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Virtual special issue: Hegel and Kant

Given the central importance of Kant for Hegel’s philosophy, it is not surprising that over the years many of the articles published in the Hegel Bulletin, and in the Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain as the journal was previously called, have concerned Hegel’s relationship to Kant. This retrospective virtual issue brings together a range of these articles which offer diverse accounts of the Hegel-Kant relationship.

Hegel’s relation to Kant has long been and remains heavily debated. Does Hegel essentially accept and take forward Kant’s critical philosophy, or does Hegel modify and transform it or reject it altogether? Does Hegel return to something like pre-Kantian metaphysics or endorse Kant’s criticisms of traditional metaphysics – or, again, does Hegel defend a new and post-Kantian version of metaphysics? And similar questions arise regarding ethics: how far does Hegel take forward Kant’s ethics and how far does he reject it? How one answers these questions depends on one’s interpretation of Kant as well on one’s interpretation of Hegel. As such, many of the articles collected here either concern Kant in addition to Hegel or, in some cases, focus primarily on Kant, although in ways that still bear on Hegel more-or-less directly.

We have selected articles that focus on two sets of issues: metaphysics and ethics. In metaphysics, the articles address above all the nature of transcendental idealism and its relation to Hegel’s idealism. Some authors take a more historical approach, while others draw on contemporary debates and terminology to revisit Kant’s and Hegel’s claims in a new light. In ethics, the articles address the nature of Kant’s ethics as well as Hegel’s criticisms of it, including in particular his well-known accusation that Kant’s categorical imperative is an ‘empty formalism’.

Together, these articles advance our understanding of both Kant and Hegel, and testify to the vitality of debate about how to interpret their philosophies and the relations between them.