This paper investigates Hermann Weyl’s reception of philosophical concepts stemming from the German Idealist Johann Gottlieb Fichte. In particular, Weyl’s ‘agens theory’ of matter, which he held around 1925, will be looked at. In the extant literature, the—admittedly also important—influence of Husserl on Weyl has mainly been addressed. Thus, apart from investigating some detailed Fichtean inheritances in Weyl’s concepts of causality, chance and continuity, the general difference which Weyl saw between the philosophies of Fichte and Husserl will also be discussed. For Weyl this is above all a difference between an active constructivism and a rather passive phenomenological seeing. Further, the paper shows in some detail the way Weyl was drawn into a certain reading of Fichte by his Zurich colleague, the philosopher Fritz Medicus. The methodological frame of the paper is that of Konstellationsforschung, a historical and systematic approach which proves to be particularly fruitful when investigating a German Idealist context and which allows special attention to be given to the acting subjects within the constellation under investigation. Conversely, Weyl’s agens theory suggests amendments to this methodology.Keywords: Hermann Weyl; Fritz Medicus; Johann Gottlieb Fichte; Theory of matter; Activity vs. passivity; Konstellationsforschung.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2006.12.013
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,489
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Über Die Neue Grundlagenkrise der Mathematik.Hermann Weyl - 1957 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 22 (1):81-82.
Erkenntnis und Besinnung.Hermann Weyl - 1955 - Studia Philosophica 15:153.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Constitution of Weyl’s Pure Infinitesimal World Geometry.C. D. McCoy - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (1):189–208.
Becker–Blaschke Problem of Space.Julien Bernard - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):251-266.
Klein-Weyl's Program and the Ontology of Gauge and Quantum Systems.Gabriel Catren - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 61:25-40.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hermann Weyl's Mathematics, Science and Phenomenology.Richard A. Feist - 1999 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Canonical Quantization of a Massive Weyl Field.Maxim Dvornikov - 2012 - Foundations of Physics 42 (11):1469-1479.
Hermann Weyl on Minkowskian Space–Time and Riemannian Geometry.Yvon Gauthier - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):261 – 269.


Added to PP index

Total views
34 ( #337,627 of 2,520,891 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #405,457 of 2,520,891 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes