Hegel's Moral Philosophy

In Dean Moyar (ed.), Oxford Handbook to Hegel's Philosophy. Oxford University Press (2016)
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Abstract
Does Hegel have anything to contribute to moral philosophy? If moral philosophy presupposes the soundness of what he calls the 'standpoint of morality [Moralität]' (PR §137), then Hegel's contribution is likely to be negative. As is well known, he argues that morality fails to provide us with substantive answers to questions about what is good or morally required and tends to gives us a distorted, subject-centred view of our practical lives; moral concerns are best addressed from the 'standpoint of ethical life [Sittlichkeit]' (ibid.). Hegel's criticism of morality has had a decisive influence in the reception of his thought. By general acknowledgement, while his writings support a broadly neo-Aristotelian ethics of self-actualization, his views on moral philosophy are exhausted by his criticisms of Kant, whom he treats as paradigmatic exponent of the standpoint of morality. My aim in this essay is to correct this received view and show that Hegel offers a positive argument about the nature of moral willing.
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