Time Comprehended in Thoughts – Hegel, Humanity, and Social Critique

Di Heikki Ikäheimo

In: Critique: Hegel and Contemporary Critical Theory LII , No. 1 ( 2023 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


In this article I argue that the currently ongoing epochal changes are bringing about a shift in concerns and saliences that are pushing Hegel-reception in a direction that can be characterized as anthropological or humanist. Three default assumptions making particular perspectives to Hegel more, or less, enticing are on the retreat: Kantian constructivism or subjectivism, historical or cultural relativism, and the ‘ethical abstinence’ of liberal political thought. What will, or should, take their place are a rehabilitated realism, a rehabilitated universalism, and an urgent interest in philosophical means for evaluating and debating better and worse forms of human life across cultural and other differences. I will elaborate on three basic principles crucial to grasp for a Hegelian critical social philosophy fit for purpose in the new crisis-ridden era: multiplicity of levels of conceptual abstraction, realism about freedom, and the recognitive constitution of all human life as a ‘fundamental ethics’.