Freedom and Tradition in Hegel: Reconsidering Anthropology, Ethics, and Religion

ISBN: 9780268033682
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Edition: 1
Publication Date: 2005-05-30
Number of pages: 272
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Freedom and Tradition in Hegel stands at the intersection of three vital currents in contemporary ethics: debates over philosophical anthropology and its significance for ethics, reevaluations of tradition and modernity, and a resurgence of interest in Hegel. Thomas A. Lewis engages these three streams of thought in light of Hegel’s recently published Vorlesungen über die Philosophie des Geistes. Drawing extensively on these lectures, Lewis addresses an important lacuna in Hegelian scholarship by first providing a systematic analysis of Hegel’s philosophical anthropology and then examining its fundamental role in Hegel’s ethical and religious thought.
Lewis contends that Hegel’s anthropology seeks to account for both the ongoing significance of the religious and philosophical traditions in which we are raised and our ability to transcend these traditions. Pursuing the implications of the integral role of practice in Hegel’s anthropology, Lewis argues for a more progressive interpretation of Hegel’s ethics and a “Hegelian” critique of Hegel’s most problematic statements on political and social issues. Lewis concludes that Hegel offers a powerful strategy for reconciling freedom and tradition.
"Freedom and Tradition in Hegel is a highly important contribution to the scholarship.  Lewis brings Hegel's 'philosophy of subjective spirit' to light in a way that corrects previous interpretations of Hegel's thinking on religion, ethics, and politics.  This book establishes Lewis as one of the leading Hegel scholars based in religious studies.  It is a book that Hegel scholars in several disciplines will need to take seriously." —Jeffrey Stout, Princeton University
"Written with admirable clarity, this important contribution to Hegel scholarship is lively, argumentative, and substantial." —Stephen Crites, Wesleyan University

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