Alan Patten offers the first full-length treatment in English of Hegel's idea of freedom-his theory of what it is to be free and his account of the social and political contexts in which this freedom is developed, realized, and sustained. Freedom is the value that Hegel most greatly admired and the central organizing concept of his social philosophy. Patten's investigation illuminates and resolves a number of central questions concerning Hegel's ethics and political theory. Is Hegel's outlook unacceptably conservative? Can freedom be equated with rational self-determination? Is there any special connection between freedom and citizenship? By offering interpretations of Hegel's views on these and other questions, Patten develops an original 'civic humanist' reading of Hegel's social philosophy that restores to its proper, central place Hegel's idea of freedom. The book is written in a clear and jargon-free style and will be of interest to anyone concerned with Hegel's ethical, social, and political thought and the sources of contemporary ideas about freedom, community, and the state.
`Review from previous edition Patten's book is a deliberate, well-written, and welcome addition to Hegel studies. It offers a detailed and persuasive account of Hegel's political thought that is driven rightly by his highest political good - freedom. ... Throughout the book, Patten offers helpful and interesting comparisons of Hegel's thought with Rousseau, Montesquieu, Marx, and especially Kant and Fichte. In addition, Patten maintains an on-going
dialogue in the text and the notes with a variety of Hegel scholars on virtually every topic he considers ... Patten's study is well worth reading for students and scholars of Hegel's thought alike. Moreover, those who teach this often difficult thinker should add Patten's book to their list of secondary
readings because of its clear and concise treatment of key approaches to, and issues in, Hegel's political thought.'
Rupert Gordon, Yale University
`It is a tribute to the clarity and the ambition of Patten's book that it enables us to formulate... issues. In these areas and in many others it moves the discussion forward in valuable ways.'
Robert M. Wallace, Mind
`Offering new insights to recurring contested issues in Hegel studies, Patten at the same time discusses topics - such as freedom, morality, and citizenship - central to contemporary political debates. With philosophical clarity he brings new, coherent, and convincingly argued interpretations to the fore.'
Peter Stillman, Vassar College
1: Introduction: Perspectives on Hegel's Idea of Freedom
2: Freedom as Rational Self-Determination
3: The Reciprocity Thesis in Kant and Hegel
4: Hegel and Social Contract Theory
5: Hegel's Justification of Private Property
6: A Civic Humanist Idea of Freedom
Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs
Number Of Pages: 230
Published: 1st May 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 13.8
Weight (kg): 0.27