Hegel and The Libertarians

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Hegel and The Libertarians

ABSTRACT: This paper aims to show how the Hegelian philosophy can contribute to the conceptual discussions between the two strains of contemporary ethical-political philosophy. I argue that the Hegelian political theory is of central import to the discussion between communitarians and libertarians, both in the communitarian criticism of the libertarian — mainly in Michael Sandel's criticism of Rawls — and in the Rawlsian project of a society founded in justice as equality. For if the communitarians' theoretical basis is the living of a community in terms of historical-social values, and the individualists' deontological rationality is the basis for the libertarians, Hegel's pointing to a synthetic resolution of the two positions provides a moral foundation for their harmonious coexistence. This does not, however, mean that there is one simple ideological solution that can unite the universal and the particular, the community and the individual, through artificial dialectics, as the critics of Hegelian thought would affirm following the Frankfurt School.

This present text aims to show how the Hegelian philosophy can contribute to the conceptual discussions between the two strains of the contemporary ethical-political philosophy. In our view, both the communitarians and the libertarians still need to pass through the Hegelian conceptual skeleton to bear the organized societies'ethical-political matters within the considered democratic standards.

Hegel, although still holds the blemish of a Absolute State's thinker, not democratic, in his work, mainly in what refers to the "Philosophy of the Right", makes possibles the deepening of the investigations for authors like Rawls, who worries about questi...

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