Laura Kane
Worcester State University
Feminist philosophers are right to criticize Hegel’s prejudices against women. In many of his works, Hegel reduces women to their physiology as means of explaining why they occupy a subordinate role in nature and in society. Such treatment seems arbitrary at best, for the gendering of roles disrupts Hegel’s dialectical approach to spirit without any meaningful gain. Despite this defect in Hegel’s work, what is positive in Hegelian social and political philosophy remains intact. In this paper I argue that the sexist claims that Hegel makes about women are irrelevant to his theory of the family in the Philosophy of Right. Therein, Hegel outlines three components that are necessary for the completion of the family: marriage, property and assets, and the raising of children. Hegel also includes a description of the different roles occupied by family members and divides these roles along gender lines. Given the three components that are essential to the family, I argue that there is no necessary basis for familial roles to be divided by gender.
Keywords Hegel  Philosophy of Right  Family  Gender  Children  Social
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On Hegel, Women, and Irony.Seyla Benhabib - 2002 - In Genevieve Lloyd (ed.), Feminism and History of Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Hegel.Allen W. Wood & M. J. Inwood - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (4):574.
Has Hegel Anything to Say to Feminists?Heidi M. Ravven - 1988 - The Owl of Minerva 19 (2):149-168.
Thinking About Gender.Julie A. Nelson - 1992 - Hypatia 7 (3):138-154.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sources of Parental Values.Hong Xiao & Nancy Andes - 1999 - Journal of Human Values 5 (2):157-167.
Ferdinand Tonnies on Gender, Women and the Family.W. Stafford - 1995 - History of Political Thought 16 (3):391-415.
Ethics and the Role of Women in Transforming Violent Conflict.Heather D. Macquarrie - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:159-164.
Family and Civil Society in Hegel's "Philosophy of Right".Z. Planinc - 1991 - History of Political Thought 12 (2):305.
Preconception Gender Selection.John A. Robertson - 2001 - American Journal of Bioethics 1 (1):2 – 9.
The Family Ideology and Its Affection in I Ching.Yi-Gang Qiao & Qian-li Chen - 2006 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 2:34-39.
Postpatriarchy.Dzung Kieu Nguyen - 2013 - Journal of Research in Gender Studies 3 (2):27-47.
Theories of Family in Ancient Chinese Philosophy.Zailin Zhang - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):343-359.
Gender and the Ethical Given.Molly Farneth - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (4):643-667.
Gender in the Liberal Tradition: Hobhouse on the Family.G. Gerson - 2004 - History of Political Thought 25 (4):700-726.


Added to PP index

Total views
111 ( #98,089 of 2,454,850 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #36,860 of 2,454,850 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes