Hegel and International Ethics [Abstract]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 5 (1991)

December 2, 1991

The collapse of the Eastern European communist regimes led to a re-evaluation of Hegel's philosophies as inspiration for shaping the post-communist governments. Concerned that the reappearance of literature on Hegel's ideas often expresses inaccurately and one-sidedly the philosopher's views, Brown attempts to clarify Hegelian ideas of absolute knowledge and self-knowledge that lead to the model of the modern state as "the vehicle for the self-expression of spirit...governed only by the requirements of reason" upon which Hegel grounds international ethics. The author links Hegel's work to some practical international concerns, such as internationalism, ethnocentrism, relativism, and the vision of the end of history. The author refers to Francis Fukuyama's essay "The End of History?" (1989) celebrating the triumph of political and economic history, and showing how it was based on an inaccurate interpretation of Hegel. When evaluating recent interpretations of Hegel's work, Brown shows that one must be cautious to review the accuracy of his explicit views.


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