Restoring antigone to ethical life: Nature and sexual difference in Hegel's phenomenology of spirit

The Owl of Minerva 38 (1/2):77-99 (2006)
Many feminist and other interpreters of the Phenomenology of Spirit have misconstrued the motive behind Hegel’s representation of ethical life and his assessment of Antigone’s agency in its downfall. Upon developing an alternative interpretation, based on Hegel’s challenge of ethical life’s purportedly immediate reading of the meaning of sexual difference, this paper assesses several prominent feminist interpretations in its light. Hegel’s critique of the unstable and unsustainable relationship between nature and law, or sexual difference and legal identification, is shown to constitute a valuable resource for contemporary feminist and legal approaches to the politically volatile negotiation of nature and culture and the critique and elaboration of law.
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DOI 10.5840/owl2006/2007381/28
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