Fichte-Studien 48:434-455 (2020)

Marco Dozzi
Universita di Cagliari
This essay argues for the applicability and importance of the notion of the unconscious in Fichte’s Jena period, with a focus on the,second’ Wissenschaftslehre. The essay begins by arguing for the existence of a fundamental tension in Fichte’s philosophy: namely, between a,transcendence’ principle – that the conditions for consciousness cannot themselves be present within experience, since they ground that experience – and an,immanence’ principle that there is no genuine reality outside of consciousness. It is shown that this tension is particularly evident if one observes some of the conflicting ways in which Fichte employs the notions of,intellektuelle Anschauung’ and,unmittelbares Bewusstsein.’ Fichte seems to violate the immanence principle especially insofar as he characterizes the conditions of the possibility of consciousness as a series of,actions,’ which, qua actions, must be,real’ in some sense: insofar as they are both real and not present to consciousness, it is argued, they must be unconscious. Although Fichte does not wholly embrace the notion of unconscious mental activity due to his adherence to the immanence principle, his conception of the,two series’ of the Wissenschaftslehre as well as some of his uses of the notion of,unmittelbares Bewusstsein’ in particular allow the recognition that Fichte has a rich but inchoate conception of the unconscious.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0925-0166
DOI 10.5840/fichte20204826
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