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(born May 19, 1762, Rammenau, Upper Lusatia, Saxonydied Jan. 27, 1814, Berlin) German philosopher and patriot. Fichte's (1794), a reaction to the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant and especially to Kant's (1788), was his most original and characteristic work. To demonstrate that practical reason is really the root of reason in its entirety, the absolute ground of all knowledge as well as of humanity altogether, he started from a supreme principle, the ego, which is independent and sovereign, so that all other knowledge is deducible from it. In his famous patriotic lectures (180708) he attempted to rally German nationalists against Napoleon. He is regarded as one of the great transcendental idealists. His son Immanuel Hermann von Fichte (17961879) was also a philosopher.
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