Personalität statt SubjektivitätFriedrich Heinrich Jacobi und Dieter Henrich


Since the days of Enlightenment “Subjectivity” and “Personhood” provide basic paradigms for strong concepts of human self-understanding and for any metaphysics of the Absolute. While the first became prominent in German Idealism and most of Continental post-Kantian thinking, the latter has mainly influenced the Anglo-American (analytical) scene. In the past one has too often and too easily tried to fuse both positions not being aware of their fundamental differences. Therefore this article discusses critically Dieter Henrich’s philosophy of subjectivity in the light of Jacobi’s philosophy of person. The concept of person that results out of Jacobi’s considerations underlines the crucial role human action plays for our self-understanding as free and irreducibly individual agents and thus avoids any kind of reductionism without ignoring the efforts of naturalistic world-views.

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