Most German philosophers in the early nineteenth century were devoted, to the idealistic « completion » of Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy. A few independent philosophers, however, were preoccupied with the elaboration of a non-idealistic, and less speculative, conclusion to Kant's thought. Among the earliest opponents of the speculative idealists was Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773-1843), a philosopher of wide-ranging interests who might have had a much greater impact upon the course of German philosophy had his liberal political affiliations not curtailed his academic career. As it was, his influence was considerable anyway. One aspect of this influence is of particular interest: in his reaction against idealism, and in his own « completion » of Kant, Fries laid the foundation for the development and acceptance of psychology as an independent science.

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Copyright © 1982 Istituto di psicologia del CNR. This article first appeared in Storia e Critica della Psicologia 3:2 (1982), 217-248.

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