Volume 105, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244


The current crisis makes it clear that the financial sector has an ever greater impact on national and international politics. This development poses a challenge not only to Europe, but also to our philosophical understanding of the relationship between politics and the market. In order to use Hegel’s Philosophy of Right for the purpose of reflecting on this relationship, I begin by arguing that recent commentators, including Honneth and Pippin, unduly play down Hegel’s critique of the liberalist conception of freedom as well as the conception of the state that follows from this critique. Turning to Hegel’s analysis of the relationship between civil society and the state, I submit that we can learn from Hegel that it is crucial for modern societies to let citizens pursue their own interests, but that a one-sided focus on this element threatens to undermine the society as a whole. This is the case if the political domain, which ought to be devoted to the long-term interests of the society as a whole, fails to sufficiently distinguish itself from the struggle between contending particular interests that characterizes civil society.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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