2):169-177 (1976)
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John Lachs in his paper, “Fichte’s Idealism,” suggests that he can detect in Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre “three major lines of argument for his idealistic conclusion.” Lachs examines each of these arguments in turn and concludes that the first “appears … to have no merit.” The second has nothing to recommend it; and the third simply “begs the question.” I wish to argue that much of Lachs’ criticism simply misses its mark. First, Lachs presents each argument independently, as if it were meant to stand on its own. In fact, as will become evident, Fichte regards all three as interdependent aspects of one major argument intended to demonstrate the superiority of critical idealism. Secondly, Lachs, in reconstructing two of the three arguments, ignores certain crucial passages in Fichte’s works; and thus misinterprets or, at least, misrepresents Fichte’s fundamental position.



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