Genealogy and Jurisprudence in Fichte’s Genetic Deduction of the Categories

History of Philosophy Quarterly 35 (1):77-96 (2018)
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Fichte argues that the conclusion of Kant’s transcendental deduction of the categories is correct yet lacks a crucial premise, given Kant’s admission that the metaphysical deduction locates an arbitrary origin for the categories. Fichte provides the missing premise by employing a new method: a genetic deduction of the categories from a first principle. Since Fichte claims to articulate the same view as Kant in a different, it is crucial to grasp genetic deduction in relation to the sorts of deduction that Kant offers. I propose to interpret genetic deduction as the simultaneous fulfillment of two tasks: answering the question quid facti by deriving the categories from the I and answering the question quid juris by establishing our entitlement to the categories as conditions of experience. While the second task represents Fichte’s agreement with Kant’s transcendental deduction, the first reflects his correction of Kant’s metaphysical deduction.

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G. Anthony Bruno
Royal Holloway University of London


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