Hegel and the Metaphysical Frontiers of Political Theory
Routledge – 2013 – 304 pages
For over one hundred and fifty years G.W.F. Hegel’s ghost has haunted theoretical understanding and practice. His opponents first, and later his defenders, have equally defined their programs against and with his. In this way Hegel’s political thought has both situated and displaced modern political theorizing.
This book takes the reception of Hegel’s political thought as a lens through which contemporary positivist and liberal prerogatives are exposed. It traces the nineteenth century origins of the positivist revolt against Hegel’s legacy forward to political science’s turn away from philosophical tradition in the twentieth century. The book critically reviews the subsequent revisionist trend that has eliminated his metaphysics from contemporary considerations of his political thought. It then moves to re-evaluate their relation and defend their inseparability in his major work on politics: the Philosophy of Right. Against this background, the book concludes with an argument for the inherent metaphysical dimension of political theorizing itself. Goodfield takes Hegel’s reception, representation, as well as rejection in Anglo-American scholarship as a mirror in which its metaphysical presuppositions of the political are exceptionally well reflected. It is through such reflection, he argues, that we may begin to come to terms with them.
This book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and readers of political theory and philosophy, Hegel, metaphysics and the philosophy of the social sciences.
Acknowledgments Introduction Part I Chapter 1. From Feuerbach to Moore: Hegelian Metaphysics and the Origins of Positivist Revolt Chapter 2. Origins of the Prescriptive Chellenge: The Behavioral Revolution and the Schism of Political Science and Philosophical Tradition Chapter 3. Negating Negation: 20th Century Revisionism, the Rehabilitation of Hegel’s Political Thought and the Descriptive Challenge Part II Chapter 4. Hegel’s Metaphysics of Thought: Toward a Logic of Universals Chapter 5. Political Dialectic: The Metaphysical Vocation of Political Philosophy Part III Chapter 6. Political Theory and the Metaphysical Presuppositions of Theoretical Reason Bibliography Index
Eric Lee Goodfield is Visiting Assistant Professor at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.