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  • 1/24/2004

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

(5/19/1762- 1/27/1814)

Johann Gottlieb Fichte has significant importance as one of the progenitors ofGermanidealism and as a follower ofKant.
Fichte believed that Kant was mistaken to argue for the existence ofnoumena, of things as they are, not just as they are perceived through thecategories of humanreason. Fichte saw the rigorous andsystematic separation of "things as they are" (noumena) and things "as they appear to be" (phenomena) as an invitation toskepticism.
Rather than invite such skepticism, Fichte made theradical suggestion that we should throw out the notion that there is a noumenal world and instead accept the fact thatconsciousness is not grounded in a so called "real world." In fact, Fichte is famous for originating the argument that consciousness is not grounded inanything outside of itself. This notion eventually becomes the defining characteristic ofGerman Idealism and is thus essential tounderstanding the philosophy ofHegel, andArthur Schopenhauer, though they both reject Fichte's notion that human consciousness is itself sufficient ground forexperience, and therefore postulate another "absolute" consciousness.
His sonImmanuel Hermann Fichte was also aphilosopher.

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