After Jena: New Essays on Fichte’s Later Philosophy

The career of J. G. Fichte, a central figure in German idealism and in the history of philosophy, divides into two distinct phases: the first period, in which he occupied the chair of critical philosophy at the University of Jena (1794-1799); and the following period, after he left Jena for Berlin. Due in part to the inaccessibility of the German texts, Fichte scholarship in the English-speaking world has tended to focus on the Jena period, neglecting the development of this major thinker’s mature development. The essays collected in this book begin to correct this imbalance. Concerned in a variety of ways with Fichte’s post-Jena philosophy, these essays by distinguished and emerging scholars demonstrate the depth and breadth of Fichte scholarship being done in English.

With an introduction that locates the essays in philosophical and historical terms, the book divides into three related categories: Fichte’s development, his view of religion, and other aspects of his “popular” (or not-so-popular) philosophy. From a wide range of perspectives, the essays show how Fichte’s later development reflects the philosophical concerns of his time, the specific debates in which he engaged, and the complex events of his philosophical career.

Table of Contents

1. Toward a Wissenschaftslehre more geometrico (1800–1801) by Daniel Breazeale
2. Structures of Imagination in Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre 1794–1795 and 1804 by Violetta L. Waibel
3. Thinking and Willing in the Later Fichte by Günter Zöller
4. Toward or Away from Schelling? On the Thematic Shift in Fichte’s Later Philosophy by Steven Hoeltzel
5. Fichte’s Reaction to Schelling’s Identity Philosophy in 1806 by Michael Vater
6. The Light That Lights the Seeing of the Light: The Second Wissenschaftslehre of 1804 by George J. Seidel
7. After Jena: Fichte’s Religionslehre by Yolanda Estes
8. Fichte’s Conception of the System of Philosophy in Die Anweisung zum seligen Leben by Ernst-Otto Onnasch
9. How Not to Read Fichte’s Anweisung zum seligen Leben (1806): Against the Mystical Reading by Kevin Zanelotti
10. The Notion of Being in Fichte’s Late Philosophy by Johannes Brachtendorf
11. Fall and Freedom: A Comparison of Fichte’s and Saint Paul’s Understandings of Original Sin by Holger Zaborowski
12. Fichte and the Ursprache by Andrew Fiala
13. “The Logic of Historical Truth”: History and Individuality in Fichte’s Later Philosophy of History by Angelica Nuzzo
14. Fichte on Knowledge, Practice, and History by Tom Rockmore

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