A Critical Explication of the first two Sections of Fichte's Grundlage der Gesamten Wissenschaftslehre

Open Access
Bilger, Paul Rudolf
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
November 15, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Dennis Schmidt, Dissertation Advisor
  • Dennis Schmidt, Committee Chair
  • Christopher P Long, Committee Member
  • Brady Lee Bowman, Committee Member
  • Jeffrey Nealon, Committee Member
  • Fichte
  • German Idealism
  • Foundations
  • Doctrine of Science
In this dissertation, I offer a critical explication of the theoretical section of Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s Foundations of the Entire Science of Knowledge (Grundlage der gesamten Wissenschaftslehre, abbreviated as Grundlage); in doing so, I explore the highly idiosyncratic mode of philosophical reasoning used in that text. In doing this, it is of decisive importance to understand how a set of philosophical figures function to drive the development of the conceptuality required for Fichte’s project. As such, the explication of this work partly involves tracing the way in which figurative language and geometrical schema develop and drive the determination of that conceptuality. In closely following the Grundlage’s series of concepts and schemata, we are better able to understand the decisive importance such figures play in Fichte’s thought, and, more generally, develop a deeper appreciation of the role of the imagination in philosophical thinking.