J.G. Fichte: Individual Liberty, Distributive Justice, and the Tensions of Civil Society 公开

Eakes, Laura (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/1831ck07c?locale=zh


J.G. Fichte: Individual Liberty, Distributive Justice, and the Tensions of Civil Society

Over the past two centuries, Fichte's name and philosophy have been appropriated as justification for the installation of a variety of antithetical political regimes. In his early years, he was portrayed as a German Jacobin and radical individualist for proclaiming the individual will as the ultimate arbiter of political activity. Yet, a little less than a decade later, he published a work of political economy advocating for a large state structure and various social entitlements. Some scholars have viewed this as proof of his inconsistency or as a manifestation of his general incomprehensibility; however, I contend that it is possible to see his internal coherence when viewed through the lens of property and individual liberty. What follows is an explication of Fichte's theory of property, which illustrates his consistency through his determination to provide the individual with a sphere of autonomy. Additionally, an analysis of Fichte's theory of property allows for comparisons to be made between liberal and socialist notions of rights to property, both of which have been mistakenly attributed to Fichte. In his attempt to secure distributive justice and a measure of individual liberty for all, Fichte constructed a largely self-sufficient national economy. While his closed commercial state has come under harsh criticism for its impracticality, it does bring up issues about property relations and the impact of global trade that still hold relevance today.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
1. Introduction...1
2. A Radical Concession of Individual Freedom...12
3. The Property Contract...23
4. Expansion of the Property Contract in The Closed Commercial State...36
5. Conclusion...47

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files