The Revisionary Logic of Hegel’s Politics
Interpretations of Hegel’s social and political thought tend to present Hegel as critic of modern individualism and defender of institutionalism or proto-communitarianism. Yet Hegel has praise for the historically emancipatory role of individualism and gives a positive role to individuals in his discussion of ethics and the state. Drawing on Hegel’s analysis of the category of ‘individual’ in his Logic, this chapter shows that Hegel criticizes the conception of ‘individual’ as a simple and argues instead that it is a term in need of specification or completion. Hegel’s revisionary logic of the category of ‘individual’ is both interesting in itself and useful as an interpretative tool, because it shows the consistency of his various statements about individuals in his practical philosophy.
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