5. the project of reconciliation and the road to redemption: Hegel's social philosophy and nietzsche's critique

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Abstract

Arthur Schopenhauer once observed: "A Philosophy in between the pages of which one does not hear the tears, the weeping and gnashing of teeth and the terrible din of mutual universal murder is no [genuine] philosophy. " 1 Certainly, the unforgettable events of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, which bear the names Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Rwanda, and Darfur, pose a challenge for philosophical thinking to prove itself equal to what emerges from these horrific events. To that end, my paper looks back to the philosophies of G. W. F. Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche - in particular to their vision of a social reconciliation and cultural redemption - as a source of inspiration in our efforts to meet the challenges posed for a philosophy of the future by the global scale of violence, human suffering, and alienation. In what follows, I first offer a comparative analysis of Hegel's "project of reconciliation" with Nietzsche's "project of redemption." I then consider whether or not either philosopher can provide us with a coherent and attractive ethical/sociopolitical alternative for our postmodern world - a world still characterized by global violence, injustice, genocide, ecological degradation, and the prospect of nuclear annihilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-180
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Journal of Economics and Sociology
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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