In this second seminar in the DIAMaT series, Nathaniel Boyd contextualised the political thought of G.W.F. Hegel, his theory of institutions and its relation to the modern tradition, through a comparison between French- and German-speaking contexts. As a respondent, Boyd invited Louis Carré, who teaches in the Philosophy Department at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
This seminar considered how the German tradition of political theory moulded Hegel’s politics as well as the critical reception of the ideas that entered Germany by way of a modernising and revolutionising France. Of specific interest was the intersection of three historical phenomena: how the conflicts over religion determined the development of the modern state and the structure of society in Europe; how the religious situation in late 18th-century France – marked by an increasing religious uniformity – contrasted with German developments; and how Hegel saw the freedom of the inward sphere of conscience and morality develop into the modern European system of states.