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Fichte's Foundations of Natural Right

Fichte's Foundations of Natural Right (1796/97) was one of the most influential books in nineteenth-century philosophy. It was read carefully by Schelling, Hegel, and Marx, and initiated a tradition in German philosophy that considers human subjectivity to be relational and intersubjective, thus requiring relations of recognition between subjects. The essays in this volume highlight this little-understood book's most important ideas and innovations. They offer discussions of Fichte's conception of freedom, self-consciousness, coercion, the summons, the body, and human rights, together with new analyses of his deduction of right, his views on the social contract, and his arguments for the separation of right from morality. The essays expand and deepen ongoing debates in the scholarship and chart new avenues of thought about Fichte's most enduring work of political philosophy. They will be essential reading for students and scholars of German Idealism, nineteenth-century philosophy, and the history of political thought.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Gabriel Gottlieb; 1. Fichte's Foundations of Natural Right and its relation to Kant Angelica Nuzzo; 2. Fichte's separation of right from morality Frederick Neuhouser; 3. Fichte's independence thesis James A. Clarke; 4. Deduction of the summons and the existence of other rational beings Allen W. Wood; 5. Fichte's Kabbalistic realism: summons as zimzum Paul Franks; 6. Fichte's developmental view of self-consciousness Gabriel Gottlieb; 7. The body as site of action and intersubjectivity in Fichte's Foundations of Natural Right John Russon; 8. Fichte's transcendental deduction of private property Wayne Martin; 9. Fichte on personal freedom and the freedom of others David James; 10. Freedom, coercion, and the relation of right Michael Nance; 11. Fichte's organic unification: recognition and the self-overcoming of social contract theory Dean Moyar; 12. Fichte and human rights Jean-Christophe Merle.

About the Author

Gabriel Gottlieb is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Xavier University. He is the author of a number of articles on Fichte in publications including The Nineteenth Century Philosophy Reader (2015).


'In my judgment, this is the best volume of essays on Fichte (and certainly on Fichte's political philosophy) to have appeared in any language.' Jeffery Kinlaw, McMurry University, Texas

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