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.