Reply to Howard, De Nys, and Speight

The Owl of Minerva 43 (1/2):149-177 (2011)
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In this response I first address the criticisms of omission by discussing some of the elements of the original project that were excluded in the final version (section 1). In section 2 I respond to Howard’s criticism that I assume too much transparency in conscience. In section 3 I discuss the problem of evil and the transition in the Phenomenology of Spirit from conscience to religion. I focus here especially on the distinction between Objective and Absolute Spirit, and on how that distinction plays out differently in the Phenomenology and the Philosophy of Right. In section 4 I take up the specifically political issues of conscience, responding to Speight’s suggestion that conscience should have a transformative role and to De Nys’s query about the State’s relationship to dissenting moral and religious views. Finally, in section 5 I take up the issues of whether I and Hegel do justice to the range of uses of conscience and whether or not the Hegelian view is too optimistic about modernity
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