Critical Horizons 12 (1):49-69 (2011)

Jim Vernon
York University
My goal in this essay is to demonstrate the continuing relevance of Hegel’s theory of right for contemporary emancipatory politics. Specifically, my contention is that Hegel’s Philosophy of Right can and should be read as defending the possibility of principled, decisive side-taking in political struggles. By revisiting Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, I seek to demonstrate four interconnected theses: that the will’s freedom is both a) the fundamental principle upon which genuinely political change can be grounded, and b) essentially external to, or subtractable from, any and all social alignments; but is nonetheless c) necessarily actualized in specifically political institutions, and finally d) only truly actualized through emancipatory reforms of such institutions. In combination, these four theses demonstrate that politics is the principled, decisive and emancipatory reform of existent political institutions through historically determined political movements. Having established these basic theses, I will examine how the philosophy and politics of ‘prescriptive reform’ operates in practice
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DOI 10.1558/crit.v12i1.49
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Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Hegel.Charles Taylor - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.

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