The Enigma of Fichte’s First Principle(s)

April 27, 2018 - April 28, 2018
Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven


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Royal Holloway University of London
Bergische Universität Wuppertal


KU Leuven

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Workshop, University of Leuven, Belgium, 27-28 April 2018 

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Dr. Alexander Schnell (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)

Prof. Dr. G. Anthony Bruno (Royal Holloway, University of London)

One of the most controversial topics in present-day Fichte research concerns the nature and identity of the first principle of his Wissenschaftslehre and its relation to the various sub-disciplines of his system. Some scholars see the foundational principle (Grundsatz) as the “I”, “I am”, or “absolute I”, others find it best expressed in the logical relationship “I = I”, or in the more complex transcendental formulation: “originally the I posits its own being absolutely”; while yet others reject the notion that the Wissenschaftslehre is a foundational philosophy at all. Despite Fichte’s claim that his first principle was fully self-evident and could be admitted by all, there seems to be no general consensus on this issue. The aim of this workshop is to acquire greater clarity concerning the philosophical status and role of Fichte’s Grundsatz by subjecting it to a fresh and critical re-examination.   

We invite submissions on the topic of J.G. Fichte’s foundational first principle, and/or on the related first principles of the particular sub-disciplines of his system (e.g. ethics, philosophy of religion, history, right, theory of nature, and aesthetics). This workshop seeks to stimulate exchanges between established scholars, young researchers and PhD students.

Presentation time will be 30 minutes + 15 minutes discussion. Abstracts (of no more than 500 words) should be sent in Word format as attachments to: [email protected]  

The abstracts, including the title, should be prepared for double-blind review by removing any identification details. The author’s name, paper title, institutional position and affiliation, as well as contact information, should be included in the body of the e-mail.

Submission deadline: 22 January 2018

Notification of acceptance by 9 February 2018

Organizers: Dr. David W. Wood (University of Leuven), Prof. Karin de Boer (University of Leuven), and Elise Frketich, M.A. (University of Leuven)  

University of Leuven, Institute of Philosophy, Kardinaal Mercierplein 2, 3000 Leuven, BELGIUM

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