POLI305: Modern Political Theory

Locate, and explain the specific conceptual and argumentative content of,

 Hegel Description: Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Desktop:Hegel.jpg 










Description: Description: Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Desktop:Hegel.jpg


negative liberty, ie.

freedom from x



Concept of ‘free from’ is naive and self-undermining or even self-destructive



positive liberty, ie.

freedom to do y,

eg. to be happy,

moral, fulfill roles etc


Free to know self by externalizing will on own body and things (68).

Self-ownership (73, 77, 79)

Free when owning property respected by others (80, 81, 86), making vocational choices  (221, 223)

Free to be dutiful members of community (189, 192)











Description: Description: Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Desktop:Hegel.jpg



socio-political equality of status

as subjects

as citizens                

as humans  

As subjects with roles and duties,

Less so as citizens,

Hardly as humans

-women closer to plants (206-7)

-male heads of fams or hhs




political equality

direct participation  

indirect participation



Socio-econ ie industry-based functional rep.

Interests represented are filtered by Legislature and not allowed to unduly impact actual policy generation by Public Admin




legal equality

equality under the law

equal protection

Equality of subjects under the law



economic equality

of opportunity           

of subsistence

of condition/outcome


Opportunity to work or otherwise have meaningful role for all (76)

Minimal condition of psychological independence though property.

Weak argument for meeting subsistence or needs, ie that is what civil society is for (80), and recognition of problem of the rabble.

Not argue for eq condition (80)












Description: Description: Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Desktop:Hegel.jpg

independence interdependence intersubjectivity

Independence has its welcome but also constrained space in private and civil society

Interdependence plays out in civil society

Intersubjectivity in the forms of the affective family the economic mutuality of corporate associations in the civil society and ultimately citizenship in the nation-state.





The most problematic politico-philosophical schools are ...


Radical Liberal Individualism (Kant, 71), Neo-Liberal Capitalism & Contractualism (197, 220, 276, 311, 361), Romanticism (Rousseau, 10, 15-16; 278), Sentimental Religious Pietism & other-worldliness (16, 293, 304), Despotic Organicism (Plato, 20, 77, 222, 286), Legal Historicism that places origins of law in myth and mist (17, 252), Cosmopolitanism & perpetual peace (Kant, 282, 362, 366), Realism ie state is only about power (278)


We can best know what we know by ...




‘The rational is actual, and actual rational’ (20)

Follow the (deductive) Dialectical Logic (progress) of Reason or Spirit or of Consciousness (made clear in other works, 10) working its way through finite spatio-temporal reality into Deliberateness, Self-Recognition or Self-Consciousness but also engage (inductively) in the phenomenological discovery in the concrete and particular of that generalizable story of the dialectical movement of Spirit (274, 276)

We are always the child of our times (21, 23)

Seeking a sense of reconciliation with what is (conservatism) (20) but reluctantly open to radicalism of rationalist critique of status quo.

Ignoring the ‘jumbled,’ ‘subjective,’ ‘illogic’ of others (11, 23)


What is essential to human beings is ...


That they freely choose their dutiful fulfillment in a socially complex nation-state well-regulated by the objective awareness of the public administration or civil service (197, 287, 302).

Ethics is best

determined through ...




Individually adopted ‘subjective’ ‘Morality’ or private ‘Right’ must be reconciled with community shared ‘objective,’ ‘Ethical Life’ made manifest in law (137, 186).

Private morality is necessary but not sufficient to restrain excessed of property system of individuals.

Ethical Life consist of the mutual interrelationships to which person commit themselves not as burdens but as welcome duties (197), and the highest duty ids to the state (275, 283)


Being communal/self-sacrificing is ...




A necessary feature of patriotism and tryst (288).

The ultimate test of one’s choice of the humanizing duties of inter-subjective life (288, 360, 363, 364).

Affective and sexual needs of family (198), economic necessities of civil society (namely vocational participation in which one can assert oneself relatively arbitrarily (221, 223) and ultimately conformity with justice and law of state (250, 262, 269) supersede abstract rights and infinite subjectivity (71, 77, 102)


The optimal polity is ...




An inherently rational nation-state (21) and when fully achieved, equivalent to the march of God in the world (279), unfolding of the Idea (290), in which self-determination and universal freedom both occur (279, 282, 283, 307).

A constitutional (inherited) monarchical republic (akin to the progressive Prussian monarchy of his day, 275, 308) in which the family (199-200), and functional or industry specific dimensions of the economy  (250, 262, 269) and civil society are represented by the Legislature or Government which in turn interacts with the institutions of Public Administration insulated from the excesses of those infinite subjective demands and thereby defines and administers the legal and regulatory framework for civil society in ways that are objectively best for the state as a whole (273).

One in which legislation is oriented towards actualization of universal freedom (276, 281, 287, 312)

The real unity of individual and collective (282, 290, 302, 305, 306

Trusted by everyone as matter of consent informed through socialization or education (195, 225, 253, 264, 288) or failing that a supportive religiosity (295, 301, 303) to ensure proper veneration of the state.

One that uses taxes (not charity) to provide public relief, subsistence, welfare 221, 265)

One backed by role of police (261)

One that gets beyond the immature ‘rights talk’ by balancing it with social duties and roles (69)

Prepared for war.

NOT a social contract (which has its place in econ domain of civil society) in which individual agents seek self-maximization with minimal restraints (69, 70, 74, 102-3)


Political violence or revolution is ...




A mixed blessing.

The French Revolution was an admirable effort by a budding nation-state to re-organize itself in order to be deliberate, reasonable etc but it went wrong (277)

War too is necessary as the ultimate manner in which a nation-state redefines and renews itself (361, 369, 370)

Sometimes good if it advances the movement of the Idea or Spirit (371)


The challenge facing Modernity is ...         




How to remain human as the world undergoes the profound socio-economic and political transformations that result from taking individual freedom seriously, namely marketization and democratization.  Radical individualism corrodes all forms of human relations: family, economic activity, and political participation, leaving only the abstract universals of ego and humanity.  Traditions and old social supports are lost (14), respect for governance and state declines (17).

Civil society without restraint produces ‘extravagance and misery’ (185, 222) and a new class of socially uprooted and poor ‘rabble’ (266-8)

New self-conscious style or form of political legitimacy needed.