On Detaching Hegel’s Social Philosophy from His Metaphysics

The Owl of Minerva 36 (1):31-42 (2004)
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This paper rebuts four objections to my attempt, in Foundations of Hegel's Social Theory, to reconstruct Hegel's social philosophy in abstraction from his metaphysics and theodicy: 1) that social philosophy requires the Logic as its ground; 2) that only an independent metaphysics can justify the norms employed by social philosophy; 3) that empirical considerations can play no role in Hegel's arguments; and 4) that, robbed of his "ontology of the self," Hegel cannot respond to romantic critics. In response to a fifth objection, I acknowledge that my book fails to consider the extent to which art, religion, and philosophy are conditions of practical freedom.



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Frederick Neuhouser
Columbia University

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