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Fichte’s Spinoza: “Common Standpoint,” “Essential Opposition,” and “Hidden Treasure”

Daniel Breazeale

Abstract

The first part of this paper traces the evolution of Fichte’s complex attitude toward Spinoza’s philosophy in an effort to understand what Fichte himself characterized as his and Spinoza’s “common standpoint” as well as the “essential difference” between their systems. The second addresses the question of why Fichte continued to devote so much attention to Spinoza. I conclude that Fichte’s use of Spinozism was primarily heuristic, as a uniquely appropriate means for introducing readers and students to the Wissenschaftslehre.

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