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Yufei Ma Phil 204 Professor Andrew J. Mitchell Date of Submission Analysis of Hegel’s Conception of Freedom Introduction Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel believes that freedom is not merely an introspective aspect of moral grounds, but arises through one’s social relationship with other people.
The growth of freedom culminates in an individual’s full acceptance of the political rule of the state, because the ideals of mutual recognition are naturally engraved in the constitution of the sovereign state (Hegel 22). In other words, the basic interest or self-identity of every individual is attributed with ethical value in the general legitimacy and wisdom of the state. Hegel hence places the will to freedom in the historically actual agency of the supreme state. Hegel believes that the state represents the realization of social freedom. This essay analyzes the argument of Hegel that freedom is only possible within the state. The Hegelian Idea of Freedom Hegel argues that the final stage of consciousness, which he largely associates with national consciousness, is the acceptance that human beings are naturally free. According to Hegel, it is only through the nation-state—which he defines as a cultural aggregation of people—that freedom is realized. Hegel makes use of the concept ‘rational’ to refer to aspects that advance freedom; in history, the advancement of freedom expresses itself through the nation-state. The importance of a state does not depend on its distinctiveness or individuality that should then be safeguarded at all costs. ...
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