Hegel and Contemporary Practical Philosophy: Beyond Kantian Constructivism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hegel and Contemporary Practical Philosophy

Beyond Kantian Constructivism, 1st Edition

Edited by James Gledhill, Sebastian Stein


400 pages

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Hardback: 9780815383734
pub: 2020-04-28
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While Kantian constructivism has become one of the most influential and systematic schools of thought in analytic moral and political philosophy, Hegelian approaches to practical normativity hold out the promise of building upon Kantian insights into individual self-determination while avoiding their dualistic tendencies. James Gledhill and Sebastian Stein unite distinguished scholars of German idealism and contemporary Anglophone practical philosophy with rising stars in the field, to explore whether Hegelian idealist philosophy can offer the categories that analytic practical philosophy requires to overcome the contradictions that have so far plagued Kantian constructivism.

The volume organizes the contributions into three parts. The first of these engages debates in metaethics regarding the relationship between realism and constructivism. The second part sees contributors draw on debates about the nature of political normativity, focusing primarily on the problems of historical contextualism, relativism and critical reflection. The concluding part considers the application of the Hegelian framework to contemporary debates about specific ethical issues, including multiculturalism, democracy and human rights.

Hegel and Contemporary Practical Philosophy contributes to the on-going debate about the importance of systematic philosophy in the context of practical philosophy, engages with contemporary discussions about the shape of a rational social order, and gauges the timeliness of Hegelian philosophy. This book is a must read to scholars interested in Hegel and in the contemporary tradition of Kantian constructivism in moral and political philosophy.


"Beyond Kantian Constructivism is the first attempt to put recent interpretations of Hegel into dialogue with the tradition of Kantian constructivism – an astonishing gap in the literature, which has now been filled by this important and timely collection, which effectively shows how Hegel’s idealism provides the conceptual resources to respond to the conceptual dichotomies of Kantian constructivism."Paolo Diego Bubbio, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Western Sydney University

"Hegel and contemporary practical Philosophy is an impressive collection of contributions by the best English-speaking scholars of Hegel. It shows how Hegel's practical philosophy clarifies the challenges at stake in contemporary discussions, for example between moral "constructivism" and "realism", which are enlightened by the introduction of the volume."Jean-François Kervégan, Professor of Philosophy, University of Paris

"James Gledhill and Sebastian Stein have produced a book that is not only a collection of excellent essays on Hegel and practical philosophy, but an excellent collection with a unifying focus on Kantian constructivism. It contains essays by prominent and by up-and-coming Hegel scholars, all of which are informed by relevant debates in analytic philosophy. It will henceforth be indispensable reading for anyone working on Hegel's practical philosophy." Gordon Finlayson, Director, Centre of Social and Political Thought, University of Sussex

Table of Contents


James Gledhill and Sebastian Stein

Part 1: Hegelian Ethics Between Constructivism and Realism

1. Hegel’s "Actualist" Idealism and the Modality of Practical Reason

Paul Redding

2. Choosing to do the Right Thing: Aristotle, Kant and Hegel on Practical Normativity and the Realism-constructivism Debate

Sebastian Stein

3. Constraint and the Ethical Agent: Hegel Between Constructivism and Realism

Joshua Wretzel

4. Hegel’s Meta-Ethical Non-Constructivism

Sebastian Ostritsch

5. Rawls’s Post-Kantian Constructivism

James Gledhill

Part 2: Hegelian Political Normativity Between Reason and History

6. Hegel’s Political Philosophy as Constructivism of the Real

Angelica Nuzzo

7. Kant, Hegel and our Fate as Zoôn Politikon

Kenneth R. Westphal

8. Finding by Making: The Mediating Role of Social Constructions, Commitments, and Resonance in Hegelian Normative Realism

Arto Laitinen

9. Historical Constructivism

Christopher Yeomans

10. Critical Agency in Hegelian Ethics: Social Metaphysics versus Moral Constructivism

Michael J. Thompson

11. Hegel on a Form of Collective Irrationality

Robert Pippin

Part 3: Hegelian Perspectives on Contemporary Politics

12. Saving Multiculturalism with Stakeholding: Hegel and the Challenges of Pluralism

Thom Brooks

13. Hegelian Sittlichkeit, Deweyan Democracy, and Honnethian Relational Institutions: Beyond Kantian Practical Philosophy

Paul Giladi

14. Hegel and the Intercultural Conception of Universal Human Rights

Andrew Buchwalter

About the Editors

James Gledhill is a lecturer in moral and political philosophy at the University of Leiden. His research interests are in political philosophy and critical theory, with a focus on the work of John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas and its relationship to a tradition of thought extending through Rousseau, Kant, and Hegel. He has published articles in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy and Public Issues, Philosophy & Social Criticism, Journal of Social Philosophy, Raisons Politiques and Social Theory and Practice, and recently contributed the entry on Rawls for the Cambridge Habermas Lexicon.

Sebastian Stein is currently a postdoc at Heidelberg University sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a project on philosophical method. He has published articles on post-Kantian idealism in the Hegel Bulletin, the Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie and the Hegel Jahrbücher amongst others and has recently guest-edited a special volume of the Hegel Bulletin on Hegel and Aristotle. Together with Thom Brooks, Dr. Stein has edited and contributed to the collection Hegel’s Practical Philosophy: On the Normative Significance of Method and System (2017). His chapter ‘Hegel’ features in the Blackwell Guide to Nineteenth Century Philosophy and he has two collections on Hegel forthcoming with Routledge and one on Hegel’s Encyclopedia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought

This series explores core issues in political philosophy and social theory. Addressing theoretical subjects of both historical and contemporary relevance, the series has broad appeal across the social sciences. Contributions include new studies of major thinkers, key debates and critical concepts.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Political
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory