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thought is not among the aims of the book. Still, introductions that overflow with detailed knowledge of ethical theories and traditions can be found everywhere. Books that genuinely enthuse the reader for the activity of philosophical ethics, however, are far more rare. In combination with skilled teachers and texts from the authors it discusses (and those who build upon their work), this book will most certainly prove to be an excellent introduction to philosophical ethics. Bert van den Brink Schoordijk Institute Faculty of Law Tilburg University P.O. Box 90153 5000 LE Tilburg The Netherlands H.H.A.Brink@kub.nl

NOTE See for example Tom L. Beauchamp, Philosophical Ethics: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy. New York: McGraw-Hill, second edition 1991.
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Idealism and Objectivity: Understanding Fichtes Jena Project, by Wayne M. Martin. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1997, xvi + 177 pp. ISBN 0804730008 hb 30.00 Martins book is lucid and well-argued. It is accessible to a reader who knows nothing about Fichte, but who wishes to understand Fichtes project and its importance, both for post-Kantianism and for contemporary debates about naturalism and its limits in the philosophy of mind and action. At the same time, Martin makes a significant contribution to several central debates in the expanding literature, both Anglo-American and Continental, about how to interpret Fichtes challenging yet rewarding texts. Particularly noteworthy are Martins discussions of the relationship between Fichtes system and the special sciences, of the debate between Fichtes idealism and contemporary naturalisms such as Dretskes, and of Fichtes early dialectical method. However, Martins attitude towards Fichtes development within the Jena period (17949) is questionable. The subtitle promises an interpretation of Fichtes Jena project, a project that took two main forms, known as the first presentation (17945) and the second presentation (17969), each producing both published and unpublished works. Yet Martin focuses on the first presentation, indeed, almost exclusively on the 17945 Foundations of the Entire Wissenschaftslehre, in essence the handouts from Fichtes first university classes.1 Hardly any attention is paid to the more mature works of the second period, including published works such as The Foundations of Natural Right and The System of Ethics, and the underlying Foundations of Transcendental Philosophy nova methodo, or according to the new method, whose publication halted after two introductions and the first chapter, but to which we now have access through student transcripts.2 Martin gives four reasons for his choice: first, the 17945 Foundations is the only foundational text prepared for publication by Fichte himself; second, the 17945 Foundations

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were widely known, whereas the nova methodo system was directly known (at least in any significant detail) only to the students who attended Fichtes private lecture courses (6); third, the early work allows exploration of two of Fichtes most important philosophical contributions, his account of the theory-practice relation and his dialectical methodology; and, finally, differences between the two presentations bear mainly on matters of strategy; when it comes to the aims and doctrines of the system, the Jena corpus displays a fundamental continuity (7). Martin gives no argument for his fourth point, which I would contest. Not only Fichtes strategy but also crucial features of his doctrine are changed by his new method, including his view of the theory-practice relation and his understanding of dialectics. Thus Martins third point is also questionable, for he may be studying only Fichtes most immature views on those topics, views quickly abandoned or altered. Such a study would be valuable, especially since the 17945 Foundations was so influential. But I cannot agree that the second presentation was known in detail only to Fichtes audience. Besides the two introductions and first chapter of the new version of the foundations, The Foundations of Natural Right and The System of Ethics both contain condensed versions of the foundational argument for the necessary embodiment of the mind in a natural and social world of normatively constrained free agency. These works were widely read. Hegel did not attend Fichtes lectures, but studied the later works closely. That leaves Martins first reason: the problems that arise from the fragmentary and second-hand sources associated with the nova methodo presentation (6). The lecture transcripts are certainly second-hand and occasionally fragmentary, but we are fortunate to have two to compare and, by comparing the results with the published works, we may reliably reconstruct Fichtes arguments. Indeed, Martin cannot wish no weight to be placed upon these texts, for his own claim that Fichtes project is an account of referential character depends, as we shall see, solely on one of the murkier passages in the lectures. It seems to me that Martin should either have restricted himself entirely to the 17945 Foundations, which would certainly have been justifiable but would not have yielded an account of Fichtes Jena project, or he should have taken extensive account of the second presentation, in which case his interpretations of Fichtes views about things in themselves, dialectical method and the primacy of practice would have had to be radically altered to reflect Fichtes own developments. With respect to the aims of Fichtes project, I agree that there is no significant change in the Jena period and that we should pay close attention to Fichtes careful formulations (in his lectures on the new method) of the problem of the objectivity of consciousness. Less convincing is Martins proposal that Fichtean objectivity be understood, not as an antiskeptical thesis about the existence of the objects of our experience, but rather as referential character, a species of intentionality that side-steps skeptical concerns: To say of one of my conscious states that it is objective is to say that it is of or about something that I take to exist independently of that conscious state (18; cf. 72). According to this conception, the empirical object of which I take myself to be conscious may not in fact exist, or may be a feature of my conscious state, yet my state is nonetheless objective; hence, to show that and how our consciousness is objective is not to refute skepticism about the objects of experience. To be sure, there are interesting projects beside the refutation of skepticism, and exploration of referential character might be one of them, but what is the evidence for attributing that conception to Fichte, as opposed to, say, a conception of objectivity that involves the existence of empirical objects? The sole evidence is a single passage in the new method lectures, recorded differently in the two transcripts, in which Fichte distinguishes his initial claim that things correspond to representations from the claim that things are (17).3 The passage supports Martins proposal only if Fichte is saying that

