Hegel and Respect for Persons

In Elena Irrera & Giovanni Giorgini (eds.), The Roots of Respect: A Historic-Philosophical Itinerary. De Gruyter. pp. 171-186 (2017)
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This essay discusses Hegel’s theory of “abstract” respect for “abstract” personhood and its relation to the fuller, concrete account of human personhood. Hegel defines (abstract) personhood as an abstract, formal category with the help of his account of free will. For Hegel, personhood is defined in terms of powers, relations to self and to others. After analyzing what according to the first part of Philosophy of Right it is to (abstractly) respect someone as a person, the essay discusses the implications for private property and market. Then the paper turns to discuss pathologies of ideologies that stress these aspects only. Finally, the essay discusses the way inwhich Hegel’s full social theory aims to overcome such pathological tendencies; most notably in his theory of Family and the State.

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Arto Laitinen
Tampere University


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