February 22, 2017

A Case for Conservatism by John Kekes

By John Kekes

In his fresh ebook opposed to Liberalism, thinker John Kekes argued that liberalism as a political method is doomed to failure via its inner inconsistencies. during this spouse quantity, he makes a robust case for conservatism because the top replacement. His is the 1st systematic description and safety of the elemental assumptions underlying conservative notion.

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The monarch could hold the power to decide in the last instance, but his decisions were always empty. Ottmann explicitly defends the continuity of Hegel’s political thought from the Jena period right through the entire Berlin period, and denies that there was an accommodation on the part of Hegel to the crypto-absolutist policies of the Restoration. Specifically, Ottmann disputes Ilting’s exoteric conception of the monarch by bringing to the fore clear instances showing that already in his 1818/19 Berlin lectures Hegel maintained the very same conception of the monarch he held in the Philosophy of Right (Ottmann, 1977: 234; see Kervégan, 2003: 19).

17 In this respect, the Hegel of the Heidelberg and Berlin lectures THE HEGELSCHE MITTE AND HEGEL’S MONARCH 39 was, contrary to what Ilting asserts, much closer to the doctrinaires than to Constant. As Cousin recognized, Hegel was profoundly liberal and could not be said to be a republican. And he explicitly acknowledged that Hegel had great affinities with Royer-Collard18 (Cousin, 1866: 616–17). If Hegel had great affinities with the doctrinaire liberals, and if Ilting errs in assimilating his position to that of Constant’s, the contrast between an esoteric and an exoteric Hegel, as Horstmann noted above, loses much of its force.

Earlier, Mark Tunick offered a more guarded view. After summarizing Ilting’s position according to which ‘Hegel was no royalist, but a protestant, liberal, pro-French Revolution, pro-English freedom constitutionalist’, and noting that this view has not become consensus, he refuses to dismiss the Philosophy of Right as a feigned and inauthentic document (Tunick, 1992: 10). In his own exposition he proceeds to rely on both Hegel’s lectures and the published text of the Philosophy of Right. For my part I agree with Horstmann that, though the lectures notes greatly contribute to clarifying Hegel’s own political interests and compromises (Horstmann, 1974: 250), they are subservient to the published text.

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