Necessity and Freedom

  • Nathan Rotenstreich


Progress toward perfection in Hegel is progress within the closed circuit of the evolvement from totality to totality — this is in a way the outcome of our previous analysis. The given totality with which we start can be viewed as accidental, while the achieved totality has to be viewed as necessary. Yet this necessity is not one of circumstances which we have to take for granted. It is a cognitively transparent necessity which has ceased to be an imposition and has become a self-regulated actuality. On the level of the articulated totality the distinction between necessity and freedom is sublated, just as the distinction between Reason and Idea is sublated on the level of Spirit. Mere necessity exists only before the achievement of adequacy with the concept. On the level of Spirit mere necessity is replaced by the synthesis of necessity and freedom.


Social Contract Categorical Imperative Absolute Necessity Practical Attitude Dialectical View 
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1974

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  • Nathan Rotenstreich

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