Hegel's Ethics of Recognition

Hegel's Ethics of Recognition

by Robert R. Williams

Paperback(First Edition)

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In this significant contribution to Hegel scholarship, Robert Williams develops the most comprehensive account to date of Hegel's concept of recognition (Anerkennung). Fichte introduced the concept of recognition as a presupposition of both Rousseau's social contract and Kant's ethics. Williams shows that Hegel appropriated the concept of recognition as the general pattern of his concept of ethical life, breaking with natural law theory yet incorporating the Aristotelian view that rights and virtues are possible only within a certain kind of community.

He explores Hegel's intersubjective concept of spirit (Geist) as the product of affirmative mutual recognition and his conception of recognition as the right to have rights. Examining Hegel's Jena manuscripts, his Philosophy of Right, the Phenomenology of Spirit, and other works, Williams shows how the concept of recognition shapes and illumines Hegel's understandings of crime and punishment, morality, the family, the state, sovereignty, international relations, and war. A concluding chapter on the reception and reworking of the concept of recognition by contemporary thinkers including Derrida, Levinas, and Deleuze demonstrates Hegel's continuing centrality to the philosophical concerns of our age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520224926
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/02/2000
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 450
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Robert R. Williams, Professor of Philosophy at Hiram College and Vice-President of the Hegel Society of America, is author of Recognition: Hegel and Fichte on the Other (1992).

Table of Contents


1 Recognition and Ethics
The Concealment of Recognition in Hegelian Ethical Studies 
Distortions of Recognition in the French Reception of Hegel 
Recognition as Counterdiscourse of Modernity: Habermas 
Michael Theunissen: Hegel's Repression of Intersubjectivity 
Ludwig Siep's.Studies of Hegel's Practical Philosophy 
Recognition and the Actuality of the Rational 
Plan and Overview 

Part One Preliminaries: Recognition, Right, and Ethics 
2 Recognition in Fichte and Schelling 
3 Recognition in the Phenomenology of Spirit 
The Intersubjective Doubling of Self-Consciousness 
The Double Sign.i fications in the Concept of Recognition 
Mastery and Slavery as a Determinate Shape of Recognition 
The Servile Consciousness 
4 Recognition in the Encyclopedia Philosophy of Spirit 
Introduction and Overview 
Reciprocal Recognition 
Crossing the Threshold of Ethical Life 
Four Dimensions of Recognition 
Universal Self-Consciousness as Affirmative Self-Recognition in Other 
The Social Constitution and Mediation of Reason 
5 Recognition and Right in the Jena Manuscripts 
Recognition in the 1805 Jena Philosophy of Spirit 
Recognition as the Origin and Relation of Right
Being-Recognized, Right and Wrong 
The Intersubjective Concept of the Will 

Part Two Recognition in the Philosophy of Right 
6 Systematic: Issues in the Philosophy of Right 
Recognition in the Argument of the Philosophy of Right 
Hegel's Method of Abstraction 
The Concept of the Will 
From 'In-Itself' to 'For-Itself': The Development of the Will 
7 Persons, Property, and Contract 
Abstract Right and Person 
The Intersubjectivity of Ownership 
Embodiment, or Taking Possession of Oneself 
The Intersubjectivity of Contract 
8 Crime and Punishment 
Wrong and Fraud 
Wrong, Semblance, and the Logic of Essence 
Transgression as Coercion 
The Impossible Possibility of Coercion 
Banquo's Ghost 
The Mature Theory: Punishment as the Second Coercion 
Recognition and the Second Coercion 
The Nullity of Transgression 
Is Punishment Necessary? 
9 Morality 
The Moral Subject and the Difference 
The Intersubjectivity of Moral Action 
Purpose and Intention, Responsibility and Welfare 
Hegel's Critique of the Moral Point of View 
The Decline and Fall of Conscience 
Transition to Ethical Life 
1O Ethical Life and the family 
Ethical Substance, Rights, and Duties 
Transforming the Dialectics of Recognition 
Marriage as an Ethical Relationship 
Marriage as a Contract to Transcend Contract 
Embodied Intersubjectivity and Gender Roles 
11 Civil Society, Poverty, and the Corporations 
Civil Society as the Sphere of Disintegration and Difference 
Need and Labor, Town and Country 
Antinomies in Civil Society 
Poverty: Freedom and Recognition in Peril 
Hegel's Portrait of Poverty 
Recognition, Honor, and the Corporation 
12 Recognition and the Social Contract Theory of the State 
Overview of the State as a Unity of Reciprocal Recognitions 
Social Contract Theory 
Hegel and Rousseau 
Hegel's Criticism of Fichte 
13 The State as a Social Organism 
Fichte on Social Contract and Organism 
Hegel on Organism 
The Encyclopedia Treatment of Mechanism and Organism 
Mechanism and Chemism in the Science of Logic 
Organism in the Aesthetics 
Objective Idealism and Organism in the State 
Recognition and the Spirit of the Laws 
The Organic Correlation between Rights and Duties 
Religious and Cultural Pluralism 
14 Sovereignty, International Relations, and War 
Issues of Recognition in International Relations 
The Deficiency of the International 'We' 
15 Recent Views of Recognition and the Question of Ethics 
Sartre and Hegel 
Feminist Critique of Hegel 
Hegel, Nietzsche, and Deleuze 
Derrida and the 'Ethics of Deconstruction'
Levinas: Reciprocity and Totality in Question


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