Fichte's Ethical Thought

Fichte's Ethical Thought

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Allen W. Wood presents the first book-length systematic exposition in English of Fichte's most important ethical work, the System of Ethics (1798). He places this work in the context of Fichte's life and career, of his philosophical system as conceived in the later Jena period, and in relation to his philosophy of right or justice and politics. Wood discusses Fichte's defense of freedom of the will, his grounding of the moral principle, theory of moral
conscience, transcendental deduction of intersubjectivity, and his conception of free rational communication and the rational society. He develops and emphasizes the social and political radicalism of Fichte's moral and political philosophy, and brings out the philosophical interest of Fichte's positions and
arguments for present day philosophy. Fichte's Ethical Thought defends the position that Fichte is a major thinker in the history of ethics, and the most important figure in the history of modern continental philosophy in the past two centuries.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 342 pages
  • 162 x 235 x 25mm | 654g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198766882
  • 9780198766889
  • 1,461,166

Table of contents

1. Who was Johann Gottlieb Fichte? ; 2. Transcendental Philosophy: The Jena Doctrine of Science ; 3. Freedom and Intersubjectivity: The Conditions of Action ; 4. Moral Authority: Deduction of the Principle of Morality ; 5. Conscience: The Applicability of the Principle of Morality ; 6. The Self-Sufficiency of Reason: The Systematic Doctrine of Duties ; 7. The Social Unity of Reason: The Human Vocation ; 8. Right: Freedom, Property and the State ; Postscript ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

One of the most highly regarded specialists in Kant and Hegel's practical philosophy of his generation, Wood surpasses himself in this latest work. * Kienhow Goh, Philosophy in Review * Among the book's best features is Wood's ability to translate Fichte's thought into twenty-first century philosophical language. He both reframes Fichte's claims using contemporary vocabulary and gestures toward how those claims might be taken up in current conversation. This allows even those not especially familiar with German Idealism to follow and appreciate Fichte's thought. But Wood's book will also be a valuable resource for experts on Fichte. Wood frequently
notes points of disagreement among contemporary scholars, and provides ample footnotes cataloguing opportunities for further study. Thus both those unfamiliar with Fichte and specialists in German Idealism will find it a valuable resource, as Wood adroitly manages both to introduce and to critically
engage Fichte's ethical thought. * Caroline A. Buchanan and Daniel Breazeale, Journal of the History of Philosophy * This book is well-researched, well-argued, clearly-written, and full of richly suggestive ideas; it is just as rigorous an exercise in the history of philosophy as it is in substantive philosophical argumentation ... it is a truly excellent book on Fichte * Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Allen W. Wood

Allen W. Wood has held professorships at Cornell University, Yale University, Stanford University, and Indiana University, and visiting appointments at the University of Michigan, University of California, San Diego, and Oxford University. He is the author of at least nine books and many articles, and the editor or translator of a dozen or so others.
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