Fichte's System of Ethics, published in 1798, is at once the most accessible presentation of its author's comprehensive philosophical project, The Science of Knowledge or Wissenschaftslehre, and the most important work in moral philosophy written between Kant and Hegel. Fichte's ethics integrates the discussion of our moral duties into the systematic framework of a transcendental theory of the human subject. Its major philosophical themes include the practical nature of self-consciousness, the relation between reason and volition, the essential role of the drives in human willing, the possibility of changing the natural world, the reality of one's own body, the reality of other human beings, and the practical necessity of social relations between human beings. This volume offers a translation of the work together with an introduction that sets it in its philosophical and historical contexts.
In the winter of 1807, while Berlin was occupied by French troops, the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte presented fourteen public lectures that have long been studied as a major statement of modern nationalism. Yet Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation have also been interpreted by many as a vision of a cosmopolitan alternative to nationalism. This new edition of the Addresses is designed to make Fichte's arguments more accessible to English-speaking readers. The clear, readable, and reliable translation is accompanied by a chronology of the events surrounding Fichte's life, suggestions for further reading, and an index. The groundbreaking introductory essay situates Fichte's theory of the nation state in the history of modern political thought. It provides historians, political theorists, and other students of nationalism with a fresh perspective for considering the interface between cosmopolitanism and republicanism, patriotism and nationalism.
Reprint of the first edition in English, and the standard translation today. Fichte was one of the leading German Idealist philosophers in the period between Kant and Hegel, and is considered to be one of the founders of German nationalism. Indeed, his work is seen as a link between Kant's Critical Philosophy and Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit. The Science of Rights, a restatement of Kantian principles in terms of natural law, is his principal legal work. For Fichte, the basis of law are legal relations that illuminate the principles of positive law. "His theory of law is highly abstract, but in the notion of legal relations and in his conception of the necessary requirements of an international order he enunciated ideas of great value": Walker, The Oxford Companion to Law 468.