A triune community: Fichte’s family law against the background of Kant’s practical philosophy (I)Abstract
Based on Fichte’s Foundations of Natural Right, recently published in Russian for the first time, this article investigates the logic and basic statements of Fichte’s theory on family law. The first part of the study is dedicated to Fichte’s ethical and metaphysical “deduction of marriage”, which views the family union as a natural-and-moral community of sexes, which only subsequently assumes a legal form through the principle of law. Fichte’s viewpoint is juxtaposed with Kant’s concept of family law complemented by Kant’s ideas on the metaphysics and ethics of gender and love, as well as Schopenhauer’s doctrine, which can be seen as a naturalistic profanation of Fichtean metaphysics of love. According to Fichte, sexual appeal takes on the shape of a self-sacrificing impulse of love in the soul and in the moral character of a woman; yet, only a man is capable of becoming aware of everything that is morally present in himself and of renouncing, out of his inborn magnanimity, all claims to unlimited dominance. It is the combination of both characters that, according to Fichte, provides the only effective incitement to moral education and exaltation of both parties in a family union.