Social Philosophy

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By Andrew Buchwalter

This ebook explores and information the reality (Aktualität) of Hegel’s social and political philosophy--its relevance, topicality, and modern validity. It asserts--against the assumptions of these in a variety of traditions--that Hegel’s idea not just is still appropriate to debates in present social and political idea, yet is able to productively improving and enriching these debates. The booklet is split into 3 major sections. Part 1 considers the reality of Hegel’s social and political inspiration within the context of a built dialogues with later social and political theorists, together with Marx, Adorno, Habermas, and Rawls. Part 2 explores Hegel’s inner feedback of Enlightenment rationality in addition to the original demeanour within which his suggestion reaffirms either the classical culture of politics and the Christian belief of freedom so that it will deepen and extra enhance our knowing of modernity and smooth secularity. Part 3 considers Hegel’s contribution to present theorizing approximately globalization.

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Extra resources for Dialectics, Politics, and the Contemporary Value of Hegel’s Practical Philosophy

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Given the ever-changing nature of the conditions according to which a people must defi ne and shape itself, societal self-renewal and “regeneration”117 represents, not an isolated or originary act of self-formation, but—as detailed in this book as regards his account of constitutionalism—a permanent and ongoing feature of political life generally. These considerations also speak to Hegel’s unique and nuanced account of the general relationship of religion and politics. 118 He rejects the idea of a state religion; he condemns religious interference in the affairs of state and political life generally; he acknowledges the plurality of religious confessions; he claims that the state must remain agnostic as regards any particular religious creed; he assigns the state the task of protecting the right of conscience Introduction 25 and the free expression of belief; he denies ecclesiastical organizations any special exemption from state law; and he asserts that religious argumentation can play a role in political life only to the degree that it observes public norms of rationality.

Consider, for instance, his famous claims about the divinity of the state, the topic of Chapter 9 of this book. Although such claims are regularly invoked as evidence of Hegel’s supposed apotheosis of state power,115 they attest in fact to the republican nature of his political thought. For Hegel, such divinity denotes, among other things, self-causation. In the political realm—he speaks of an “earthly divinity”—such self-causation is expressed in the spirit of a people. A people is truly actual only when it is has itself as an object, when it constitutes itself.

In the face of those tensions, he sought to adumbrate new forms of social cohesion, those that would build on the tensions themselves. Our own age displays affi nities with Hegel’s, however much it is removed otherwise.

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