Hegel and Capitalism

Edited by Andrew Buchwalter

Subjects: Hegel, Philosophy, German Idealism, Political Economy
Paperback : 9781438458762, 232 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438458755, 232 pages, September 2015

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Introduction: Hegel and Capitalism
Andrew Buchwalter
1. Hegel Discovers Capitalism: Critique of Individualism, Social Labor, and Reification during the Jena Period (1801–1807)
Michalis Skomvoulis
2. Beyond Recognition in Capitalism: From Violence and Caprice to Recognition and Solidarity
Kohei Saito
3. Anonymity, Responsibility, and the Many Faces of Capitalism: Hegel and the Crisis of the Modern Self
Ardis B. Collins
4. The Purest Inequality: Hegel’s Critique of the Labor Contract and Capitalism
Nicholas Mowad
5. Hegel’s Notion of Abstract Labor in the Elements of the Philosophy of Right
Giorgio Cesarale
6. Hegel’s Torment: Poverty and the Rationality of the Modern State
C. J. Pereira Di Salvo
7. Capitalism as Deficient Modernity: Hegel against the Modern Economy
Michael J. Thompson
8. Economy and Ethical Community
Richard Dien Winfield
9. Two Ways of “Taming” the Market: Why Hegel Needs the Police and the Corporations
Lisa Herzog
10. Hegel’s Logical Critique of Capitalism: The Paradox of Dependence and the Model of Reciprocal Mediation
Nathan Ross

11. Hegel and Capitalism: Marxian Perspectives
Tony Smith
12. Hegel’s Ethic of Beruf and the Spirit of Capitalism
Louis Carré

Examines Hegel’s unique understanding and assessment of capitalism as an economic, social, and cultural phenomenon.


Bringing together scholars from varying perspectives, this book examines the value of Hegel's thought for understanding and assessing capitalism, both as encountered by Hegel himself and in forms it takes today. The contributors consider Hegel's complex and multifaceted appraisal of modern market societies, which he understands variously as a condition for a proper account of individual freedom, the framework for a productive account of social interdependency, and the breeding ground for a host of social pathologies concerning individual consumption, labor conditions, and disparities in wealth between the rich and poor. Hegel's ideas about the topic are situated in the context of work by other important thinkers, including Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, J. G. Fichte, Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Theodor Adorno, along with contemporary social and economic theorists. Demonstrating the value of Hegel's philosophy for addressing issues pertaining to capitalism today, the essays bring insight to contemporary concerns such as resurgent neoliberalism, economic globalization, the subordination of ever more spheres of human life to the logic of economic imperatives, and the adequacy of models of utility maximization for comprehending contemporary market societies.

Andrew Buchwalter is Presidential Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Florida. He is the author of Dialectics, Politics, and the Contemporary Value of Hegel's Practical Philosophy and the editor of Hegel and Global Justice.