Immanuel Hermann Fichte

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Immanuel Hermann von Fichte (July 18, 1797 - August 8, 1879), German philosopher, son of J.G. Fichte, was born at Jena.

Having held educational posts at Saarbrcken and Dsseldorf, in 1836 he became a professor of philosophy at Bonn, and in 1840 full professor. In 1842 he received a call to Tbingen, retired in 1875, and died at Stuttgart on the 8th of August 1879.

In 1837 he had edited the Zeitschrift fr Philosophie as an organ of his views, I especially on the subject of the philosophy of religion, where was in alliance with C.H. Weisse; but; whereas Weisse thought that the Hegelian structure was sound in the main, and its imperfections might be mended, Fichte held it to be defective, and spoke of it as a masterpiece of erroneous consistency or consistent error. Fichte's general views on philosophy seem to have changed considerably as he gained in years, and his influence has been impaired by certain inconsistencies and an appearance of eclecticism, which is strengthened by his predominantly historical treatment of systems, his desire to include divergent systems within his own, and his conciliatory tone.

His philosophy is an attempt to reconcile monism (Hegel) and individualism (Herbart) by means of monadism (Leibnitz). He attacks Hegelianism for its pantheism, awering of human personality, and imperfect recognition of demands of the moral consciousness. God, he says, is to be regarded not as an absolute but as an Infinite Person, whose desire it is that he should realize himself in finite persons. These persons are objects of God's love, and he arranges the world for their good. The direct connecting link between God man is the genius, a higher spiritual individuality existing fan by the side of his lower, earthly individuality. Fichte advocates an ethical theism, and his arguments might be turned to account by the apologist of Christianity. In conception of finite personality he recurs to something like monadism of Leibnitz. His insistence on moral experience connected with his insistence on personality.

One of the tests which Fichte discriminates the value of previous systems is adequateness with which they interpret moral experience. The same reason that made him depreciate Hegel made him praise Krause (panentheism) and Schleiermacher, and speak respectfully of English philosophy. It is characteristic of Fichte's most excessive receptiveness that in his latest published work, neuere Spiritualismus (1878), he supports his position by iments of a somewhat occult or theosophical cast, not unlike that adopted by F.W.H. Myers.

He also edited the complete works and literary correspondence of his father. See R Eucken, Zur Erinnerung I. H. F., in Zeitschrift fr die philosophie, cx. (1897); CC Scherer, Die Gotteslehre von I. H. F.; article by Karl Hartmann in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie i. (1904). Some of his works were translated by J.D. Morell under the title of Contributions to Mental Philosophy (1860).

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