In this paper I argue that Kant's claims about conscience in his moral writings of the 1790s reveal a fundamental instability in his moral philosophy. The central issue is the relationship between the moral law as the form of universality and the judgment of individuals about specific cases. Against Thomas Hill's claim that Kant has only a limited role for conscience, I argue that conscience has a comprehensive role in Kantian deliberation. I unpack the claims about conscience in the Metaphysics (...) of Morals to show that they describe conscience as both a basic act of self-consciousness and as an all-things-considered judgment. I outline the role of conscience in moral motivation, and argue that taken together Kant's writings about conscience reveal a way to rethink Kant's conception of the Fact of Reason. (shrink)
Abstract In Understanding Moral Obligation: Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Robert Stern argues that Hegel has a social command view of obligation. On this view, there is an element of social command or social sanction that must be added to a judgment of the good in order to bring about an obligation. I argue to the contrary that Hegel's conception of conscience, and thus the individual's role in obligation, is more central to his account than the social dimension. While agreeing with Stern (...) that Hegel's conception of Sittlichkeit does preserve a role for obligation, and that the social plays an important part in that account, I argue that there is no extra social component that converts the morally good into obligation. Rather, Hegel's conception of Sittlichkeit as the ?living good? means that judgments of the moral facts are simultaneously judgments of obligation. (shrink)
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, first published in 1807, is a work with few equals in systematic integrity, philosophical originality and historical influence. This collection of essays, contributed by leading Hegel scholars, examines all aspects of the work, from its argumentative strategies to its continuing relevance to philosophical debates. The collection combines close analysis with wide-ranging coverage of the text, and also traces connections with debates extending beyond Hegel scholarship, including issues in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of (...) action, ethics, and philosophy of religion. In showing clearly that we have not yet exhausted the Phenomenology's insights, it demonstrates the need for contemporary philosophers to engage with Hegel. (shrink)
In this response I first address the criticisms of omission by discussing some of the elements of the original project that were excluded in the final version (section 1). In section 2 I respond to Howard’s criticism that I assume too much transparency in conscience. In section 3 I discuss the problem of evil and the transition in the Phenomenology of Spirit from conscience to religion. I focus here especially on the distinction between Objective and Absolute Spirit, and on how (...) that distinction plays out differently in the Phenomenology and the Philosophy of Right. In section 4 I take up the specifically political issues of conscience, responding to Speight’s suggestion that conscience should have a transformative role and to De Nys’s query about the State’s relationship to dissenting moral and religious views. Finally, in section 5 I take up the issues of whether I and Hegel do justice to the range of uses of conscience and whether or not the Hegelian view is too optimistic about modernity. (shrink)
This essay investigates the themes of autonomy and conscience in Hegel’s earliest writings. Though these themes play a large role in Hegel’s mature philosophy, they are largely absent from the writings in his Frankfurt and Jena periods before the publication of the Phenomenology of Spirit. The essay argues that essential elements of the mature position on autonomy and conscience can already be found in the treatments in the early writings of moral motivation, moral conflict, formal freedom, and intersubjectivity.
This book is an important gateway through which professional analytic philosophers and their students can come to understand the significance of Hegel's philosophy for contemporary theory of action. As such it will contribute to the erosion of the sterile barrier between the continental and analytic approaches to philosophy. Michael Quante focuses on what Hegel has to say about such central concepts as action, person and will, and then brings these views to bear on contemporary debates in analytic philosophy. Crisply written, (...) this book will thus address the common set of preoccupations of analytic philosophers of mind and action, and Hegel specialists. (shrink)
The nineteenth century is a period of stunning philosophical originality, characterised by radical engagement with the emerging human sciences. Often overshadowed by twentieth century philosophy which sought to reject some of its central tenets, the philosophers of the nineteenth century have re-emerged as profoundly important figures. The Routledge Companion to Nineteenth Century Philosophy is an outstanding survey and assessment of the century as a whole. Divided into seven parts and including thirty chapters written by leading international scholars, the _Companion_ examines (...) and assesses the central topics, themes, and philosophers of the nineteenth century, presenting the first comprehensive picture of the period in a single volume: German Idealism philosophy as political action, including young Hegelians, Marx and Tocqueville philosophy and subjectivity, including Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche scientific naturalism, including Darwinism, philosophy of race, experimental psychology and Neo-Kantianism utilitarianism and British Idealism American Idealism and Pragmatism new directions in Mind and Logic, including Brentano, Frege and Husserl. The Routledge Companion to Nineteenth Century Philosophy is essential reading for students of philosophy, and for anyone interested in this period in related disciplines such as politics, history, literature and religion. (shrink)