The Justificatory Role of Habit in Hegel's Theory of Ethical Life
Author(s)Glazer, Walter Philip
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AbstractRecent scholarship on Hegel has employed the Wittgensteinian concept of a "form of life" in order to explain how sociality shapes and determines the reflective practices of self-conscious individuals. However, few of these scholars have considered how the non-reflective aspects of inhabiting a form of life- especially the abilities to form habits and to have feelings- contribute to the reflective aspects. In this thesis I argue that this oversight leads to serious exegetical and philosophical problems for making sense of Hegel's theory of ethical life. Not only does Hegel regard habit and feeling as playing a necessary role in the justification of our reflective practices, but he is right to do so, since, were he not to consider these factors, he could not account for how any of our moral claims could be justified.