Hegel - Stephen Meehan April 9 2008 Philosophy 30303 Prof K...

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May 12, 2009 Philosophy 30303; Prof. K. Ameriks Hegel Paper, “Modern Objective Spirit” as the “Realization of Rational Self- Consciousness” In The Phenomenology of Spirit , Hegel discusses his belief that the modern objective spirit is the relationship between the individual and the nation, presuming that the nation is a modern nation state that includes a rational respect for universal law and the rights of individuals. According to Hegel we come to our ultimate “realization” about self consciousness through recognizing another, as equal in society. Hegel believes that his conception of the modern nation as the “modern objective spirit” is the best way to do this. He states that, “the realization of self-conscious reason … finds its complete reality in fulfillment in the life of a nation. 1 ” Hegel’s main justification for seeing the modern nation as the ultimate fulfillment is in the abundance of reason in these states, “Reason appears here as the fluent universal substance. 2 ” The availability of reason, and its effect on the laws, customs and lives of people within society, in a modern nation state, is what allows for further understanding and realization of self-conscious. The first step that reason allows members of a nation to take is the realization of their independence. Through reason and relationship with other members of the society, the individual is able to come to recognize himself as separate and independent from all the others, as a particular individual within the society. Through this realization of independence, the individual is able to sacrifice some of his individuality back to the nation, therefore having a role in creating his own individuality, “they surrender and sacrifice their particular individuality … themselves as individuals … [are] the work and 1 Hegel, “The Essential Writings,” Ed. Frederick G. Weiss (New York: Harper & Row 1974), from Phenomenology of Spirit, p. 80. 2
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Hegel - Stephen Meehan April 9 2008 Philosophy 30303 Prof K...

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