Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the development of Hegel’s Jena social and political philosophy prior to the publication of the Phenomenology, with a focus on Hegel’s engagement with Fichte. Hegel’s culminating project in his Jena practical philosophy involves synthesizing two social ideals: classical Greek communitarianism and modern liberal individualism. According to Hegel’s conception, the classical communitarian ideal threatens a form of nihilism: the destruction of free, independent subjectivity. The modern individualist ideal, by contrast, threatens atomism: the breakdown of community attachments in favor of the pursuit of private interests. Hegel’s Jena project is to avoid nihilism and atomism by synthesizing the two ideals into one coherent picture of ethical life. Two related conceptual innovations prove crucial to this project: first, the idea that human agency is formed through a struggle for recognition; and second, the idea that modern ethical life is a shape of objective spirit.

Keywords: Hegel, Fichte, ethical life, objective spirit, atomism, nihilism, Jena, social philosophy, political philosophy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.