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The Family - Encyclopedia #518-522
When Hegel speaks about the family, he has a very specific form of family life in mind. We call that the petty bourgeois family. In our time we can no longer consider the family essential as an economic entity, nor the larger community of blood relatives. The organization of economic life has limited the various functions that the family can fulfill.
This has meant, for example, that in the family the personal relationship of a sexual and affective nature has become the most important. With in addition a permanent function in the education of children.
However, this does not mean that we can ignore Hegel's views as historically irrelevant. After all, Hekel tries to express in the form of the concept what is essential for the realization of freedom. His question is: what is necessary for the moral construction of common life. The family thus has a necessary function in the realization of such a community. So we must read the texts about the family from our own perspective that hates, that of the realization of freedom.
According to Hegel, man is more than just a legal person or a moral subject. Man is involved in social relationships in a substantial way. The spirit of a community is the condition of morality, and without morality law cannot stand. The social community is able to give a concrete determination to the good, that is to say the unity of law and welfare. The family is the first and immediate form in which the unity of right and welfare is realized. In the family, man is no longer an abstraction. Only within the community do people really exist. The primary situation of communal life is the family.
Love is the element that guarantees the unity of the general and the particular. In the family I do not exist as a separate individual, but I am part of a living community. That community is held together by trust and love. And such unity is not primarily understood, but felt. Family members faithfully care for each other and are emotionally connected. In the family it is not about laws and not about a rational structure of living together. Hence, dislike says that this is about the "individual in his natural generality."
Natural sexual differentiation and forms of spontaneous affectivity is not just a natural given. It is about the natural generality, but it exists as a spiritual reality. The physical duality of the sexes is being transformed into a spiritual unity. Love is reason in% of the feeling. It is unity in the multiplicity. If we take sexuality as purely physical, it remains characterized by a mutual outward goat.
The mind is unable to think of this union in marriage and the multiplicity in the physical distinct union in unity with each other. However, human reason is capable of this.
Love is a paradox according to Hegel. I give up my own independence and now exist in unity with others. That loss is experienced by me as the answer to a desire. It is satisfying that as an individual I can nevertheless give up my independence in order to derive the value and meaning of my existence from my involvement with others.
Transition to Social Ethics - Encyclopedia #511 & 512
Discussion of the two paragraphs that mark the transition between Morality and Social Ethics (Sittlichkeit).
The particularity of good actions - par. 508 Encyclopedia
508 But though the good is the universal of will - a universal determined in itself - and thus including in it particularity - still so far as this particularity is in the first instance still abstract, there is no principle at hand to determine it. Such determination therefore starts up also outside that universal; and as heteronomy or determinance of a will which is free and has rights of its own, there awakes here the deepest contradiction. (a) In consequence of the indeterminate determinism of the good, there are always several sorts of good and many kinds of duties, the variety of which is a dialectic of one against another and brings them into collision. At the same time because good is one, they ought to stand in harmony; and yet each of them, though it is particular duty, is as good and as duty absolute. It falls upon the agent to be the dialectic which, superseding this absolute claim of each, concludes such a combination of them as excludes the rest.
What is the (universal) Good? - Par. 507 Encyclopedia
507 The truth of these particularities and the concrete unity of their formalism is the content of the universal, essential and actual, will - the law and underlying essence of every phase of volition, the essential and actual good. It is thus the absolute final aim of the world, and duty for the agent who ought to have insight into the good, make it his intention and bring it about by his activity.
Purpose and wellbeing - #505 and 506 Hegel's Encyclopedia
Discussion of both the German text and the English translation.
The full video version can be found here:
Encyclopedia #504 - Understanding Abstract Morality - Intent and Responsibility
A fascinating topic: what are the ordinary presuppositions of our moral life? And what are the limitations or illusions of those presuppositions? Hegel's analysis shows clearly that we find it self evident that we are only responsible for our actions, in so far as our intentions go. There are however unforeseen consequences of our actions. So how do we deal with that?