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Title: Articulations ofNature and Politics in the Philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel
Author: Roupa, Vasiliki
ISNI:       0000 0001 3538 3417
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2007
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In the thesis I examine the articulations of nature and politics in the thought ofG.W.F. Hegel. I claim that for the Western philosophical tradition nature is the irreducible horizon in which the political is played out. This I take to be the case in both a negative and a positive sense: on the one hand, nature channels the community toward sensuous particularity and the satisfaction ofneeds, thus contravening the movement towards a higher ethical life; on the other hand, it is the very nature of the zoon politikon that gives rise to the ethical moment that community properly is. Taking my cue from Hegel's concept of'speculative words', i.e. words that incorporate two opposite me'anings, I argue that this apparent contradiction can be resolved ifwe distinguish between two different senses operative in philosophical and ~veryday thinking about nature, namely nature as sensuousness and as the index ofa being's inherent potentialities. Hegel's distinctive contribution consists, I suggest, in showing that these two meanings have not been accidentally conjoined in the word 'nature' but are a symptom of the dialecticity at work in that concept. I examine how this dialecticity operates in the areas of (a) language and logic and (b) society and politics, and argue for are-evaluation of Hegel's philosophy in terms of the possibilities it opens for re-thinking politics in the direction of finitude and the fragility of sense.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available