Fichte on Property Rights and Coercion
This chapter is an attempt to resolve two sets of disagreements on Fichte’s theory of right. One disagreement concerns the content of Fichtean property rights, and the other is about the role of coercion in the formation of the Fichtean social order. With respect to the first disagreement I argue that it stems from the mistaken assumption that Fichte is committed to a particular universally applicable right to property. Once this assumption is dropped, it is possible to appreciate the variety of such rights that his theory can support. With respect to the second disagreement I argue that Fichte does not see a necessary conflict between coercion and freedom; in fact, he believes coercion is conducive to the formation of rightful relations among free persons.