The concept of “Sittlichkeit” in Georg Hegel’s philosophy




habituality, habits/commonness, habits/convention, habitual substantiality, formation/education, practical philosophy, sound mind, common sense, mindset


The article is devoted to clarifying the central significance of the concept of ha-bituality – “Sittlichkeit” – in the practical philosophy of Georg Hegel. Unlike Kant, Hegel does not place morality (in its imperative version of the transcendentally proper) at the center of his practical philosophy, but law (as the facticity of nor-mative immanent in society). Habituality appears in early Hegel’s philosophy as the basis of sociality: it defines social virtues and social institutions. The habitual-ity appears here as a social totality and self-sufficiency of self-attitude: thus, Hegel affirms habits/convention not only as a substantive morality, but also as a social substance in general. Subsequently, in the Jena “real philosophy” (1805/06), ha-bituality turns out to be the sphere of life of the real spirit and acquires distinctly dynamic features. Hegel analyzes the “absolutely ideal totality of the people”, re-vealing the regularities of its formation from “natural habituality” through forma-tion/ education (Bildung) and recognition to the forms of developed civil society, among which the most important are the family, business relations, law and, fi-nally, the State. Thus, Hegel’s realm of practical philosophy is the sphere of action of the objective spirit, where not subject-object, or even subject-subject relations dominate, but the attitude of individuals to the substance of their life process, where habituality becomes the most important factor, where it is substantial by definition. Thus, in the usual material of experience, the principles of the mind are directly present, which here operates on the basis of “sound mind” and common sense. Next, Hegel moves on to the development of the philosophy of the Absolute Spirit, in which conventionality is an important and mandatory step in its inces-sant formation. Hegel also associates commonality with the action of “God’s law”. There are two poles of extremely objective manifestation of the spirit in customary relations: one translates into the general realm of the spirit the paradigm of kinship, its archaic rudiments, their sanctity, covering the inviolability of the indi­viduals, the second personifies the undeniable authority of the whole, embodied in the state. Social institutions function properly under the condition of healthy mindset of those who rule and use these institutions.

Author Biography

Anatoly Loy, Kantian Society of Ukraine

Doctor of Science in Philosophy, Professor;head (1998-2008)


Arendt, H., & Heidegger, M. (2002). Briefe 1925 bis1975. Frankfurt am Main, Vittorio Klo¬stermann.

Fichte, J. G. (1845/1846). Grundlage der gesammten Wissenschaftslehre. Fichte, J.G. Sämt¬liche Werke: hrsg. von I. H. Fichte. Bd. 1-8. Band 1, Berlin: Veit & Comp.

Hegel, G. W. F. (1970a). Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts, oder Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaft im Grundrisse. Hegel-Werke in 20.Baenden. Bd.7. Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.

Hegel, G. W. F. (1967). Jenenser Realphilosophie II. Hegel Sämtliche Werke, Bd. XX. Hamburg.

Hegel, G. W. F. (1907). Phänomenologie des Geistes. Leipzig, Verlag Durr’schen Buch¬handlung.

Hegel, G. W. F. (1970b). Philosophie des Geistes. Hegel-Werke in 20. Bänden. Bd. 10. Frank¬furt am Main, Suhrkamp.

Hegel, G. W. F. (1969a). System der Sittlichkeit. Нegel-Werke in 20. Bänden. Bd.2. Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 17-35.

Hegel, G. W. F. (1969b). Über wissenschaftliche Behandlungsarten des Naturrechts, seine Stellein der praktischen Philosophie und sein Verhaeltnis zu den politischen Rechts-wissenschaften. Hegel-Werke in 20. Bänden. Bd. 2. Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.

Henrich, D. (1960). Der Begriff der sittlichen Einsicht und Kants Lehre vom Faktum der Vernuft. Die Gegenwart der Griechen im neueren Denken. Festschrift für Hans-Georg Ga-damer zum 60. Geburtstag. Tübingen, J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebec), 77-115.

Honneth, А. (2011). Das Recht der Freiheit. Grundriss einer demokratischen Sittlichkeit. Berlin, Suhrkamp Verlag.

Honneth, A. (2001). Leiden an Unbestimmtheit. Eine Reaktualisierung der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie. Stuttgart, Philipp Reclam.

Kant, І. (1993). Die Metaphysik der Sitten. Kant, І. Werkausgabe in 12. Bänden. