Adam with some thoughts on Fichte and Kant. Kant was correct to say that human experience has a priori features that conditions our cognition, but he was mistaken that they are given. The only ground in the project of knowing is that of an unrelenting nihilistic darkness of undifferentiated being. Call it ‘dark immanence’ or call it ‘suchness’ (as in Buddhist mahayana), or whatever caricature you fancy, but our sheer existence in-and-of-the-world is dependent on the pre-linguistic and untranslatable presence of substantial force.
I’m taking a course in German idealism with the ever-busy Matt Segall. Below are a few thoughts on Fichte’s advance over Kant’s critical philosophy. I’m finding that there’s much in Fichte’s work that forms something of a historical starting point for my own work on concepts as capacities. There are substantial differences, too. For example, Fichte’s strong separation of the causal order of nature and the normative order of human freedom strikes me as implausible, and it would be hard to imagine a philosopher arguing the point with as much force today (though the exact way to think of this partition—or to not think it at all—continues to give everyone a headache).
That said, as I read them, the primary difference between Kant’s and Fichte’s philosophies lies in their differing starting points, in what a grounding for transcendental philosophy requires. If Kant was correct to say that experience has an a priori
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