ETHICS IN PROGRESS
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Published By Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan

2084-9257, 2084-9257

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 26-45
Author(s):  
Lara Scaglia

In this paper I will focus on education as the core function of reason in Kant and Fichte. The notion of reason carries an intrinsic tendency to universality, which is difficult to be reconciled with its local (cultural, historical, anthropological) background and actualisation. I believe that the stress on the importance of learning, which can be seen in the works of both Kant and Fichte, might provide useful clues to approaching the relation between universality and particularity. I will start by focusing on Kant’s narration on the genealogy of human reason in the Conjectural Beginning of Human History, and then move on to the critical writings and selected lectures in order to focus on the role of human dignity and ethical education for the moral appraisal and the practice of virtue. Later, I will consider Fichte’s lectures on the Vocation of the Scholar, the Vocation of Man and The Characteristics of the Present Age, which are crucial to understanding the social, ethical and political role of the scholar. For Fichte, education is the best instrument to eradicate selfishness, regarded as a historical phenomenon which can lead a nation to ruin. I will then provide some conclusions concerning the two accounts and their implications.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 112-123
Author(s):  
Andreas Arndt

In his Prolegomena to Historiosophy, published in 1838, August von Cieszkowski wrote that we are at the turning point in history, when facts turn into deeds. This raises the question of what is actually to be understood by the term “deed” [Tat] and why, the hour of the deed should have come precisely now. After focusing on Hegel’s concept of a history of freedom, I will present two models of understanding action and conclude by discussing their consequences. More specifically, I will undertake a search that will lead us – by way of a detour via Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit – to Fichte’s concept of the act of doing. That socio-political practice can be justified in this way, however, is denied by those who argue that society and politics in Hegel fall under the category of objective and not of absolute spirit. The alternative model of action that I will focus on, concerns action in relation to objects, or labour, a model that Hegel had already worked out in Jena, and that Marx will re-discover (rather than invent) and further develop.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 124-137
Author(s):  
Tom Rockmore

We ignore the history of philosophy at our peril. Engels, who typically conflates Marx and Marxism, points to the relation of Marxism to the tradition while also denying it. In his little book on Feuerbach, Engels depicts Feuerbach as leading Marx away from Hegel, away from classical German philosophy, away from philosophy and towards materialism and science. This view suggests that Marx is at best negatively related to Classical German philosophy, including Hegel. Yet Engels elsewhere suggests that Marx belongs to the classical German philosophical tradition. In the preface to Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, Engels wrote: “We German socialists are proud that we trace our descent not only from Saint Simon, Fourier and Owen, but also from Kant, Fichte and Hegel” (Marx & Engels, Collected Works). In this paper I will focus on Marx’s relation to Fichte. This relation is rarely mentioned in the Marxist debate, but I will argue, it is crucial for the formulation of Marx’s position, and hence for assessing his contribution accurately. One of the results of this study will be to indicate that Marx, in reacting against Hegel, did not, as is often suggested, ‘leave’ philosophy, but in fact made a crucial philosophical contribution.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 78-88
Author(s):  
Erzsébet Rózsa

In this paper, it will be shown that Hegel’s philosophical thematisation of subjective freedom has given a fundamental contribution to the historical innovation of modernity, which regards not only human rights, but also norms and values. Besides, it played an important role concerning the cultural transformation, i.e., the process of the realization of the historical innovation oriented towards the ideals of modern freedom. To show this, the author will focus on some passages from Hegel’s Philosophy of Right of 1820, in which Hegel regarded subjective freedom as universally-normative and, at the same time, as socially and historically contextualized (situated, respectively). Hegel, namely, explicates modern freedom in its ideality and moral normativity, addressing its realization in particular forms of life. Marriage, for instance, as it will be shown towards the end of this contribution, exemplified as the right to particularity, is the normative basis of modern subjective freedom. Tensions and collisions will permanently challenge this type of freedom and also require permanent (and self-defeating) efforts invested in striving for a (too contextualized and situated) „reconciliation“ (in Hegel´s terms Versöhnung).


