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Fichte and the Phenomenological Tradition

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 31.08.2010
  • Verlag: De Gruyter
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Fichte and the Phenomenological Tradition

This volume is a collection of previously unpublished papers dealing with the neglected 'phenomenological' dimension of the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, which it compares and contrasts to the phenomenology of his contemporary Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and to that of Edmund Husserl and his 20th century followers. Issues discussed include: phenomenological method, self-consciousness, intersubjectivity, temporality, intentionality, mind and body, and the drives. In addition to Fichte, authors discussed include: Hegel, Brentano, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas, and Ric?ur.
Violetta L. Waibel , University of Vienna, Austria; Daniel Breazeale , University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA, and Tom Rockmore , Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA.


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 425
    Erscheinungsdatum: 31.08.2010
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783110245288
    Verlag: De Gruyter
    Größe: 1888 kBytes
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Fichte and the Phenomenological Tradition

Fichte, Heidegger and the Concept of Facticity (p. 223-224)
M. Jorge de Carvalho
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
The concept of "Facticity" plays a key role both in Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre and in Heidegger's phenomenological hermeneutics – so much so that both philosophical undertakings regard themselves as radical attempts to tackle the question of facticity. But on the other hand they differ on what facticity is and how it can – and should – be dealt with. Our aim is to compare – or rather to grasp the link between – these two different approaches. No history of the concept of facticity can be written without this comparison. But besides their historical interest, the problems faced and posed by these two different approaches are ones no philosophy can safely ignore.
Our main concern is in the first place to outline Fichte's radical critique of facticity and in particular to highlight the following key points: a) his understanding of facticity (what is it that in fact constitutes facticity?); b) his understanding of its negative role (why is it a hindrance?) and c) his assumption that it is possible to overcome facticity or to make a total and radical change in the way we are subject to it.
One fundamental characteristic of facts is that they are found ("etwas Vorgefundenes"). They are, so to speak, "already there" and force us to watch or confront them. Facts are undeniable, unyielding, uncompromising. There is something about them that makes them absolute. Fichte speaks of an "absolut Vorhandenes" (of something "absolutely there"). Facts are indubitably given, they impose themselves, "inscribe" themselves irrevocably. They form that absolute manifestation (and are endowed with that particular kind of indelibility) that Fichte expresses by saying: "Es ist, ist nicht nicht" ("it is, it is not not"). On the other hand, facts "are what they are" – that is, they have their own shape, their own characteristics. "Things are the way they are" – they have a kind of absolute "thisness": the quality of being just how they are and not otherwise. This they impose upon us, so that we find ourselves confronted with the facts, that is, with the particular way they shape reality. Facticity means"Gebundenheit"/"Bindung". It means that we are bound or constrained – in other words, that we are caught or immersed in the particular shape of reality facts force upon us. In principle it could be otherwise, but it isn't. Reality as it were turned in a certain direction: "as a matter of fact "it is "like this" and not otherwise.
That being said, it must be added that this brief account of facticity does not emphasize those facets that are more characteristic of Fichte's use of this concept. For Fichte, facticity does indeed mean something of this kind (not really altogether different from the usual meaning). And there is a very good reason for this: because in his view the characteristics we have stressed constitute the main features of normal consciousness: consciousness finds facts, understands itself as consciousness of facts, is caught or immersed in the particular shape of reality the facts force upon itself. In short: normal consciousness has the form of facticity.

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