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The Owl of Minerva

Volume 49, Issue 1/2, 2017/2018

Stephen Houlgate
Pages 39-58
DOI: 10.5840/owl2017/18491/22

Hegel on the Personhood of God

In this essay, I examine Robert Williams’s account of Hegel’s concept of divine “personhood.” I endorse Williams’s claims that God, for Hegel, is not a person but exhibits only personhood, and that divine personhood realises itself in a human community based on mutual recognition. I take issue, however, with Williams’s further claim that Hegel also takes God and humanity to stand in a relation of mutual recognition to one another, since this claim, in my view, risks turning God into a person after all. To conclude, I briefly consider a difference between Williams and myself concerning the relation of right to mutual recognition.