Fichte: The Self and the Calling of Philosophy, 1762-1799

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In this biographical study of the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte from his birth in 1762 to the crisis in his university career in 1799, Professor La Vopa uses Fichte's life and thought to deepen our understanding of German society, culture, and politics in the age of the French Revolution. This is the first biography to explain thoroughly how Fichte's philosophy relates to his life experiences as reconstructed from the abundant material in his published and unpublished writings and papers. The approach is primarily historical, but should be of interest to philosophers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Anthony La Vopa's biography of the young Fichte is a compelling exploration of the intellectual life and work of a controversial and important German philosopher, but it is much more than that.... La Vopa is a scholar of the eighteenth century, and Fichte provides an excellent opportunity to explore some of the constitutive themes of eighteenth-century Germany.... [The book] provides a new assessment of the formative forces behind and in Fichte's philosophical projects; it opens interesting venues into the study of eighteenth-century German society, and finally, it invites us to rethink the use of biography and historicism as forms and methodologies of historical writing." German Studies Review

"Outstanding" Central European History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521791458
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2013
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Wanderjahre: 1. Alienation; 2. The road to Kant; 3. The German machine; 4. Revolution: the popular tribune; 5. Jews, Christians, and freethinkers; 6. Love and marriage; Part II. The Jena Years: 7. The self and the mission of philosophy; 8. The politics of celebrity; 9. Philosophy and the graces; 10. Law, freedom, and authority; 11. Men and women; 12. The atheism conflict: reason and the absolute; 13. The atheism conflict: selfhood, character, and the public; Conclusion.

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