Read e-book online Addresses to the German Nation (Cambridge Texts in the PDF

By Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Gregory Moore

ISBN-10: 0521444047

ISBN-13: 9780521444040

This can be the 1st translation of Fichte's addresses to the German country for nearly a hundred years. The sequence of 14 speeches, added while Berlin was once lower than French career after Prussia's disastrous defeat on the conflict of Jena in 1806, is commonly considered as a founding record of German nationalism, celebrated and reviled in equivalent degree. Fichte's account of the individuality of the German humans and his trust within the local superiority of its tradition helped to form German nationwide id in the course of the 19th century and past. With an in depth advent that places Fichte's argument in its highbrow and historic context, this version brings a huge and seminal paintings to a contemporary readership. the entire ordinary sequence beneficial properties are supplied, together with notes for extra studying, chronology, and short biographies of key individuals.

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Goethe, however, sounded a warning note. ’26 Fichte may have roused his contemporaries with his oratorical flights, but his real effect on the insurgency against Napoleon was at best negligible. After all, no German state put his ideas into practice – although the Prussian education ministry did send a handful of teachers to Switzerland to train in Pestalozzi’s school. Reformers in both Prussia and Austria insisted that patriotism was an essential element in the kind of wars being fought in the revolutionary age, but peace did not result in German unification: the princes were naturally opposed to such a 25 26 Fichte’s son and biographer, Immanuel Hermann (who bears the names of two great German heroes, Kant and Arminius), is keen to suggest that Scharnhorst’s reorganisation of the army was ‘wholly in tune with Fichte’s way of thinking’, but this claim is rather far-fetched (Johann Gottfried Fichte’s Leben und literarischer Briefwechsel, Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1862, p.

418). ), Fichte im Gespra¨ch (Stuttgart/ Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1978), vol. 4, p. 214. xxxii Introduction development since it would destroy their sovereignty and power, and struggled to put the genie back in the bottle. Hence, when reaction set in after the Vienna Congress, German governments cracked down on any subversive ‘demagoguery’ that would upset the post-war restoration. 27 A second edition of the Addresses was accordingly banned in Prussia in 1824, the same state whose censors had given Fichte so much trouble in 1808, and had to be printed in Saxony.

From the preface to several unpublished Dialogues on Patriotism and its Opposite Now, within these limitations demanded by justice and propriety, they could, I should think, indeed permit us to say without fear what they themselves do not shrink from actually doing; for obviously the deed itself, which even without our mentioning it will doubtless arouse attention, causes far greater trouble than what we say about it afterwards. And although there is nothing at all to prevent those who have responsibility for the press by reason of their office from belonging as private persons to one of the two main parties of the intellectual world currently in dispute, they can perceive the interest of their party only were they to step forth themselves as writers; but as public persons they have no party whatsoever 5 The word Fichte uses is liberal, the same word that he pours scorn on in the First and Fourth Addresses.

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Addresses to the German Nation (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) by Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Gregory Moore

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