Debarred from taking an active part, Fichte made his contribution by way of lectures.
The young Lessing produced his first play in the Leipzig theatre, and the university counts Goethe, Klopstock, Jean Paul Richter, Fichte and Schelling among its alumni.
A tutorship at Zurich was, however, obtained in the spring of 1788, and Fichte spent in Switzerland two of the happiest years of his life.
On the 14th of November, after one day's illness, he died of cholera and was buried, as he had wished, between Fichte and Solger.
His theory of reason brings him into contact with the German idealists: he accepts from Kant the hypothesis of synthesis and a priori categories, from Fichte the hypothesis that will is necessary to reason, from Schelling and Hegel the hypothesis of universal reason, and of an identity between the cosmic reason and the reason of man, in which he agrees also with Green and Caird.
He had already contributed articles and reviews to the Journal of Fichte and Niethammer, and had thrown himself with all his native impetuosity into the study of physical and medical science.
In Fichte himself the source of being is primeval activity, the groundless and incomprehensible deed-action (ThatHandlung) of the absolute ego.
It is what Fichte called a Deed-act (Thathandlung); we cannot be aware of the process, - the ego is not until it has affirmed itself, - but we are aware of the result, and can see the necessity of the act by which it is brought about.
In Fichte's system the connexion of ethics and metaphysics is still more intimate; indeed, we may compare it in this respect to Platonism; as Plato blends the most fundamental notions of each of these studies in the one idea of good, so Fichte blends them in the one idea free-will.
As early as 1797 Fichte had begun to see that the ultimate basis of his system was the absolute ego, in which is no difference of subject and object; in 1800 the Bestimmung des Menschen defined this absolute ego as the infinite moral will of the universe, God, in whom are all the individual egos, from whom they have sprung.