‘New Essays on Fichte’s Later Jena “Wissenschaftslehre”’ by Daniel Breazeale & Tom Rockmore

Published by Northwestern University Press in 2002.

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The philosophical thought of J. G. Fichte, particularly his later work, is at the very center of the paradigm shift under way in the field of German idealism. Crucial to this reassessment is Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo of 1796 to 1799, the manuscript at the heart of this essay collection and an articulation of the philosopher’s Wissenschaftslehre, or overall system of philosophy, which he discussed in lectures at the University of Jena. Coherent, comprehensive, and edited by two of the foremost Fichte scholars in the world, the essays provide a much needed introduction to the major themes of the most important period of Fichte’s philosophical thought–and thus to German idealism itself–and make a persuasive case for the originality and continuing significance of the later Jena Wissenschaftslehre. Beginning with the Foundations of Natural Right, several of these essays convey the breadth and striking originality of Fichte’s social thought during this period, and its profound influence on subsequent thinkers such as Hegel. Others offer the most sustained and maltifaceted discussion to date of the distinctive character of Fichte’s first revised presentation of the foundation of his philosophy.

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