Public Reasons, Private Reasons

Terry Pinkard

in Hegel's Naturalism

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860791
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932986 | DOI:
Public Reasons, Private Reasons

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Whereas the Greek enlightenment brought Greek freedom to ruin, the modern European Enlightenment promises to bring Europe into a new state of freedom. That enlightened, rational freedom is, in Hegel's view, now in the process of actualizing itself. That order consists of thinking of ourselves as having the normative status of “individuals,” which can be actualized only in determinate institutions and practices that support the even more determinate statuses of rights bearers and moral agents. Those two statuses themselves can be actualized only if our statuses as modern family members, burghers, and citizens is also actualized. Each of these statuses, however, brings in its wake a set of antinomies that threatens to undermine the whole.

Keywords: Enlightenment; freedom; morality; ethical life; individuality; conscience

Chapter.  6403 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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