•  374
    An Unrelieved Heart: Hegel, Tragedy, and Schiller's Wallenstein
    New German Critique 113 (38): 1-23. 2011.
    In his early and unpublished essay on Schiller’s trilogy Wallenstein, Hegel criticizes the plays’ denouement as “horrific” and “appalling” and for depicting the triumph of death over life. Why was the young Hegel’s response to Wallenstein so negative? To answer this question, I first offer an analysis of Wallenstein in terms of Hegel’s mature theory of modern tragedy. I argue that Schiller’s portrayal of Wallenstein’s character and death indeed render the play a particularly dark and unredemp…Read more
  •  264
    "And Why Not?" Hegel, Comedy, and the End of Art
    Verifiche: Rivista Trimestrale di Scienze Umane (1-2): 73-104. 2016.
    Towards the very end of his wide-ranging lectures on the philosophy of art, Hegel unexpectedly expresses a preference for comedy over tragedy. More surprisingly, given his systematic claims for his aesthetic theory, he suggests that this preference is arbitrary. This essay suggests that this arbitrariness is itself systematic, given Hegel’s broader claims about unity and necessity in art generally and his analysis of ancient as opposed to modern drama in particular. With the emergence of moder…Read more
  •  154
    Commitments of a Divided Self: Authenticity, Autonomy and Change in Korsgaard's Ethics
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 4 (1): 25-44. 2008.
    Christine Korsgaard attempts to reinterpret Kantian ethics in a way that might alleviate Bernard Williams’ famous worry that a man cannot save his drowning wife without determining impartially that he may do so. She does this by dividing a reflective self that chooses the commitments that make up an agent’s practical identity from a self defined as a jumble of desires. An agent, she then argues, must act on the commitments chosen by the reflective self on pain of disintegration. Using Harry Fran…Read more
  •  92
    Grasping the 'Raw I': Race and Tragedy in Philip Roth's 'The Human Stain'
    Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 2 (2). 2008.
    Philip Roth’s novel 'The Human Stain' recounts an instance of racial passing: its protagonist, Coleman Silk, is African-American but light-skinned enough to pass as white. Coleman’s decision to pass and his subsequent violent death, I argue, confront us with complex ethical questions regarding unjust social roles, loyalty, and moral luck. I also argue, building on Hegel’s definition of tragedy, that 'The Human Stain' is a particularly modern tragedy. The novel highlights conflicting role obli…Read more
  •  57
    Agency and practical identity: A Hegelian response to Korsgaard
    Metaphilosophy 42 (4): 368-375. 2011.
    Abstract: This article argues that Christine Korsgaard's stimulating claim that practical identity is at the foundation of agency is weakened by her reliance on a Kantian conception of freedom. The commitments that make up our practical identity are, the article suggests, better described through a system like Hegel's that attends to the nature of and connection among different kinds of commitments. Beginning with such an analysis allows us better to describe human agency; it also enables us to …Read more
  •  51
    In Hegel on Political Identity, Lydia Moland provocatively draws on Hegel's political philosophy to engage sometimes contentious contemporary issues such as patriotism, national identity, and cosmopolitanism. Moland argues that patriotism for Hegel indicates an attitude toward the state, whereas national identity is a response to culture. The two combine, Hegel claims, to enable citizens to develop concrete freedom. Moland argues that Hegel's account of political identity extends to his notoriou…Read more
  •  48
    Hegel’s “Anthropology” considers components of an agent’s practical identity that are not chosen but rather inherited: components such as the agent’s temperament, talents, and ethnic background. Through a discussion of habit and happiness, Hegel explores how these inherited traits can become part of the agent’s self-determination. I argue that this process provides a model for explaining how we are obligated within roles we do not choose—roles for instance within the family or as citizens of a s…Read more
  •  37
    The importance of being committed: Thoughts on korsgaard’s sources of normativity
    Southwest Philosophy Review 19 (1): 215-220. 2003.
    A subject’s ethical agency is closely tied up with her particular commitments: her ethnic group, her family, her beliefs, her occupation. The question of how these specific commitments relate to the subject’s actions is therefore pivotal to describing moral agency. Christine Korsgaard has proposed a theory whereby a subject’s commitments are an essential part of her moral agency, namely her practical identity. According to this theory, having commitments is normative, a necessary component of…Read more
  •  37
    Fight, Flight or Respect? First Encounters of the Other in Kant and Hegel
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 19 (4): 381-400. 2002.