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 61-77
Author(s):  
Rainer Adolphi

The article discusses a central topic of contemporary understandings of society that seems to have no place in Hegel’s theory: the topic of “identity”, which seems to fall between the process of a “struggle for recognition” on the one hand, and, on the other, a consolidated recognition of subjects and their rights within the established social order. The article would like to propose a further reconstruction here. It discusses which considerations should be included so that the discourse on “identity” does not end in any substantialist or ethno-national, egocentric understandings, but, instead, could become possibly a part of Hegel’s theory. In today’s dynamics and unsettling changes, there are undeniable needs for “identity” (which are also easily addressed, even fuelled, by corresponding offers). These are, as one could learn from Hegel, surrogates of a still not or no longer successful sufficient recognition. In this, “identity” is to be understood as critical work on oneself as a product of becoming, on inheritances, achievements, challenges, divisions, discrepancies, guilt and failures.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 4-9
Author(s):  
Ewa Nowak ◽  
Tom Rockmore ◽  
Lara Scaglia ◽  
Rainer Adolphi

The volume brings together contributions in the spirit embodied by Marek J. Siemek († 2011) and Jakub Kloc-Konkołowicz († 2021), two Warsaw philosophers truly devoted to Classical German Philosophy. They were simultaneously in a relationship between thinker and adept, and thinker and thinker. They both taught philosophy, with a strong emphasis on classic German philosophy, at Warsaw University. Under the theme “Ethical Theory in Classic German Philosophy Then and Now,” students and companions continue their discussions with both of them.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 10-25
Author(s):  
Jacinto Rivera de Rosales

In Kant’s writings, we can discover four key moments in the realization of moral freedom: i) The original possibility of being free, ii) The act described by Kant as radical evil, iii) The opposite act, that is, an inner conversion to good, and, finally, iv) The long process of the self-development of virtue extending to immortality. There are further issues such as the double concept of moral evil, and practical temporality. Moral freedom is originally located (and presupposed in Kant’s transcendental deduction) in the individual, her decisions, and the maxims or principles that guide her actions, even though a community (as both a „kingdom of ends” and social reality) provides the scope wherein all this takes place and its socially and historically-situated shapes. This paper tries to systematize these crucial stages of Kant’s moral philosophy with the focus on the concept of virtue.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 89-111
Author(s):  
Ivo Minkov

The article interprets the methodological potential of Hegel’s speculative dialectics as a possible course of spiritual evolution of the Absolute subject. The intention is towards the method, first through the very construction of the “idea of freedom” from the point of view of Logic; second, through the constitutive function of freedom and the transition of the subjective spirit into the objective spirit; third, through the unfolding of mediation in the realms of the objective spirit. This essentially substantial methodologization dissolves the theoretical space of the idea of the mediating function of freedom as an ontological principle of ethical life. In line with the paradigm of such a course, the text considers a project of speculative ethics, a project within the framework of which the methodological and ontological sublation of spiritual evolution takes place.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 46-60
Author(s):  
Elena Paola Carola Alessiato

Moving from Fichte’s assumption that “the essence of the I is its activity”, this paper tries to analyze the meaning and implications of the idea of “activity” [Tathandlung] in order to explicate the peculiarities of Fichte’s critical, transcendental, and moral idealism. Fichte’s idea of activity will be examined with reference to such basic concepts as collision [Anstoss], interaction [Wechselwirkung], inter-determination [Wechselbestimmung], and striving [Streben]. However, it is freedom which frames and connects the core components of Fichte’s thinking and sets up the goal of his philosophy of action. What freedom accounts for, can be identified both at the transcendental level, in the internal dynamic of infinity and finitude constituting the subjectivity of the I, and at the moral and social levels of Fichte’s thought, as the goal of the human action in history and in the society. In assuming the unitary character of Fichte’s philosophical system, concluding remarks are developed concerning the moral meaning of the act of striving for freedom and, conversely, the immorality of attitudes and feelings such as fear, resignation, and fatigue.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 54-65
Author(s):  
Paolo Trianni ◽  
Sara Sgarlata

The article intends to demonstrate that a theology of vegetarianism is possible, despite some contrary evidence present in the biblical texts. Like other theologies dealing with issues not directly voiced in the Bible, it becomes possible to interpret the biblical statements in a new way, on the bases of a specific methodology. As a result, an objective comprehension will go back inductively to Sacred Scripture. The article advocates for applying this new method as well as for introducing its ethical implications into the Christian tradition. An additional supportive argument in favour of establishing the new understanding can be found in the history of the Roman Church, besides the consolidated custom of carnivorous nutrition: there has been no shortage of positions in favour of vegetarian asceticism. This stance was also represented by Thomas Aquinas. By valorizing classic Christian authors in favour of vegetarianism (starting with Jerome), the inauguration of the theology of vegetarianism becomes legitimised. Such an inauguration would reorient Christian thought toward reconsidering cosmology, ecology and topical contemporary issues such as anthropocentrism and speciesism.


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