The New International Encyclopædia/Fries, Jakob Friedrich

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FRIES, Jakob Friedrich (1773-1843). A German philosopher, born at Barby, Saxony. He studied there and in the universities of Leipzig and Jena, and became a lecturer in philosophy at the latter in 1801. From 1805 to 1816 he was professor of philosophy and elementary mathematics at Heidelberg, and from 1816 until his death professor of theoretical philosophy at Jena. His chief work is the Neue Kritik der Vernunft (3 vols., 1807), an attempt to find a new basis for the critical philosophy of Kant. His method is psychological. He holds that a knowledge of the a priori cognition of Kant is to be attained only by the a posteriori process of subjective experience. Hence, the a priori element, inasmuch as it is discoverable only by subjective experience, is not, as Kant contends, transcendental to all experience. Therefore, philosophy finds its ultimate foundation in subjective knowledge, and its true exposition through psychological analysis. Other differences from the Kantian teaching are also encountered in Fries, whose work, though ingenious, may be said to contribute little to the progress of speculation.