Fichte and Hegel: Critics of the Enlightenment
Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. Filosofiâ i konfliktologiâ
This article discusses criticisms made by Fichte and Hegel of the Enlightment, and how similarities between these criticisms reveal an essential thought in German Idealism. Both, like Kant, considered that history is the development of the individual and especially of collective freedom. This takes place according to a dialectical process. Fichte placed the Enlightenment in the third period of history, a time when the individual became aware of his freedom but was detached from all external
... om all external authority, an authority that had predominated during the preceding second period and struggled against it. Therefore, by considering only the individual as free, he did not address the community or even the divine root that makes it possible. Losing sight of this essence and becoming individually self-centred, he made a rational and cosmopolitan community and true freedom impossible. Hegel believed enlightened reason had also lost sight of the unitary and community essence of the Spirit and its actions. The reason for this is that human beings lived in an alienated social and political world dominated by the Lord of the world and not by reason. The enlightened individual subsequently went on to conquer social reality through cultural hegemony. However, he thought that he could build it only from himself, without considering the community essence of the Spirit, which he left to the field of religious faith and despised as superstition. This unilateral vision leads to the period of terror. In our globalized world, there is a greater need to achieve that community essence in our way of being human.