Philosophy and Social Criticism 45 (2):168-185 (2018)

Elvira Basevich
University of California, Davis
In this essay, I argue that Hegel’s model of ethical life is normatively gripping for Du Bois’s critique of Radical Reconstruction. My argument proceeds in three steps. First, I use Du Bois’s insights to explain the nature of progressive political change in historical time, an account Hegel lacks. I reconstruct the normative basis of Du Bois's political critique by articulating the three essential features of public reasoning qua citizenship. Second, I defend the promise of black civic enfranchisement with respect to the institutional conditions of love and labour in the wake of the Civil War. Third, I establish the central role black freedmen played in realizing the ideals of democratic self-governance affirmed in principle but seldom realized in practice in the United States.
Keywords Hegel  Du Bois  recognition  democratic citizenship  labor  public reason  citizenship  normative ethics  family  Sittlichkeit
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1177/0191453718797371
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