05. Women as instruments in the dialectics of the Nation

Sari Roman-Lagerspetz

Abstract


This paper adds a new line to Feminist critiques of Hegel. The paper starts with the observation that Feminist critics often emphasize women’s exclusion from the public sphere in Hegel’s account, but that less attention is paid to the way Hegel sees the role of family ethics, the guardians of which are women, as constitutive for the dialectics of the nation. The paper argues that gender hierarchy is necessary for Hegel’s rational state. For this reason, recognition can never become fully universal for Hegel. The paper argues that Hegel’s view of women as not-fully-rational beings, and his uncritical acceptance of the system of nation-states, are interconnected. These aspects of Hegel’s system are for good reason often found less appealing; it is an important observation that they are interrelated. Implicitly, the paper challenges contemporary defenders of universal recognition to do better than Hegel in these respects in trying to combine universal recognition with recognition of such particularities as gender and nationality.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20919/sspt.25.2015.47

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