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Document Description
TitleA response to M.B. Foster's critique of Hegel's political thought
AuthorPeddle, David, 1965-
DescriptionThesis (M.A.)--Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1992. Philosophy
Paginationiv, 77 leaves.
SubjectFoster, Michael Beresford; Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770-1831; State, The
Degree GrantorMemorial University of Newfoundland. Dept. of Philosophy.
NotesBibliography: leaves 74-77
AbstractMichael Beresford Foster's book The Political Philosophies of Plato and Hegel crystallizes much of the criticism which liberal theorists direct against Hegel's political philosophy. In its grasp of the various trends which develop in the course of twentieth century liberalism, Foster's work is, in fact, remarkable. His criticism brings to light the important relationship between liberalism and the "event theory" of action and history. Through writings from Oakeshott to Rorty this relationship has been developed and in Foster's work it appears vividly contrasted with Hegel's views or, more accurately, with a liberal caricature of his views. Foster's work is also remarkable in that, although he brings interesting questions to Hegel's political thought, his criticism thoroughly misrepresents Hegel's argument, merely thrusting a dualistic perspective of his own upon Hegel's dialectical standpoint. As a result he is insensitive to the subtle relationships which Hegel develops, for example, between desire and reason, individual and state, freedom and history, and history and eternity. In every instance Foster assumes the radical separation of these concepts, all the while failing adequately to criticize Hegel's attempts to reconcile their apparent opposition. On the basis of this method Foster resolves that Hegel's political thought is "confused" and results in a totalitarian repression of individual freedom. - The burden of this thesis is to disentangle Hegel's actual argument from the snarl which Foster creates. To this end I show the dialectical relationships which Hegel establishes between such concepts as "real" and "ideal"; freedom and authority; and state and history. The essential point of this analysis is to show that, for Hegel, all socio-political institutions are in principle manifestations of human freedom. Consequently, I hope to show that the claim that Hegel's political thought develops an authoritarian and repressive state does not hold water.
Resource TypeElectronic thesis or dissertation
FormatImage/jpeg; Application/pdf
SourcePaper copy kept in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University Libraries
Local Identifier76138640
RightsThe author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
CollectionElectronic Theses and Dissertations
Scanning StatusCompleted
PDF File(11.61 MB) --
CONTENTdm file name95761.cpd