FICHTE: THE EGO* AND FREEDOM

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*According to (the author), all philosophy and all reality begins with the transcendental ego, the elusive but purely active noumenal self, identifiable only in an indefinitely repeated reflection upon primary experience (“think on one who thinks on one who . . .”). This conscious being expand itself infinitely to comprehend everything, limited in its scope only by the logical categories and the regulative principles they entail. Hence, for (the author), objects exist only as the objects of consciousness, believed by some individual ego in its restlessly active pursuit of knowledge.

Since an individual ego of this sort just is the active self as moral agent, (the author) supposed that morality follows directly from its nature. Once again, the ego expands infinitely to do everything, yet is consistently limited by its own legislation of the moral law. Since all egos are subject to precisely the same conditions, universal agreement to their moral precepts is assured. At the social level, this implies individual membership in a society of like-minded selves…

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