Freedom and Solidarity: Some Remarks in Light of the Contemporary Reception of Hegel

Filipe Campello


This paper has in view the relationship between emotions and justice which has been increasingly found in the literature in the past years. The core idea we find in this debate is that the descriptive validity of a social theory depends on the analyses of the constitutive role of emotions on social spheres. On the other hand, I want to suggest that Hegel can contribute towards a “normative” potential of those analyses through the approach of the formative character of institutions, oriented by what can be understood as the institutional mediation of individual freedom through the idea of socially inclusive, “decentralized will”. In this paper, I will focus on the discussion of these ideas regarding the civil society, where I develop my argument in three short steps. Firstly, I will briefly suggest in what sense Hegel could help us in discussing the relation between ethical life (“Sittlichkeit”) and affective relations. In a second step I will point out a specific emotional component in the sphere of civil society, namely, the relationship between passions and interests. Finally, I will connect this idea to a peculiarity based on Hegel’s model of solidarity – as we find in the work of Axel Honneth - related to the concept of the formation of Will (“Willensbildung”), arguing that solidarity depends not only on rational guided actions, but also in how far an institutional framework enables a volitional dimension that is justified, on one hand, by the satisfaction of individual needs and, on the other, by the sentiment of cooperation.


Emotions; Theories of Justice; Hegel; Ethical Life; Social Justice

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ethic@. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil, eISSN 1677-2954

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