Idealistic Studies 34 (2):199-214 (2004)

Dalia Nassar
University of Sydney
The possibility of positing critiques of the contemporary from within Hegel’s political philosophy is by no means evident. In fact, Hegel’s political philosophy has been plagued with accusations of quietism and conservatism and Hegel himself claims that the philosophical task is retrospective and descriptive. Yet, in spite of this claim, Hegel posits a critique of his contemporaries, the Jacobins. I attempt to answer the question, is Hegel’s critique of the Jacobins consistent with his political philosophy as a whole? Or, is this critique a mere inconsistency in Hegel’s system? In essence, is Hegel justified, on his own grounds, to criticize the Jacobins? In order to answer this question, I identify what Hegel means by the “genuinely philosophical viewpoint,” which he equates with the “world-historical perspective,” and show that this perspective is not limited to historical description, but does in fact allow and even call for political discernment and critique
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI 10.5840/idstudies20043427
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