Volume 12, Issue 1, Fall 2007
Given the Right—of Giving (in Hegel’s Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts)
This essay approaches the Hegelian problem of giving and givenness through the marginal figures of the animal, the child, and “superstitious humanity,”
representing, in one way or another, the unperturbed relationship with immediacy. I argue that, for Hegel, the process of subjectivization supersedes these figures by learning to reject the immediately given and to accept only what is self-given. Yet, interspersed throughout this process are various imbalances and asymmetries, whereby the subject gives itself more than it takes, undialectically suppressing the particular and displacing the marginal.