July 20, 2003
Author: Roberto Suggi Liverani

Many utopias have been thought and developed by the philosophers during the centuries; among these, I believe it is important to consider the one of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762 – 1814), a German philosopher, deeply influenced by Kant. In his work “The vocation of scholar” of 1794, Fichte established the role of the scholar in relation to the society. The scholar should play a primary and important role in order to rule the society and to offer an example of superior morality. The utopia of Fichte shows all his charm in the criteria used to choose the scholar: he must be the best moral man of his age. The morality, and in the general sense the ethics, is considered by Fichte as a continuous (and infinite) process of self perfecting. Hereby a man will never be able to reach the status of perfect morality because otherwise he would become God. Nevertheless, Fichte states that the effort to reach that status is fundamental and it must be a goal that every man and especially the scholar should achieve in order to free other people and to contribute to the progress of his society. In that sense, Fichte committed a social mission to every scholar, who should be the best moral and exemplar man. The German philosopher believes that only the process of self perfecting can face the difficulties, the problems that are the only limits to reach the complete interior freedom. Every man, every ego creates its self and the world around: every obstacle is so created by the ego of every individual; the completion of the process of self perfecting and the total elimination of these limits would make the man able to control every event (irrational or random) of his reality. In that way the man will live a life without problems and difficulties, an utopian life similar to the God’s one. The scholar, first, but the other men as well, must try to dominate, with their own moral laws, the event, the obstacles, the irrational difficulties of the reality. In that way it is possible to free the own interiority, although this process will never end because if the man reach the perfect morality it can not be considered as a man, but only as a God, the supreme moral being. Indeed, in the Fichte’s opinion, the morality of every man is realized in the effort without end to free the interiority and to dominate every event of the reality with own moral laws. The social progress, which coincides with the interior freedom of every member of a society, is the mission of every scholar with a superior morality. Fichte does believe to a continuous development, to the progress, to the moral’s elevation of every individual and to the superiority moral of the scholars. His utopia is charming because it is powerful and it has magnificent target: the effort to dominate entirely the reality with the own moral laws, making every individual freer and confiding to the scholars the mission of that constant and incessant social progress.

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