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Hegel and Honneth’s Theoretical Deficit: Education, Social Freedom and the Institutions of Modern Life

  • Jenn Dum (a1) and Robert Guay (a2)


The accounts of social freedom offered by G. W. F. Hegel and Axel Honneth identify the normative demands on social institutions and explain how individual freedom is realized through rational participation in such institutions. While both offer normative reconstructions of the market economy, public sphere and family, they both derive the norms of educational institutions from education’s role in preparing people for participation in other institutions. We argue that this represents a significant defect in their accounts of social freedom because they both fail to account for the distinctive aims and norms of education. Only educational institutions bring individuals into a both shared and autonomous standpoint necessary for participation in social life. We thus argue both that Hegel’s and Honneth’s accounts are empirically inadequate and that they neglect the normative demands on schools to contribute to individual moral and intellectual development.



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Hegel and Honneth’s Theoretical Deficit: Education, Social Freedom and the Institutions of Modern Life

  • Jenn Dum (a1) and Robert Guay (a2)


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