Truly Ignorant Books
I might be wrong about lots of things. I might well be hopelessly connected to the theories of my age, unable to see a more timeless truth, but this Fichte guy, he is simply awful!
The order of Kantian philosophers goes Kant, Reinhold, Fichte. His first published paper was written in a Kantian style, and, published without his name, was taken by most to be another work by Kant. Reinhold held the Philosophy Chair at Jena University, and Fichte took over after him.
I'm not going to get into Fichte's philosophy generally. I'm only reading him because he was allegedly an early proponent of linguistic nationalism (not as far as I can tell, but I'm not done). This book is SOOOOO BAD! I have never read book written with more ignorance, fatuousness, or pomposity in my entire life. Did you know, if you don't speak German you won't be able to think higher thoughts? It's true. And if you aren't a German, you'll never really be able to learn German. And if you think you are thinking something profound in a non-German language, well, it won't make any difference.
His ideas on education seem entirely crazy, too, believing that he can educate people to be totally unselfish, totally unafraid, and entirely unerring in their will/love to do what is right, and never what is wrong. Clear thinking, not dim feeling, for Fichte!
But I wouldn't have brought this up except I was reading it on the Subway and I felt so bad. People might accidentally think it was a book worth exploring, or might think that I was some sort of neo-Nazi! My edition is a reprint of the 1922 edition, which was suitably timed for the Nazi emergence.