Reading Workshop on Fichte's Transcendental Logic with Alexander Schnell, 10 June 2022, 3.00-6.30 p.m.

On 10 June 2022, the RaT Research Centre, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Alexander Schnell and with the support of Michael Boch, organised a reading-based workshop on transcendental logic in Johann Gottlieb Fichte's (1762 - 1814 ) late work. The event was opened by a lecture by Prof. Dr. Alexander Schnell. In his lecture, he put Fichte's last creative period (1810 - 1814) in relation to his early work (1794-1799) and his middle work (1801-1807). While the early work was still characterised by the Fichtian "philosophy of the ego" and the absolute ego was its highest concept, the middle phase saw a shift to the absolute as the highest point of reflection. The absolute and its relationship to facticity and empiricism is now the subject of Fichte's hitherto little researched Berlin years from 1810 onwards. 

These are characterised by the fact that Fichte not only makes reality as an appearance of the Absolute or God the core theme of his philosophy, but at the same time explicitly derives the transition from the Absolute to empirical knowledge. Here, the ego, which was still the focus of Fichte's early work, is given the character of an appearance. Starting from the concept of appearance, Fichte unfolds a complex pictorial logic that determines the image not only as an image, but in its dynamic of formation. However, Fichte remains committed to transcendental philosophy and can thus be thought of as an alternative completion of Kantian philosophy alongside Schelling and Hegel. 

Michael Boch, who will talk about Fichte's lectures on Transcendental Logic with Prof. Drr. Kurt Appel and Prof. Dr. Alexander Schnell, contextualised the Transcendental Logic in Fichte's Berlin lecture period (1810-1814). Along with TL I, it is one of the two introductory logical lectures to the Wissenschaftslehre. In it, Fichte demarcates his transcendental logic project of a theory of images from the formal logic of his time and interprets the former as a logical version of the Wissenschaftslehre. This is of particular importance, as Fichte was unable to present his final Wissenschaftslehren in 1813 and 1814 due to his early death and the war with Napoleon, and was unable to incorporate the central insights of the TL in the latter. 

Fichte's Deduction of Space had been chosen as the topic of the sections from TL II to be discussed. In his second lecture, Prof. Dr. Alexander Schnell traced the development of Fichte's reflections on the philosophy of space through his complete works. In the process, a continuous development of the concept of space and the methods of its deduction were brought into view. Finally, selected passages from TL II were read together and discussed, introduced by Michael Boch. The basis for the reading was Immanuel Hermann Fichte's second lecture on transcendental logic from 1812, published as early as 1834, entitled "Vom Unterschiede zwischen der Logik und der Philosophie selbst, als Grundriss der Logik und Einleitung in die Philosophie". In this lecture, Fichte gives an introduction to the logical principles of his Wissenschaftslehre in relation to the pure concepts of cognition. In a critical discussion with Kant, he determines the image as the unity of Anschauung and Begriff as the basic concept of his logic. The focus here was on the one hand on the questions of image logic and Fichte's deduction of space from the ego, and on the other hand on the similarities and differences between Fichte's theory of images and transcendental logic and Hegel's phenomenology of the spirit and his science of logic.