Hegel and Marx on Individuality and the Universal Good

Hegel Bulletin 39 (1):61-81 (2018)
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Abstract

Picking up on Marx’s and Hegel’s analyses of human beings as social and individual, the article shows that what is at stake is not merely the possibility of individuality, but also the correct conception of the universal good. Both Marx and Hegel suppose that individuals must be social or political as individuals, which means, at least in Hegel’s case, that particular interests must form part of the universal good. The good and the rational is not something that requires sacrificing one’s interests for the community or denying one’s particular character so as to become an equal rational agent. Very much to the contrary, the rational or the common good is nothing but the harmonious structuring of particular interests. While Section I introduces Marx’s and Hegel’s conceptions of individual and social beings, Sections II and III discuss their respective views of individuality, and Sections IV and V discuss the notion of a universal good containing individual interests.

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Charlotte Baumann
University of Sussex

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