The Political Significance of Hegel’s Concept of Recognition

  • David Duquette
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idées book series (ARCH, volume 149)


There has been much debate regarding interpretation of the concept of recognition(Anerkennung) in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Among the issues discussed in various commentaries, two that are particularly interesting and important are: (a) the question of the social and historical vs psychological significance of the concept of recognition which appears in Chapter 4 of Hegel’s Phenomenology and (b) the status of the dialectic of lordship and bondage for understanding the nature of the reconciliation of self-consciousness in the realm of objective spirit. Both of these topics have been widely discussed and one could not pretend to do justice to them in the space of this paper. Our particular interest here is to discuss the political significance of Hegel’s concept of recognition, specifically by exploring its connection to Hegel’s overtly political works, especially the Philosophy of Right with its articulation of the Idea of the state. However, before proceeding directly to that task, I will begin with some comments on the two issues I just mentioned, as they are relevant to my topic on the political significance of recognition.


Civil Society Free Action Political State World History Political Freedom 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

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  • David Duquette

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