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G.W.F. Hegel on Customs/Morality - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 334
Morality/Hegel/Höffe: The basic lines(1) reach their climax, the synthesis as reconciliation of abstract law and subjective morality, morality, in a will that is free both externally, qua law, and internally, qua morality.
This includes social forms and institutions in which a free >self-consciousness can recognize and acknowledge itself. Because they realize a far higher degree of rationality, they have an "infinitely more solid authority and power than the being of nature" (§ 146).
Polis: To his thought of morality Hegel sees correspondences in the ancient Polis, namely in its theorist Aristotle. According to him, the guiding goal of human practice, eudaimonia, happiness, is the same for the individual citizen and for the polis. Similarly, Hegel, the great Neoaristotelian of modern times, conceives the highest level of freedom, morality, as the unity of the moral concepts of individuals with the moral concepts of the "moral powers," with law, custom and religion and their concrete communities and states.
HegelVsAristotle/Höffe: Over this common ground one may not overlook however the fundamental difference: With Hegel, the Aristotelian doctrine of the personal household community (oikos) is replaced by the theory of the anonymous bourgeois
Höffe I 335
society, with which the newer national economy or economics is integrated into the theory of law and state. >Second Nature/Hegel.
Normative elements are clearly included in the description of the process.
a) Hegel begins with the "immediate by-oneself", the family shaped by love. According to a further triune section this is divided into marriage, in which an initially only external unity is transformed, by free consent, into a spiritual unity of a self-conscious love. b) According to the antithesis, marriage requires a "lasting and secure possession, a property" (§ 170), for the acquisition of which, according to Hegel, the man is primarily responsible.
c) According to the synthesis, the children who guarantee the progress of humanity have the right to be nourished and educated from the common family property.
Alienation: With the coming of age of the children, the possibility of new families of their own arises, in which the transition to the next step, the antithesis within morality, becomes apparent. Their essence is alienation from the family, including history and religion. It is the economic and working society, known as the "civil society", which on the one hand is necessary for the development of freedom, but on the other hand does not get rid of its problem of poverty and wealth.
Welfare state: The welfare state as a corrective does not come into view here. In order for bourgeois society to "function", it needs a legal system that Hegel calls the state of necessity and understanding.

1. Hegel, Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts oder Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaft im Grundriss, 1820

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2023-03-24
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