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Comment: Independent bookstore since 1970. In stock, quick shipment with delivery confirmation on domestic orders. 2000. Pap., 358 pp. Pencil notes; edgewear to wraps. (Subject: Philosophy.)
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Fichte: Foundations of Natural Right (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Paperback – September 18, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0521575911 ISBN-10: 0521575915 Edition: 0th

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Fichte: Foundations of Natural Right (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) + Fichte: The System of Ethics (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) + Introductions to the Wissenschaftslehre and Other Writings (1797-1800) (Hackett Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521575915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521575911
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

Book Description

Fichte's thought marks a crucial transitional stage between Kant and post-Kantian philosophy, and Foundations of Natural Right, thought by many to be his most important work of political philosophy, applies his ideas to fundamental issues in political and legal philosophy, covering such topics as civic freedom, right, private property, contracts, family relations, and the foundations of modern political organization. This volume offers the first complete translation of the work into English, by Michael Baur, together with an introduction by Frederick Neuhouser that sets it in its philosophical and historical context.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We take freedom for granted, as if it were easily understood and readily actualized. Genuine freedom, and not the empty and abstract ideal of the kind of freedom we presume ourselves to possess automatically, cannot in fact be realized except when a range of conditions are met, including a number of conditions that we might take to be impositions on freedom (such as the existence of laws and police to enforce them). Fichte's groundbreaking study aims to articulate for the first time, just after the French Revolution, before Hegel or Marx (and even before Kant's discussion of rights), and of course long before Rawls and others like him who've worked on similar problems with varying degrees of insight, the terms in which rights and freedom can properly be understood and actualized in the modern state.

It's a difficult read, but incredibly rewarding for those who approach it in the right way, as a philosophical study of what really must be in place for freedom to be possible, rather than a political treatise on a certain dead guy's opinions regarding legal principles. Fichte himself marks out the difference in his introduction between reading a text philosophically and reading it idly: in the latter case, you read the text as an outline of something it is possible to think; to read this study philosophically, by contrast, is to read it to discover what you have to think, because its concepts have an object, namely the world we live in articulated in such a way that through these concepts its structure can be seen as if for the first time. In other words, to read a philosophical text like that of Fichte is to rediscover the reality one inhabits, and to grasp it and learn to assess it in ways one hadn't been able before.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This work is an impressive attempt to establish the philosophical foundations of a modern, liberal political system--that is, a community of free beings who grant each other mutual recognition and rights. Fichte's particular political theories (including the notion of an "ephorate" and his disappointingly traditional views on women and marriage) are mostly of historical interest, but his initial analyses of "the I," of freedom, and of the concept of right are some of the best statements of his general philosophical position. His prose is often awkward and frustrating, but the passion and seriousness of his thought makes the book engrossing reading nevertheless. Michael Baur's translation is careful, and Frederick Neuhouser's introduction and notes are very helpful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very difficult to read; however, the information in it is great. It's probably easier to read in the original German language version.
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