Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №4(54)

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A triune community: Fichte’s family law against the background of Kant’s practical philosophy (II)



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 second part of the study considers Fichte's theory of marriage law as compared to Kant’s legal doctrine. Both the union and separation of marriage partners is viewed by Fichte as a phenomenon of the internal life and an element of personal freedom, hence the role of clergy in this field. In Fichte’s theory, special attention is paid to the nature and legal effects of a legitimate divorce interpreted based on his moral anthropology of sexes as a moral fact and a legal status. A divorce, once accomplished in the moral substance, transforms the personal union of family partners into a concubinage, which is seen considered in an essentially non-Kantian way. Against the background of these concepts, the article deals with questions of what the state has to protect and what it is entitled to punish in the domain of marriage.


1. Kant, I, 1965. Metafisicheskiye nachala ucheniya o prave [Metaphysical Elements of Justice] In: Kant, I. Soch. v 6 t. Vol. 4. Part 2, Moscow, p. 107—302.
2. Fichte, J. G., 2014. Osnova jestestvennogo prava soglasno prinzipam naukoucheniya [Foundations of Natural Right according to the Principles of the Science of Knowledge], Moscow.