Hegel's Practical Philosophy

Rational Agency as Ethical Life

Hegel's Practical Philosophy

This fresh and original book argues that the central questions in Hegel's practical philosophy are the central questions in modern accounts of freedom: What is freedom, or what would it be to act freely? Is it possible so to act? And how important is leading a free life? Robert Pippin argues that the core of Hegel's answers is a social theory of agency, the view that agency is not exclusively a matter of the self-relation and self-determination of an individual but requires the right sort of engagement with and recognition by others. Using a detailed analysis of key Hegelian texts, he develops this interpretation to reveal the bearing of Hegel's claims on many contemporary issues, including much-discussed core problems in the liberal democratic tradition. His important study will be valuable for all readers who are interested in Hegel's philosophy and in the modern problems of agency and freedom.


 Reviews:

Pre-publication praise: 'Reading this book, it is fascinating to see how Hegel`s practical philosophy can even in its speculative elements be translated into a philosophical language used in moral epistemology today. Pippin succeeds in deepening our understanding of practical reason by giving a path-breaking interpretation of the way in which Hegel binds free agency to the social conditions of institutionally grounded practices of the mutual ascription of accountability. I am sure that this book will set a benchmark for all future research on Hegel and practical philosophy.' Axel Honneth, University of Frankfurt

Pre-publication praise: 'This deep and provocative book masterfully recasts Hegel's brilliant, but almost aggressively obscure, thought about the social normative conditions of human agency as an absolutely up-to-date, progressive, potentially transformative contribution to the current philosophical conversation.' Robert Brandom, University of Pittsburgh

'… the book does a good job of rendering some very difficult topics intelligible, putting them within the grasp of the general reader. … the book has more than enough to recommend it to contemporary readers …' The Philosophers' Magazine

'Robert Pippin is a fine philosopher and he has delivered a fine book.' The Philosophical Quarterly


 Prizes:

Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009 - Winner
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