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Jacobi put forward his ‘Realismus’ as a call for opposition to the new type of idealism that Kant had introduced. In order to accomplish this, Jacobi is introducing a new type of realism. Jacobi’s realism is an epistemological and practical position that is mainly put forward in David Hume über den Glauben (1787). It has been described as a new realist conception of consciousness, which prioritizes both the existence of the I and things outside the I (Sandkaulen 2019: 135, 153). This specific realism distances itself from the possibility of apodictic certainty through reason alone, introduces a number of non-knowable cognitive operations in order to explain the fact that we trust our senses (see Gefühl; Offenbarung) and has, because of these features, been described as a negative realism, and also as a practical realism, since it is concerned with an acting I (Giesbers 2017: 42–48; Sandkaulen 2019: 154).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJacobi-Wörterbuch Online
PublisherSächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2023


  • Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
  • Realism
  • Johann Gottlieb Fichte


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