Hegels Dialektik der Integrität und die Logik des Opfers

Attributions of personal or moral integrity presuppose self-commitments. These are brought to our attention whenever an agent has to make difficult decisions. It can be seen that in such decisions other interests or moral values and norms of the actor must be neglected or even eliminated. One of the standard language games by which integrity is thought and attributed claims that the person with moral integrity sacrifices himself for something or someone. This can be well understood by using Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Hegel not only dealt extensively with the concept of a religious sacrifice, he also made use of the semantics of sacrifice for his characterization of the becoming of the spirit. Without having the concept of integrity yet, he used the logic of a sacrifice to comprehend the constitution of the »true« self. With Hegel we can disclose a dialectical concept of integrity as a consistent internalization of the logic of the sacrifice. At the same time we will emphasize the differences between Hegel’s attempt and the use of sacrificial speech in today’s discourse of moral integrity.
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