Despite their differences, Kantian and Hegelian idealisms

Despite their differences, Kantian and Hegelian idealisms can be summarized as philosophical accounts, which address and answer why we act, judge, and live freely and morally with reasons.

Despite their differences, Kantian and Hegelian idealisms

Firstly, Despite their differences, Kantian and Hegelian idealisms can be summarize  as philosophical accounts, which address and answer why we act, judge, and live freely and morally with reasons.

For Kant, practical reason enables the individual subject to frame maxims as lawful and, in so doing, becomes the target of evaluation in characterizing.

(a) autonomy as the source of obligation and

(b) rational motivation as the impetus for making obligation. Or, specifically, duty for duty’s sake morally worthy despite being unknowable yet indubitable.

For Hegel, the achievement of spirit as conscience enables duty for duty’s sake, as an outcome of “absolute freedom” under the moral point of view, to be known but never indubitably in actions and deeds via recognition. It becomes the target of evaluation in characterizing

(a) the moral worthiness of obligation as being in unison with an achievable satisfaction and

(b) such satisfaction as reliant on the reason-giving and reason-sharing explanation, justification, and motivation in others’ interpretation of actions and deeds exemplifying obligation.

However, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche present anti-philosophical critiques of these idealisms.

In the case of Kierkegaard, we act and live morally and freely through a genuine turning “inward” toward individuality to acknowledge the dependence of each on faith in God.  “Inwardness” is an individual’s turn to her/his non-cognitive relation to Christ in her/his conscience. It is Kierkegaard’s target of evaluation in characterizing

(a) obligation as an outcome of an individual’s “leap of faith” and

(b) obligation as an outcome of an individual to “teleologically suspend the [importance of the] ethical.” As a consequence, obligation as a matter of practical reason or as a matter of spirit as conscience must be surrendered because, as either one, obligation is concealed, diminished, and leveled, thereby retarding its importance as a matter for “inwardness” or conscience.

In the case of Nietzsche, we act and live freely by willfully embracing life. We do not flinch from exercising strongly and uncompromisingly our will in the face of life in order to love life robustly, come what may. The strength of our will is necessarily weak when obligation or doing duty for duty’s sake motivates our will. An enervated will makes it difficult, if not impossible, to embrace life. Such weakening is the result exemplified in the history of philosophy or found in Christianity. Rather, for Nietzsche, the strength of our will alone is necessary for living and facing life. It becomes essential to transforming life in the sense of freely living it without regret, even if and when life repeats itself over and over again without novelty. Conscience and doing duty for duty’s sake would not have a place where embracing life is condition of willing.

Given these remarks, you must do the following for your research paper.

Choose one of the two philosophical idealisms regarding obligation (Kant’s or Hegel’s) or any aspect pertinent to one or the other.

(a) Provide an interpretation of one or the other.

Then (b) either justify the idealism (or its pertinent aspect) against the anti-philosophical critiques of Kierkegaard or Nietzsche or criticize the idealism (or pertinent aspect) in the light of the thought of Kierkegaard or Nietzsche.

For example, you may discuss Hegel’s account of Spirit as an ethical form of life and the idealism behind it. Either justify it against or criticize it in the light of Nietzsche’s critique of ethical forms of life which are reliant on reason and faith, diminishing the strength of the will behind them.

Or you may discuss Kant’s notion of practical reason and the idealism behind it and either justify it against or criticize it in the light of either Kierkegaard’s notion of “inwardness” or Nietzsche’s argument against any philosophical idealism as a denial of embracing life.

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