The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Fichte, Immanuel Hermann von
FICHTE, fĭH'tĕ, Immanuel Hermann von, German philosopher: b. Jena, 18 July 1796; d. Stuttgart, 8 Aug. 1879. He was a son of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (q.v.). He was graduated at the University of Berlin in 1818. Soon after he became a lecturer in philosophy at this institution. As a result of semi-official suggestions, based on official disapproval of his supposedly liberal views, he decided, in 1822, to leave Berlin, and accepted a professorship at the gymnasium in Saarbrücken. In 1826 he went in the same capacity to Düsseldorf. In 1836 he was appointed extraordinary, and in 1840 ordinary professor of philosophy at the University of Bonn, where he quickly became a successful and much admired lecturer. Dissatisfied with the reactionary tendencies of the Prussian Ministry of Education, he accepted a call to the chair of philosophy at the University of Tübingen in 1842 where he continued to give lectures on all philosophic subjects until his retirement in 1862 when he moved to Stuttgart. As a philosopher he was of lesser importance than his father. In his philosophy he was a theist and strongly opposed to the Hegelian School. The additional characteristics of mysticism and eclecticism, which are frequently attributed to him are only partially deserved. His greatest gift, perhaps, was his breadth of vision, enabling him to do justice to and give a philosophic interpretation of practically every new development and discovery throughout the long period of his intellectual activity (1818-1879). He was a very prolific writer. Many of his shorter works appeared in the Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Speculative Theologie, which Fichte founded in 1837 and which he edited from then on, later with Ulrici and Wirth, when the name was changed to Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Philosophische Kritik after a short period of suspension (1848-52). Of his many published works the following may be especially mentioned: ‘Sätze zur Vorschule der Theologie’ (Stuttgart 1826); ‘Beiträge zur Charakteristik der Neueren Philosophie’ (Sulzbach 1829); ‘Über Gegensatz, Wendepunkt und Ziel Heutiger Philosophie’ (3 parts, Heidelberg 1832-36); ‘Grundzüge zum Systeme der Philosophie’ (3 parts, Heidelberg 1833-46); ‘Religion und Philosophie in ihrem Gegenwärtigen Verhältniss’ (Heidelberg 1834); ‘Die Idee der Persönlichkeit und der Individuellen Fortdauer’ (Elberfeld 1834); ‘Die Spekulative Theologie’ (3 parts, Heidelberg 1846-47); ‘Grundsätze für die Philosophie der Zukunft’ (Stuttgart 1847); ‘System der Ethik’ (2 vols., Heidelberg 1850-53); ‘Anthropologie’ (Heidelberg 1856); ‘Zur Seelenfrage, etc.’ (Leipzig 1859); ‘Psychologie’ (2 vols., Heidelberg 1864-73); ‘Vermischte Schriften’ (2 vols., Heidelberg 1869); ‘Die Theistische Weltansicht und ihre Berechtigung’ (Heidelberg 1873); ‘Der neuere Spiritualismus’ (Heidelberg 1878). He also edited his father's writings under the title ‘Leben und Briefwechsel’ (2 vols., Sulzbach 1830); ‘Nachgelassene Werke’ (3 vols., Bonn 1834-35); ‘J. G. Fichte's Sämtliche Werke’ (8 vols., Berlin 1845-46); ‘Der Materialismus unserer Zeit in Deutschland, etc.’ (Leipzig 1866); a translation from the French work by P. Janet published originally in Paris in 1864, likewise bore his name as editor. Some of his works have been translated into English by J. D. Morell as ‘Contributions to Mental Philosophy’ (London 1860). Consult Erdmann, J. E., ‘History of Philosophy’ (3 vols., London 1890); Eucken, R., ‘Zur Erinnerung, I. H. Fichte’ (in Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Vol. CX, Bonn-Leipzig 1897); Hartmann, K., ‘I. H. Fichte’ (in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, Vol. XLVIII, Leipzig 1904); Scherer, C. C, ‘Die Gotteslehre von I. H. Fichte’ (1902).