Thursday, April 30, 2015

What do I Get for Winning the Race of Life?

The task of philosophy is to explain the presence to consciousness of “representations accompanied by a feeling of necessity.” It can attempt to do this either by grounding experience upon a thing in itself as the cause of the determinations of the I, or by explaining experience as a product of the self-constitutive activity of the finite I. These are, respectively, the strategies of “dogmatism” and “idealism,” which are, for Fichte, the only two possible systems of philosophy. Though Fichte appears to argue that neither idealism nor dogmatism can directly refute the other and thus that the “choice” between them is either radically free or else determined by one's practical interests and self-conception, he nevertheless offers a number of arguments designed to “refute” dogmatism by demonstrating that it can never successfully “explain” ordinary experience. At the same time, he also tried to explain why the dogmatist remains incapable of recognizing the force of such arguments and what this implies concerning the idealist's obligation to educate and to cultivate others.
- Daniel Breazeale, "Idealism vs. Dogmatism"

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