Terry Pinkard on Normativity in Fichte

This was the reading for October 2nd’s meeting.

In Terry Pinkard’s German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism, he initially situates Fichte’s as a response to a specific issue in Kant: the paradox that we are only subject to those norms for which we can regard ourselves as the author.  This paradox arises arises out of two elements in Kant.  First, there is the subject/object dichotomy: we encounter ourselves as subjects making judgments about objects (i.e. substances interacting in space and time) and those judgments, if true, answer to the objects.  Second, there is the Kantian turn away from the question of what hold does the world have on us? to the question of what reasons do we impose on ourselves?

Continue reading


The Sociality of Reason & The Restlessness of the Negative

This was the reading for March 23.  See here and here.

Terry Pinkard’s The Sociality of Reason and Jean-Luc Nancy’s The Restlessness of the Negative are two very different books, despite both being about Hegel.  The most cursory glance reveals prose styles and concerns that are all but totally alien to one another, yet they share two major concerns: the social nature of reason or logos, and the unrelenting nature of skepticism or negativity.

Continue reading