Idealistic Studies

Volume 53, Issue 2, Summer 2023

Emmanuel Chaput
Pages 99-128

Madness, Habit and the Genius
On Hegel’s Theory of Embodiment

In this paper, I explore Hegel’s concept of freedom as self-liberation. I consider the struggle between the soul and the body within Hegel’s Anthropology as an example of how conflict can act as a condition for asserting one’s freedom through self-improvement or Bildung. In this regard, there are reminiscent aspects of the famous ‘Lordship and Bondage’ dialectic within Hegel’s treatment of the body-soul relation. If the initial dominion of nature over the soul can be described as madness for Hegel, habit constitutes the mean through which spirit acquires its freedom.