„The fundamental maxim of those who stand at the head of this Age, and therefore the principle of the Age, is this,—to accept nothing as really existing or obligatory, but that which they can understand and clearly comprehend.“
— Johann Gottlieb Fichte German philosopher 1762 - 1814
With regard to this fundamental principle, as we have now declared and adopted it without farther definition or limitation, this third Age is precisely similar to that which is to follow it, the fourth, or age of Reason as Science,—and by virtue of this similarity prepares the way for it. Before the tribunal of Science, too, nothing is accepted but the Conceivable. Only in the application of the principle there is this difference between the two Ages,—that the third, which we shall shortly name that of Empty Freedom, makes its fixed and previously acquired conceptions the measure of existence; while the fourth—that of Science—on the contrary, makes existence the measure, not of its acquired, but of its desiderated beliefs.
Zdroj: The Characteristics of the Present Age (1806), p. 19