Explain the relation between the vocation of humanity and the vocation of the scholar in Fichte.

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Fichte connects the question of the scholar’s vocation to that of man’s vocation in society, which, in turn, depends on the answer to the question of man’s absolute vocation.We see this especially in his lectures The Vocation of the Scholar (1794).

Fichte says that the ultimate goal of man is to subject all the irrational to himself. However, it is unattainable. Not only this, but it is proper to man that this goal must be unattainable. Otherwise, man would cease to be man and would become God. But he should endlessly move towards this goal. And this unceasing approximation to this goal is man’s true vocation. Fichte says the following about this dialectic:

...perfection is the highest unattainable end of man, whilst eternal perfecting is his vocation. He exists, that he may become ever morally better himself, and make all around him physically, and, if he be considered as a member of society, morally better also, and thus augment his own happiness without limit (Lecture 1).


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