Hegel and the Freedom of Moderns by Domenico Losurdo

By Domenico Losurdo

Available in English for the 1st time, Hegel and the liberty of Moderns revives dialogue of the key political and philosophical tenets underlying modern liberalism via a progressive interpretation of G. W. F. Hegel’s notion. Domenico Losurdo, one of the world’s prime Hegelians, finds that the thinker was once totally engaged with the political controversies of his time. In so doing, he exhibits how the problems addressed by means of Hegel within the 19th century resonate with some of the vital political matters of this present day, between them questions of group, kingdom, liberalism, and freedom. in keeping with an exam of Hegel’s complete corpus—including manuscripts, lecture notes, various models of texts, and letters—Losurdo locates the philosopher’s works in the ancient contexts and political events during which they have been composed.

Hegel and the liberty of Moderns persuasively argues that the tug of warfare among “conservative” and “liberal” interpretations of Hegel has obscured and distorted crucial points of his political notion. Losurdo unravels this deceptive dualism and offers an illuminating dialogue of the relation among Hegel’s political philosophy and the taking into consideration Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. He additionally discusses Hegel’s principles relating to the pertinent writings of alternative significant figures of contemporary political philosophy resembling Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Karl Popper, Norberto Bobbio, and Friedrich Hayek.

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7' With regard to the 22 A Liberal, Secret Hegel? 74 Let us not linger too long on this topic. One thing is for sure: during the years of the Restoration, that is, during the period which can help us most to understand Hegel's Philosophy of History, the poetry of ruins has an anything but revolutionary meaning. " The fascination (or the celebration of fascination) with ruins is felt as contradictory to the "leftist" (in a liberal sense) political commitment. " This is exactly the opposite of what D'Hondt intends to demonstrate.

F. Rosenkranz reports a revealing debate that took place in 1830. During the anniversary of the Confessio Augustana, Friedrich E. D. "6 The split behavior described here is something that should stir the minds of those who still insist that it is violent to attempt to view a text in light of the time when it was written and published, to consider the practices of censorship, the more or less common habit of dissimulation among intellectuals, etc. In reality, at least with regard to the historical period we are discussing, no text's meaning is either entirely or automatically self-evident.

88 From Haym's perspective, it is not contra28 A Liberal, Secret Hegel? dictory to accuse Hegel of supporting an adjustment to the Restoration while at the same time accusing him of praising uncritically the French Revolution and Napoleon. Hegel, who reveals his servile and antipatriotic attitude by admiring Napoleon and the French Revolution, confirms this position in Berlin, when he continues to praise the French political and cultural tradition. In so doing, he sides against the philo-Germanic, antiFrench party which was hand-in-glove with Metternich and the Restoration.

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