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Hegel's Idea of Freedom$
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Alan Patten

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251568

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251568.001.0001

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The Reciprocity Thesis in Kant and Hegel

The Reciprocity Thesis in Kant and Hegel

Chapter:
(p.82) 3 The Reciprocity Thesis in Kant and Hegel
Source:
Hegel's Idea of Freedom
Author(s):

Alan Patten (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199251568.003.0003

Hegel shares in common with Kant an understanding of freedom as rational self‐determination. For Kant, this view of freedom implies that freedom and morality are reciprocal concepts: if you are free, then you are subject to morality, and vice versa. Although Hegel is famous for dismissing the Kantian formula for freedom/morality (the Categorical Imperative) as an ‘empty formalism’, he too endorses a version of the reciprocity thesis. The chapter reconstructs and defends Hegel's ‘empty formalism’ critique of Kant and it offers an interpretation of Hegel's own alternative strategy for establishing that freedom and ethical requirements are reciprocally connected.

Keywords:   Categorical Imperative, ethics, freedom, Hegel, Kant, morality, reciprocity

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