Monday, September 30, 2019

GWF Hegel and the Development of Moral Integrity Essay

Moral integrity is the core and purpose of Hegel’s moral writing. The point is to reconnect mankind with the nature and purpose of their development, something that Bookchin shares. Moral integrity is a process, a process that develops only through institutions, and hence, is perfectly a part of this paper: ethical integrity is a social integrity, both created by and mediated by institutions (Horowitz, 1966, 8). For Hegel, these institutions are three-fold, the family, the civil (economic) society, and the state itself. These three things work together to form to integral personality and mediate it through the various elements of day to day life. While often highly rarified and theoretical, it seems that Hegel, in reality, is the most practical of all the writers we have examined. The moral personality as an integral unit is mediated through, first, the family. Initially the moral personality is seen as the opposite of integral: completely and absolutely free to adopt any end whatsoever. This is not a good things, but is the very source of capriciousness and arbitrariness. The entire point of building the morally integral person is to provide this otherwise empty will with purpose and content. The first institution to do this is the biological family. In this first and vital institution, the human person is shaped to love and to see oneself in the other. Mutual aid is a fact in the family, and such mutual aid seeks no profit, but exists in and of itself, helping and assisting for the sake of loving (Horowitz, 1966, 12). But this institution, as significant as it is, is not self-sufficient. In order to function and survive, it needs to be a part of the broader society and its productive capacities, hence, it passes over into what Hegel calls â€Å"civil society. † This second institution is similar to Locke’s principle of productive property. This is the realm of free action, of the drive to manifest one’s personality in work. Here, it is morally legitimate and useful for a person to seek gain and profit. The family was the arena for love and self-sacrifice, civil society is the arena for its opposite. But, just as the family is not self sufficient, neither is the market. The market leads to oligarchy ane the domination of capital. If unchecked, as Bookchin reminds us, the market will take on a life of its own, and all things will be valued on the basis of their monetary value. Hence, the economic life of the people will finally resolve itself into the state, a far more complex manifestation of the family, headed by the king, a patriarch (Yack, 1980, 710-712). The state manifests the universal mind of the people. Locke and Proudhon hold that the true nature of the natural law has its repository in the people: here, it is the people coming together in the state, the state as the ultimate integral individual. So while all three of the above writers saw the state as a problem, Hegel views it as the solution. If natural law and moral integrity are a single concept with basically a single content, then the central state becomes all important as the physical manifestation of this. What is significant is that all four of these writers got to their conclusions in the very same way, through the application of natural law in the construction of morally integral beings. 5. Conclusion All four of these writers used natural law. All four denounced the world of market capitalism that is not restrained by natural law. All four sought to define the integral individual. Locke sought to define this in the property owner, virtuous in the respect that he would not judge in his own case, but he will be a part of a limited state that would objectively apply civil law to criminal cases. Proudhon rejected the state, and defined the integral person as a producer, a part of a guild or organization based around economic function, operating in a free arena where goods and services are exchanged via contract. The morally integral person, then, functioned as an honest broker, one who maintains his promises and promotes the good of all in so doing. For Book chin, the morally integral person was a real citizen: the balance between market goods, the natural world, political rights and communal responsibility. The morally integral person limits his needs to what is good for the community and what preserves the natural beauty around him. Lastly, Hegel sees the morally integral person as a developmental entity: someone who has all his natural attributes, the lover and the fighter, synthesized in the state and the national culture. Bibliography: Bookchin, Murray (1993) â€Å"What is Social Ecology? † in Environmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to Radical Ecology. ME Zimmerman, ed.Prentice Hall Forde, Steven. (2001) â€Å"Natural Law, Theology and Morality in Locke. † The American Journal of Political Science 45, 396-409 George, William (1922). â€Å"Proudhon and Economic Federalism. † The Journal of Political Economy. 30, 531-542 Horowitz, Irving. (1966) â€Å"The Hegelian Concept of Political Freedom. † The Journal of Politics. 28, 3-28 Proudhon, Pierre (1977) The Principle of Federation. The University of Toronto Press. Seliger, M. (1963) â€Å"Locke’s Natural Law and the Foundation of Politics. † The Journal of the History of Ideas. 24, 337-354 Yack, Bernard (1980) â€Å"The Rationality of Hegel’s Concept of Monarchy† APSR 74, 709-720

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.