Hegel’s Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Politics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hegel’s Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Politics

1st Edition

Edited by Michael J. Thompson


334 pages

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pub: 2018-04-26
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The renaissance in Hegel scholarship over the past two decades has largely ignored or marginalized the metaphysical dimension of his thought, perhaps most vigorously when considering his social and political philosophy. Many scholars have consistently maintained that Hegel’s political philosophy must be reconstructed without the metaphysical structure that Hegel saw as his crowning philosophical achievement. This book brings together twelve original essays that explore the relation between Hegel’s metaphysics and his political, social, and practical philosophy. The essays seek to explore what normative insights and positions can be obtained from examining Hegel’s distinctive view of the metaphysical dimensions of political philosophy. His ideas about the good, the universal, freedom, rationality, objectivity, self-determination, and self-development can be seen in a new context and with renewed understanding once their relation to his metaphysical project is considered. Hegel’s Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Politics will be of great interest to scholars of Hegelian philosophy, German Idealism, nineteenth-century philosophy, political philosophy, and political theory.


"This volume is a welcome reminder that there are underutilized theoretical resources in Hegel for thinking through the hopes and disappointments of modern politics."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"The volume is logically divided into three sections: the first deals with the larger connection between Hegel’s metaphysics and his political philosophy; the second section with both the metaphysics of Hegel’s political philosophy and its distinction from Kant—an important topic, given the Anglo-American reception of Hegel; and the third section with topics more specific to Hegel’s political philosophy.

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."-S. Barnett, Central Connecticut State University

Table of Contents


Michael J. Thompson

Part I: The Relation of Hegel’s Metaphysics and Political Theory

1, The Course of God: Reading Hegel

Peter J. Steinberger

2. The Metaphysics of Spirit and Hegel’s Philosophy of Politics

Andrew Buchwalter

3. Speculative Logic as Practical Philosophy: Political Life in Times of Crisis

Angelica Nuzzo

4. Metaphysics and the Poverty of Liberal-Positives Political Thought

Eric Goodfield

Part II: Ontology, Metaphysics and Practical Reason

5. The Metaphysical Infrastructure of Hegel’s Practical Philosophy

Michael J. Thompson

6. The Metaphysics of Rational Action: Kantian and Aristotelian Themes in Hegel’s Absolute Idealism

Sebastian Stein

7. Against the Post-Kantian Interpretation of Hegel; A Study in Proto-Marxist Metaphysics

Michael Morris

8. Objective Spirit: Hegel’s Normative Social Ontology

Kevin Thompson

Part III: Metaphysics, History and the Structures of Ethical Life

9. Family Structures as Fields of Historical Tension: A Case Study in the Relation of Metaphysics and Politics

Christopher Yeomans

10. Hegel’s Metaphysics of Marriage: Teleology, Ontology, and Sexually Embodied Freedom in the Philosophy of Right’s Account of the Family

Joshua D. Goldstein

11. Tiger Stripes and Embodied Systems: Hegel on Markets and Models

David Kolb

12. Hegel and the End of a Particular Historical Development

Matthew Smetona

About the Editor

Michael J. Thompson is Associate Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Political Science at William Patterson University. His most recent books include The Domestication of Critical Theory, Political Judgment and the Crisis of Modernity and Twilight of the Self: The Eclipse of Autonomy in Modern Society.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

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Subject Categories

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