    Immanuel Kant's description of humans' first encounter with each other depicts a peaceful recognition of mutual worth. G.W.F. Hegel's by contrast depicts a struggle to the death. I argue in this paper that Hegel's description of conflict results in an ethical theory that better preserves the distinctness of the other. I consider Christine Korsgaard's description of first encounters as a third alternative but conclude that Hegel's approach better accounts for the specific commitments we make--…Read more
  •  28
    History and patriotism in Hegel's rechtsphilosophie
    History of Political Thought 28 (3): 496-591. 2007.
    In his description of patriotism in the Philosophy of Right, Hegel essentially neglects contemporary patriotism's defining characteristic, namely loyalty to or pride in one's country. I argue that the historical context of patriotism explains this neglect. German patriotism during Hegel's lifetime encompassed disparate political trends, including an emphasis on engagement in local community, attention to political ideals, and burgeoning nationalism. Hegel's comments on patriotism incorporate the…Read more
  •  14
    Kant’s Politics in Context. By Reidar Maliks
    International Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1): 113-115. 2016.
  •  5
    Art and Truth after Plato (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 69 (2): 407-409. 2015.
  •  4
    Hegel's Philosophy of Art
    In Dean Moyar (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Hegel, Oxford University Press. pp. 559-580. 2017.
    Despite Hegel’s effusive praise for art as one of the ways humans express truth, art by his description is both essentially limited and at perpetual risk of ending. This hybrid assessment is apparent first in Hegel’s account of art’s development, which shows art culminating in classical sculpture’s perfect unity but then, unable to depict Christianity’s interiority, evolving into religion, surrendering to division, or dissipating into prose. It is also evident in his ranking of artistic genres f…Read more
  •  2
    This book offers an analysis of humor, comedy, and laughter as philosophical topics in the 19th Century. It traces the introduction of humor as a new aesthetic category inspired by Laurence Sterne’s "Tristram Shandy" and shows Sterne’s deep influence on German aesthetic theorists of this period. Through differentiating humor from comedy, the book suggests important distinctions within the aesthetic philosophies of G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Solger, and Jean Paul Richter. The book links Kant’s underdevel…Read more
  • Moral integrity and regret in nursing
    In Sioban Nelson & Suzanne Gordon (eds.), The Complexities of Care: Nursing Reconsidered, Cornell University Press. 2006.
    Nurses all too often experience situations that threaten their identification with the caring aspect of their profession. This article examines systematic reasons for the loss of integrity they describe as their lived work experience conflicts with their self-conception. I examine Ruth Barcan Marcus' description of moral dilemmas and the role of regret, arguing that the real experience of regret should not be associated with a lack of integrity. I conclude that a more complex understanding of…Read more
  • The early history of German patriotism is complex and illuminates many of patriotism’s potential virtues as well as its dangers. Throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, patriotism’s overarching connotation was devotion to the greater good, but whether that greater was local, national, or global varied dramatically. Early uses of patriotism were devoid of national or military connotations and instead denoted local engagement in public projects and willingness to aid to thos…Read more
  • According to Thomas Pogge’s theory of human rights, those of us in the developed world have a negative duty to the global poor. In other words, our responsibility to them is not merely to help them but to stop harming them by hoarding natural resources and imposing unfair institutional structures. I argue that Hegel would agree that we have a responsibility to the global poor and that he would also agree with some of Pogge’s institutional diagnosis. Hegel thought that civil society, as a new in…Read more
  • Philosophers in the nineteenth century took laughter and its related concepts very seriously. Most philosophers before this period treated laughter as tangential to philosophy’s core concerns, but beginning with Kant’s immediate successors, the family of concepts relating to the laughable—including comedy, wit, irony, and ridicule—took on new significance. They went from describing something derivative about humans to telling us what we, in the most basic sense, are. Well-known philosophers such…Read more
  • Hegel’s philosophical system turns to a species of the laughable at three critical junctures of his dialectic: comedy appears both at the conclusion of classical art and of Hegel’s discussion of poetry, and romantic art ends with humor. But we misunderstand these transitional moments unless we recognize that Hegel did not use comedy and humor synonymously. Comedy refers to a dramatic genre with a 2000-year-old history; humor was a relatively recent aesthetic phenomenon that had become central to…Read more