By Karin A. Nisenbaum and Julia Peters

In this paper, we address the question of how, on Fichte’s account, human subjects become full-grown, mature moral agents or selves. Our thesis is that there is a close connection between Fichte’s conception of freedom and his notion of moral development.  This is because for Fichte, the quintessential act of freedom is reflection (rather than choice). Reflection is a temporal process that presents two faces.  From the point of view of the subject who is undergoing moral development, it appears as transformation.  From the point of view of the onlooking philosopher, it appears as development.