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his claims about correspondence or objectivity have no implications for the existence of corresponding empirical objects. But why not interpret Fichte in a more obvious fashion, as denying that he is talking about correspondence to things in themselves? Indeed, the Halle transcript confirms that Fichte means to deny just this, for it continues: We can be conscious only of the objects of our consciousness.4 I therefore see no reason to disagree with Beisers view5 that Fichte is mainly concerned to respond to an appropriately post-Kantian version of epistemological skepticism (1416). In particular, both the skeptical problematic and Fichtes response owe a tremendous amount, as Beiser has argued,6 to Maimon, whose ideas are to be found explicitly or implicitly on every page of Fichte, but whom Martin mentions only once (11112). Since one of Maimons central arguments is that transcendental philosophy can discern the necessary conditions only of an idealized science, but can never show the applicability of its concepts to the objects of everyday experience, about which skepticism is therefore justified, Fichtes project may be fruitfully viewed as the attempt to demonstrate, among other things, that the necessary conditions derived by transcendental philosophy are sufficient to determine objects of everyday experience. In this sense at least, Fichtes exploration of the objectivity of consciousness is at the same time an engagement with post-Kantian skepticism. Martin offers a highly suggestive account of Fichtes attitude towards things-in-themselves, although he himself notes, with admirable candour, that his account does not fit all the texts. His unspoken assumption is that the ascription of a single view is called for, rather than the tracing of Fichtes development. Martins interpretation, which is presumably intended to apply to the entire Jena period, contains three elements: first, Fichte is ontologically agnostic, neither affirming nor denying the existence of things-in-themselves; second, his rejections of things-in-themselves are either methodological (they are excluded from the explanandum of transcendental philosophy by its procedure) or amount to sound Kantian rejections of predications concerning things-in-themselves; third, Fichte not only uses but needs to use the concept of thing-in-themselves in order to specify the epistemological implications of his objectivity thesis, which amounts to the thesis that things-in-themselves are unknowable. Martin admits that his interpretation cannot accommodate texts that say that we know things-in-themselves indirectly insofar as they affect our feeling, and texts that say that the concept of the thing-in-itself is contradictory. Yet, although he does not say so, such texts are central to the 17945 Foundations on which Martins book focuses. In the first presentation, Fichte does indeed maintain that, when we attempt to explain our theoretical knowledge, we will necessarily be forced to appeal to things-in-themselves in order to explain the passive affection of our feelings that occasions perceptions. However, this appeal is inherently unstable, because anything we are forced to appeal to by our own consciousness is something for-us. So, according to the 17945 Foundations, the concept of the thing-in-itself is both necessary and contradictory.7 However, one does not find any such claim within the second Jena presentation; things-in-themselves are no longer invoked to explain the affection of feeling which remains, however, a topic of some difficulty; instead, the thing-in-itself is said to be abolished once and for all.8 Returning to Martins three-pronged interpretation: first, it is hard to see how Fichte can be agnostic about the existence of things-in-themselves, since he takes himself to be deriving the transcendental conditions of all existence-claims and predications from the autonomous activity of the I, which would exclude the possibility of claims about things independent of that activity, except insofar as such claims enter into the dialectic of necessity and impossibility described above, which does not much resemble stable agnosticism. Second, Fichte excludes things-in-themselves from the transcendental explanandum but not, as Martin notes, from the explanans, where in fact they re-emerge in the Foundations.
