Abstract
Early in his development, love played the central role in Hegel’s attempts to overcome fragmentation and division both within society and within the self. This initial conception of love was decisively shaped by his early romantic contemporaries. Hegel soon came to see, however, that love so conceived threatens a sense of individuality intrinsic to modern identity and cannot be a basis for modern social cohesion. This form of love binds people so closely that it becomes oppressive. Hegel’s mature alternative to this early view incorporates love into a more complex conception of modern society. Here, love finds expression and plays a central role in the family, but broader social cohesion is underwritten by a diverse range of affective attachments other than love. This strategy motivates a surprisingly subtle account of patriotism together with substantial emphasis on the role of religious institutions in shaping our political dispositions.
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DOI 10.1515/znth-2013-0006
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