Volume 37, Issue 2, Summer 2007
Hegel’s Idea of the Good
The Case of a Relapse
The study of Hegel’s ethical thought has focused traditionally on the Phenomenology, the early writing or his Philosophy of Right but has mostly ignored the treatment of the idea of the good in the Science of Logic. This paper is an attempt at a close reading of Hegel’s exposition in light of the methodological and foundational claims of speculative logic. It identifies several points of equivocation, in particular the notion of a reversal of the logical movement of the Concept back to the subjective standpoint, and the focus on goal and action which replace the proper logical explication of the notion of the good. The paper tries to assess the meaning and consequences of what we see as points of weakness in Hegel’s exposition and formulate questions for further discussion on a hitherto neglected subject.