Fichte's debate with Reinhold in 1793 : the doctrine of drives and the problem of freedom
V Fichte, early romanticism and German idealism
Is part ofSystem and context : early romantic and early idealistic constellations = System und Kontext : Frühromantische und Frühidealistische Konstellationen ; p. 263-285
Publisher(s)Edwin Mellen Press
This article focuses on Fichte’s essay on Revelation (2nd ed.) and on his review of Creuzer’s book on the freedom of the will. These texts contain a critique of the theory of freedom exposed by K. L. Reinhold in the Letters on the Kantian Philosophy (1792). I argue 1) that Fichte does not find convincing Reinhold’s argument according to which the reality of freedom is accessible through an empirical “fact of consciousness”, 2) that the Reinholdian strict separation between the autonomy of reason and the freedom of the will is not acceptable for Fichte, and 3) that Fichte sees the necessity of introducing a mediation between the two Reinholdian “drives” (sensible and ethical), namely the Kantian feeling of “respect,” since morality for the finite human being has to extend its motivational force to sensibility.