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However, the contradictoriness of the concept renders them not merely unknowable as subjects of real predication, which Kantian doctrine allows, but also unthinkable as subjects of logical predication, which goes beyond Kant. Third, I do not see how Fichte can have any epistemological use for the concept of things-in-themselves. According to Martin, Fichtes theory issues a far-reaching skeptical result (72), because it shows that things in themselves are unknowable. That is, we cannot have knowledge of objects except as subject to the conditions under which they can be posited as objects of knowledge (74). From the perspective of Fichtes first presentation, things-in-themselves are not merely unknowable but unthinkable. Since we can form no stable sense that there are things we cannot know, it is hard to call this skepticism. From the perspective of the second presentation, they are still unthinkable, but no longer necessary, so neither ontological agnosticism nor epistemological skepticism can be intended. In short, I can see no justification for ascribing skepticism about things-in-themselves to Fichte. Martins discussion of the dialectical methodology of the 17945 Foundations is extremely illuminating and suggestive. The fundamental idea that the three principles are at once certain and indeterminate (136), and that the bulk of the argument is concerned with the determination of the content of those principles seems correct and fruitful. One would very much like to see this view developed and applied to the reading of the work as a whole. However, it is surprising to hear that Fichtes idea, first expressed in notes from the revolutionary winter of 17934,9 that, like geometry, philosophy must secure the objective validity of its concepts by appealing to a construction-guiding a priori intuition, is an appeal that rings hollow. For Fichte has nothing substantive to say about how his intellectual intuition could carry out its constraining function in his constructions (116). This may be true with respect to the 17945 Foundations, in which the role of intellectual intuition is notoriously under-thematized. But it is far from true of the second presentation, in which the character of intellectual intuition and its methodological role are central topics. Indeed, one might suggest that it was in part the need to pursue the methodological goal set by the early analogy with geometry that led Fichte to develop the new method and to abandon the method Martin describes. It may be philosophically challenging, or even impossible, to make sense of Fichtes conception of philosophical demonstration as construction in intellectual intuition, but it is false that he has nothing substantive to say about it. Finally, I turn to the primacy of the practical. This is the core of Fichtes positive doctrine, according to Martin. But it is also the site of one of the new methods greatest innovations, distinguishing the second presentation from the first: the repudiation of the traditional distinction between a theoretical part of philosophy that deals with cognition and a practical part that deals with volition. Instead, the new method regards consciousness as a single, complex yet unitary activity of positing, from which the distinction between cognition and volition emerges at a certain level of abstraction. Consequently, what Martin takes to be the core of Fichtes idealism is only to be found in the first presentation of 17945. In Martins formulation, to explain the capacity for representation we must think of human beings not only as they are but also as they are not . . . For as Fichte insists, as real, finite human beings we are neither self-determining nor self-positing. We are and must be subject to determination by the world a world that constitutes both the object of our representation and the domain of our action . . . . Here at last we can see in what sense Fichtes theory of objectivity is a form of idealism . . . . Fichtes idealism should . . . be understood as a commitment to an ideal perspective on human beings (1445). The picture is of tension between theory and practice, reconciled by asymmetrical ordering: the tension consists in the fact that theoretical philosophy portrays us as finite, neither

