Fichte’s Science of Knowing, 1804, Lecture 5:

1) “For we do not create the truth,  and things would be badly arranged if we had to do so; rather, truth creates itself by its own power,  and it does so wherever the conditions of its creation are present.” (p.48) –> contrast this passage to Bertrand Russell’s short treatment of Fichte in his ‘History of Philosophy’ where Russell accuses Fichte of madness for allegedly making truth out to be something under human control. 

2) We perform something, led in the process by something operating immediately by rules of reason, culminating in facticity.

3) We then search out the principle which guided us mechanically in this procedure and so come to know mediately what was immediate.

4) It is in this way that we ascend from the factical to the genetic, and, grasping the latter mediately, grasp this moment, too, in the mode of factical manifestness until the restless of this oscillation is brought to rest in the stage where the insufficiency of factical manifestness is just what is manifest as fact.  There is then no higher term to proceed to since the negation of the previous and penultimate stage of factical manifestness at the hands of the subsequent moment of active immediacy actually affirms what the fact had made manifest, namely, its own insufficiency.  –> this kind of dance has parallels in other formulations of the paradox of self-reference.

5) The unity of (A + *) and [(A) + (*)] is the discovery of the WL.

6) This insight is not the result of a premise, presupposition or postulate of human convention or empirical influence.  It simply occurs independently and spontaneously in any thought whatsoever.  The structure or process to which insight grants us access ‘is’ not anything,  since being is properly only one element of this structure.

7) Even the word ‘is’ derives from and signifies mere manifestness. 

8) Since the structure arises spontaneously of itself we cannot ask how or from what it was produced — production and genesis themselves presuppose this structure, what Fichte is calling pure light. But we can ask how insight into the pure light is produced.

9) Substance is the appearance of pure light in the mode of self-sufficiency.  But this is only half the story. Any philosophy which thematizes only the absolute as substance fails as a philosophy.  –> e.g. Spinoza.  Keep in mind that this does not rule out Fichte admitting that Spinoza grasped the moment of Substance accurately. 

10) Doing deposes being and being desposes doing. But this division primordially is nothing at all.


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