By Steven B. Smith
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Additional info for Hegel's Critique of Liberalism: Rights in Context
24 The posture that Descartes chooses to adopt for himself is clearly that of the embattl ed p hilosophe fighting against the entrenched forces of darkness and superstition. The generosite of which he is the bearer is not necessarily that of political or moral j ustice but of a promised kingdom of heaven on earth , what joseph Cropsey has called a "Mechanical jerusalem ," made pos sible by the power of both mathematical physics and the science of medi20. 21. Descartes, Oeuvres 1 : 634. rd, E=i sur Ia morale de Descartes (Paris: Boivin, 1936) , pp.
Letter to Schelling, 16 April 1 795, Briefe 1 : 24. 67. Friedrich W . ]. Schelling, The Unconditioned in Human Knowledge: Four Early Essays (1 794 - 1 796), trans. Fritz Marti (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1980), pp. 6 7- 68 . , The Origins of the Hegelian Project 39 Schelling means by freedom here is not yet civil or political freedom but the freedom of the ego to abstract itself from all objects met with in experience . " While Hegel refrained from criticizing his friend in print, there is al ready discernible a difference in their understandings of freedom , which would only be exacerbated later.
Typically the founders of the Enlightenment appealed to some prepolitical state of nature as the source of man's rights and obligations. Only by appealing to a puta tive condition antedating civil society could they discover some universal fact of nature which , if obeyed , could instruct us about our duties. While different thinkers disagreed about the precise content of the natural law, they were in general accord that underlying the superficial diversity in manners, customs, and habits there was a single and simple moral order available to everyone nor blinded by prej udice or parti pris.
Hegel's Critique of Liberalism: Rights in Context by Steven B. Smith