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Hegelian Ethics

            WH Walsh wrote the book Hegelian Ethics in 1969 in an attempt to make clear the philosophy and writings of a philosopher that was neglected by other philosophers for more than a generation. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, was unpopular mostly for his difficult writing style, but also because of the widespread notion that Hegel is the inspiration for the worst forms of totalitarianism. Walsh wrote this book as an attempt to reintroduce Hegel in a way that allows us to gain a better grasp of his difficult writing style. Walshs book also does a lot in the way of clearing up a lot of the misunderstanding behind Hegels view of morality being a social phenomenon rather than the personal one that Kant establishes it as. He also spends a good amount of time discussing the key criticisms that Hegel has of Kant and Walshs views of these critiques. I will be focusing on three of them. .
             Walsh begins his book by explaining that very few students in philosophy in the English-speaking world have an accurate knowledge of Hegels ethical theories. In fact, Hegels ethical thoughts were continuously caught up in the views of Kant. Walsh says that while Hegel spends a lot of time going back to what Kant got right and wrong, it would be a mistake to call Hegel a Kantian (Walsh 1969, 6) This is due to the fact that Hegel is quite noticeably against Kants way of drawing limits on reason. Having said that, Hegel does have a very Kantian like way of going about ethics. In order to introduce Hegels ethics to us, Walsh compares the doctrines of Kant to Hegels. .
             Walsh begins his comparison by pointing out what the two philosophers biggest disagreement is; what the task of the moral philosopher is. In his Groundwork Kant stated that he saw his sole aim as a philosopher was to seek out an establish the sepreme principle of morality. Kant went on to say that conformity of actions to universal law as such should alone serve the will as its principle.

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