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The Owl of Minerva

Volume 38, Issue 1/2, Fall/Spring 2006/2007

Saul Tobias
Pages 101-126

Hegel and the Politics of Recognition

While political philosophers have turned to Hegel’s notion of recognition in their development of a theory of identity politics, a careful reading of the Phenomenology of Spirit, and of the master-servant dialectic in particular, reveals the limits of this approach. For Hegel, recognition cannot be separated from a process of self-determination, which is as essential to the development of genuine autonomy as the affirmation of claims to recognition. This article examines the role of self-determination in the Phenomenology of Spirit and considers its implications for the theorization of contemporary politics.

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