Institutional design and public space: Hegel, architecture, and democracy

Journal of Social Philosophy 39 (2):291–307 (2008)
Habermas's conception of deliberative democracy could be fruitfully supplemented with a discussion of the "institutional design" of civil society; for example the architecture of public spaces should be considered. This paper argues that Hegel's discussion of architecture in his 'Aesthetics' can speak to this issue. For Hegel, architecture culminates in the gothic cathedral, because of how it fosters reflection on the part of the worshiper. This discussion suggests the possibility that architecture could foster a similar kind of intersubjective reflection. To make his thoughts more pertinent for current debates, Hegel's views are adapted to fit three contemporary secular institutions.
Keywords Hegel  Habermas  Democracy  Architecture
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9833.2008.00420.x
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William Desmond (1999). Gothic Hegel. The Owl of Minerva 30 (2):237-252.

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