Fichte’s “I”

  • Dieter Henrich Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich
Keywords: Fichte, subjectivity, self-consciousness, reflection, self-objectification


The author holds the view that Johann Gottlieb Fichte founded a new approach to the prob-lems of subjectivity and self-consciousness. There are two basic models of the theory of self-consciousness, namely the reflection theory of self-consciousness and Fichte’s approach. Ac-cording to the reflection theory (Locke, Leibnitz, Kant) self-consciousness is the result of a reflection i.e., in order to ascribe self to oneself one must await its objectification by a subse-quent reflection. This poses a difficulty, however. For what should enable the act of reflection (which according to this model is itself non-conscious) to realize that the first-order state be-longs to the same subjectivity as itself? The author claims that Fichte noticed this difficulty and elaborated a theory, which provides an understanding of self-consciousness as self-knowledge that couldn’t be objectified by a reflection.

Author Biography

Dieter Henrich, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich
Professor Emeritus
How to Cite
Henrich, D. (2014). Fichte’s “I”. Sententiae, 31(2), 12-24.