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Contemporary Social Contract Theory and Hegel’s Master/Bondsman-Relation

Contemporary Social Contract Theory and Hegel’s Master/Bondsman-Relation This contribution investigates whether Hegel’s critique of social contract theory is still applicable to contemporary contract theory proposed by, e. g., Rawls and Nozick. At first sight, they seem to have overcome the problems identified by Hegel because Rawls and Nozick appropriate the social contract as something essentially rational and normative (though in different ways). I argue, however, that for Hegel, their appeal to rational argumentation is not compatible with the concreteness of human individuals. A revised reading of the master/ bondsman-relation, emphasizing the role of the “fear of death”, shows the limited scope of contemporary contract theory. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

Contemporary Social Contract Theory and Hegel’s Master/Bondsman-Relation

History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis , Volume 18 (1): 19 – Apr 5, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-01801011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This contribution investigates whether Hegel’s critique of social contract theory is still applicable to contemporary contract theory proposed by, e. g., Rawls and Nozick. At first sight, they seem to have overcome the problems identified by Hegel because Rawls and Nozick appropriate the social contract as something essentially rational and normative (though in different ways). I argue, however, that for Hegel, their appeal to rational argumentation is not compatible with the concreteness of human individuals. A revised reading of the master/ bondsman-relation, emphasizing the role of the “fear of death”, shows the limited scope of contemporary contract theory.

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 2015

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