Nineteenth Century Philosophy

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

How was Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s idealism connected to freedom?

Fichte thought that our spontaneity is something we can become aware of through reflection on ourselves as active beings, who think, as well as do things in the world. This entails that the ultimate reality is a “transcendental ego,” a locus of pure activity. Following Kant, Fichte meant that behind the self of which a person is aware while thinking, there is an unperceived self. Fichte believed that maturity was required to realize this freedom of the self. Those who were immature would cling to dogmatism.


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