Hegel's social and political philosophy: Recent debates

Philosophy Compass 11 (12):804-817 (2016)

Michael Nance
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
This article discusses three topics that have been the subject of debate in recent scholarship on Hegel's social and political philosophy: first, the relevance of Hegel's systematic metaphysics for interpreting Hegel's social and political writings; second, the relation between recognition, social institutions, and rational agency; and third, the connection between the constellation of institutions and norms that Hegel calls “ethical life” and Hegel's theory of freedom. This article provides a critical overview of the positions in these three debates. In the case of the first debate, I clarify the conceptual terrain by distinguishing between several kinds of systematicity that are at issue. In the case of the second debate, I argue that the views of two of the major participants, Axel Honneth and Robert Pippin, are in fact compatible. In the case of the third debate, I seek to clarify the connection in Hegel between two different ideas of freedom in ethical life, each of which has been emphasized by different interpreters of Hegel: the idea of freedom as non-alienation and the idea of freedom as social freedom. I conclude with a discussion of the ways in which ethical life, for Hegel, enables the freedom of individuals.
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12384
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References found in this work BETA

Sources of the Self.Allen W. Wood - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (3):621.
Phenomenology of Spirit.G. W. F. Hegel & A. V. Miller - 1977 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4):268-271.
Science of Logic.M. J. Petry, G. W. F. Hegel, A. V. Miller & J. N. Findlay - 1970 - Philosophical Quarterly 20 (80):273.
Hegel's Metaphysics: Changing the Debate.James Kreines - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (5):466–480.

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