Hegel’s Moral Psychology
I propose to conclude this brief survey of Hegel’s ethical opinions by examining some aspects of his moral psychology. This is a difficult subject, if only because Hegel is much less explicit about it than he might have been. In much of the Philosophy of Right he uses Kantian language, and in particular seems to retain the concept of duty in the privileged position Kant assigned to it. But we have seen above (especially in Sections V and VI) that he thought there were radical defects in Kant’s picture of the moral situation. The Kantian antithesis of reason and inclination was much too sharp; it was not true to say that we could act rationally only if we could subdue our animal impulses, nor that any activity which was prompted by inclination must be mechanically determined. An altogether different account of the position must be given.
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