Between Determinism and Indeterminism: The Freedom of Choice in Fichte's Das System Der Sittenlehre
Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
European Journal of Philosophy
How to Cite
Goh, K.-H. (2012), Between Determinism and Indeterminism: The Freedom of Choice in Fichte's Das System Der Sittenlehre. European Journal of Philosophy. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2012.00544.x
- Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012
This paper examines Fichte's conception of the freedom of choice in Das System der Sittenlehre of 1798 as a solution to the dilemma posed by determinism and indeterminism. It show that Fichte does not simply affirm an indifferent power of voluntary choice, but demonstrates how such a power might co-exist with the measure of regularity and lawfulness we normally admit of human choices. Particular choices do not occur at random, but are based on general reasons. These reasons are in turn based on the extent to which we have freely reflected on our original drive. Thus our choices can be comprehended and predicted from the point of reflection from which we choose. This does not lead to the denial of the freedom of choice, but only to rethinking it in terms of the freedom of reflection: Though we cannot choose other than what we choose from the point of reflection we occupy, we can choose other than what we choose by raising or lowering ourselves through reflection to a higher or lower point of reflection.