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By Seyla Benhabib

Displaying a magnificent command of advanced fabrics, Seyla Benhabib reconstructs the heritage of theories from a scientific viewpoint and examines the origins and differences of the idea that of critique from the works of Hegel to Habermas. via investigating the version of the philosophy of the topic, she pursues the query of the way Hegel´s evaluations will help for reforumulating the principles of serious social theory.
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The resurgence of counterfactual argumentation procedures in the work of contemporary thinkers like John Rawls, Karl-Otto and Jurgen Habermas has placed this Hegelian argument on the agenda. The question as to what might be gained from Hegel's critique is thus an actual one. I n this chapter, I w i l l argue that while charge that the structure of such theories is based upon a petitio cipii is irrefutable, it is important to note that his early critique of natural right theories is motivated by the normative vision of a unified Sittlichkeit.

The formalism of the law of freedom cannot generate content; it is dogmatically dependent upon the content given to i t . At this point, I shall postpone a detailed examination of Hegel's critique of Kant to a future point (chapter 3) and focus instead on the social and political presuppositions behind Hegel's methodological reflections. IMMANENT CRITIQUE 27 For the young the true subject of natural right theories is not the individual and his rights at a l l , but the ethical totality (NR He criticizes Kant for making into a principle what could already be found in the natural right teaching of Hobbes and Locke, namely, that whereas morality concerns the individual's relation to his own conscience, "natural rights" apply in the spheres of justice and legality which is l i m i t e d to external relations among The young Hegel views this separation of ethical life into the spheres of morality and legality as its very dissolution.

This separation and bifurcation is contained in the very structure of the modern state. The modern state likewise distinguishes between a sphere of universality and a sphere of individualism, between a sphere of common, rational interest and a sphere of individual selfishness and limitation (MEW 1:356). It is important to note that this analysis of religious consciousness is not a reductionist one. Unlike some of his later writings, Marx here is not reducing religion and the need for religion to the interests in domination of certain social groups over Rather, he is arguing that both modern Christianity, particularly in its Protestant form, and the modern state project a distinction between universality and particularity, the general and the concrete, commonality and selfishness.

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