Fight, Flight or Respect? First Encounters of the Other in Kant and Hegel

History of Philosophy Quarterly 19 (4):381-400 (2002)
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Immanuel Kant's description of humans' first encounter with each other depicts a peaceful recognition of mutual worth. G.W.F. Hegel's by contrast depicts a struggle to the death. I argue in this paper that Hegel's description of conflict results in an ethical theory that better preserves the distinctness of the other. I consider Christine Korsgaard's description of first encounters as a third alternative but conclude that Hegel's approach better accounts for the specific commitments we make--as family members, works, and citizens --in ethical life.
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