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Hegel: reproduction as production

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Theoria and Praxis
Issue number2
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)1-13
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In Hegel’s Philosophy of Right we can find an understanding of production that expresses itself in Hegel’s understanding of the relation of the individual to the family, and of his or her overcoming of self-interest through the production of the “capital resources” of children. What emerges in the Philosophy of Right is an account of production grounded in reproduction. Although there has been some contemporary discussion of this account, it has mainly touched on the question of production in modern political and economic life. The paper shows that Hegel’s account is entirely dependent on his dialectical view of life, presented in his Science of Logic. The paper seeks to show (1) how Hegel’s understanding of the historical forms which the dialectical process of life as production is itself a critique of contemporary accounts of political economy (exemplified by Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments); and, (2) that his account of the material forms of political economy is misunderstood by his sharpest critics, especially the one who most appears to advance an understanding of production, Karl Marx. The paper concludes by asking about what light Hegel’s account, both in the Philosophy of Right and the Science of Logic, throws on his account of the relationship of production to the state, suggesting that the sheer materialistic force of Hegel’s argument needs to be better understood.