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self-determining nor self-positing, whereas practical philosophy portrays us as striving to be self-determining and self-positing; the reconciling asymmetry consists in the insight that our striving can alone explain our cognitive finitude, whereas our cognitive finitude can offer no explanation for our striving; hence the primacy of the practical over the theoretical, of the ideal over the real. But this picture presupposes a fundamental distinction between theory and practice, and is accordingly absent from the second presentation. On the mature view, we exercise both our cognitive and our volitional capacities within a world that is constituted by the absolute autonomy of positing. Whether the activity in which we are engaged is traditionally classified as theoretical or practical, we are finite, self-determining and self-positing; there is no tension between the real and the ideal. Hence, Fichtes startling remark, repeated variously in each major work of the second presentation, that The ought, or the categorical imperative, is also a theoretical principle.10 Martins book is an important contribution to debate about the questions addressed by Fichtes Jena project, and about the solutions proposed in his seminal 17945 Foundations. I hope that it will be followed by further work of a similarly high philosophical standard, and that Martins innovative and provocative suggestions will generate the debate they deserve. Paul Franks Department of Philosophy Indiana University Bloomington Indiana 47405-2601 USA pfranks@tarski.phil.indiana.edu

NOTES
Fichte 18456: Vol. I, 86328. For a translation, see Fichte 1982a: 89286. For the Krause transcript, see Fichte 1982b. For the Halle transcript, see Fichte 1964: Series IV, Vol.2. See Fichte 1992 for a useful introduction and a translation of the Krause transcript that draws upon the Halle transcript and indicates their differences. 3 Fichte 1992: 88. 4 Fichte 1992: 88. 5 See Beiser 1992: 6368. 6 See Beiser 1992: 6567. 7 See Fichte 18456: Vol. I, 280285, and Fichte 1982a: 246251. 8 Fichte 1992: 163. 9 The Eigne Meditationen ber Elementarphilosophie, in Fichte 1964: Series II, Vol.3. The geometrical analogy is emphasized in recently discovered notes taken at Fichtes lectures at Zrich in 1794. See Fichte 1996: 117145. 10 Fichte 1992: 437. cf., e.g., Fichte 1964: Series I, Vol. 5, 77.
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REFERENCES
Beiser, F. (1992), Enlightenment, Revolution and Romanticism: The Genesis of Modern German Political Thought. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
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Fichte, J. G. (18456), Johann Gottlieb Fichtes smmtliche Werke, ed. I. H. Fichte. Berlin: Veit and Comp. Fichte, J. G. (1964), J. G. Fichte-Gesamtausgabe der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, edited by R. Lauth, H. Jacob and H. Gliwitzky. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Friedrich Fromann Verlag. Fichte, J. G. (1982a), Fichte: The Science of Knowledge, trans. P. Heath and J. Lachs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fichte, J. G. (1982b), Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo. Kollegnachschrift K. Chr. Fr. Krause, ed. E. Fuchs. Hamburg: Meiner. Fichte, J. G. (1992), Fichte: Foundations of Transcendental Philosophy (Wissenschaftslehre) Nova Methodo (1796/99), trans. and ed. D. Breazeale. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Fichte, J. G. (1996), Zricher Vorlesungen ber den Begriff der Wissenschaftslehre Februar 1794. Nachschrift Lavater, ed. E. Fuchs. Neuried: Ars Una.

The Indexical I: The First Person in Thought and Language, by Ingar Brinck. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997, xii + 179 pp. ISBN 0792347412 hb 44.00 Ingar Brincks monograph is a patient, sensible and wide-ranging account of the meaning and reference of I, broadening into a treatment of self-knowledge and personal identity. The first part of the book offers critiques of the Wittgensteinian no-reference thesis, and the direct reference theory of I. In the second part Brinck defends her own thesis that I refers indirectly, through a de re sense, to the speaker as presented in the context of utterance. In her opening chapter, Brinck is concerned to reject the arguments of those who claim that I is not a genuine referring expression. She also develops the idea of immunity to error through misidentification which some of those arguments appeal to. But it is worth noting that Wittgensteins own thesis is less definite, at least after the time of the Philosophical Remarks. He does say that, in using I, I do not name a person, but his target is much more the idea that there is no object, the self. This is not a minor interpretative point. In her very opening sentence, Brinck writes that Most of us take it for granted that each of us in some sense has a self and she shows no sign of dissenting from this (p. 1). Brinck may be right that most of us assume this; but she does not consider Wittgensteins view that talk of the self, whether Cartesian or not, is at the root of philosophical illusion concerning self-consciousness. The concept of immunity to error through misidentification henceforth IEM is of great interest independent of its role in supporting a no-reference account of I. Consider the judgment I went on holiday to Bournemouth when I was nine years old. If one assumes that this expresses a personal memory-judgment, then although it could conceivably be mistaken, it would make no sense to suppose this was because of an error about who went on holiday; the judgment is IEM. Brinck offers an extended treatment of the concept starting with Wittgensteins discussion in The Blue Book, though it is not really pinned down in a complete definition Brincks first formulation is that Uses of I are IEM if the speaker cannot mistake herself for another as the referent of I (p. 32). She goes on to endorse the account given by Gareth Evans, which emphasises that it is token-judgments based on certain kinds of ground that are IEM, though this crucial feature is omitted in some of her formulations (for instance p. 11). Brinck rejects Wittgensteins view that when the possibility of misidentification is excluded, it is wrong to talk of identification: in thinking about oneself, one does identify oneself as instantiating a certain property . . .

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