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Hegel's Social EthicsReligion, Conflict, and Rituals of Reconciliation$
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Molly Farneth

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171906

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171906.001.0001

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Tragedy and the Social Construction of Norms

Tragedy and the Social Construction of Norms

Chapter:
(p.13) Chapter Two Tragedy and the Social Construction of Norms
Source:
Hegel's Social Ethics
Author(s):

Molly Farneth

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691171906.003.0002

This chapter argues that, for Hegel, the authority of a community's norms is rooted in its social practices. It considers the lessons of Hegel's discussion of Sophocles' Antigone, in which he shows that a community that treats its norms as natural, fixed, and immediately given will be afflicted by tragedy. The central conflict of the Antigone is simultaneously a conflict between Creon and Antigone, between the roles and obligations of men and of women, and, more broadly, between human law and divine law. It is, in Hegel's interpretation, a conflict between two sets of one-sided stances, each of which stubbornly asserts itself as fixed and given.

Keywords:   G. W. F. Hegel, community norms, social practices, Antigone, women, men, human law, divine law

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