Fichte’s Concept of the Nation
This chapter analyzes Fichte’s references to “the nation” in The Closed Commercial State and the Addresses to the German Nation in the light of two key questions: Who are the members of the nation? And does Fichte’s concept of the nation provide a way of determining the state’s borders? I argue that in the first text Fichte implies that the state and the nation are not coextensive, and so his concept of the nation cannot be used to determine the state’s borders. In the second text, Fichte introduces an ambiguity between the nation understood as a particular nation and the nation understood as the speakers of an ‘original’ language that again means his concept of the nation cannot be used to determine the state’s borders.