The Metaphysics of Dignity: Marriage in Kant and Fichte

in Uncivil Unions

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780226136936
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226136950 | DOI:
The Metaphysics of Dignity: Marriage in Kant and Fichte

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter describes the theories of marriage by Immanuel Kant and Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Fichte's account of sexuality and marriage in the Foundations of Natural Right drew on a long philosophical tradition. It shows that Fichte directly recurred to this theory of consciousness in his theory of marriage and also depended on a picture in which Lady Sensuality is something to be gradually “worked away” in the interest of a monistic metaphysics. Both Kant and Fichte considered sexual difference as a fundamental aspect of human social existence but recognized that it is extremely hard to justify purely by recourse to reason. Their accounts of marriage introduced the concept to respond to a scandal inherent in sexual congress. Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre and his theory of marriage provided the parameters for the Romantics who would at first be inspired by him and later slowly move away from him.

Keywords: marriage; Johann Gottlieb Fichte; Immanuel Kant; Lady Sensuality; sexual difference; Wissenschaftslehre; sexuality; Foundations of Natural Right

Chapter.  15406 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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