Frihed og moral

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Mette Dalsgaard Fjellerad
4. semester, Anvendt Filosofi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Freedom is a concept that is evaluated to be fundamental for mankind and the way we see the world as well as our own position in it. At the same time, freedom is a concept with many aspects and possible interpretations. Human freedom as a concept is assumed to be linked to the concept of morality. The aim of this paper is to examine how freedom and moral are perceived according to Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel, respectively.

This paper consists of three chapters. Chapter 1 describes the method and structure of the investigation. Chapter 2 is by far the most extensive chapter and the main part of the investigation is to find here. After a few preliminary comments regarding the concept of freedom and German idealism the actual investigation takes its beginning. First, the general conception of freedom and its limitations will be described as well as analyzed and discussed. This will naturally lead on to a philosophical analysis and discussion of the concept of freedom as well as the need for moral guidelines and action. Chapter 3 contributes with further discussion of the theories, their relevance and applicability – i.e. their strengths and weaknesses – as the debate about the public use of burka in the Danish society is used in order to apply the theories to a contemporary case. Finally, the conclusion is to find at the end of chapter 3.

The investigation shows plenty of similarities as well as great differences between the philosophies of Kant and Hegel. Whereas Kant distinguishes between the phenomena and the thing itself, the approach of Hegel implies that there will always be a connection between the two. In the philosophy of Kant, human perception is limited to the phenomena of experience, whereas Hegel claims that nothing lies completely outside the scope of human cognition.

Kant as well as Hegel acknowledge mankind as being reasonable and free. According to Kant, man is free when capable of prescribe his own moral code and being able to act according to it. Moral action is an action performed out of esteem for the moral law. The factor of most importance when it comes to realization of freedom is the development of the individual. Hegel, on the other hand, claims that practical reason – which is fundamental for freedom and moral – is a product of the given culture, as well as a reasonable, and therefore real, culture is the product of reason. Practical reason is developed through interaction with other individuals. Freedom is real when more individuals in cooperation are communicating within rational structures. Moral action is when the individual plays its part in the social context.

The final discussion makes it clear that both theories have their strengths and weaknesses. Kant provides a universal moral law that might seem a bit abstract. Hegel, on the other hand, delivers a moral philosophy that takes history and culture into consideration, but one may wonder whether this fact limits the use of his theory in a modern society that is very different from the society Hegel knew. 
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2018
Antal sider71
ID: 280070494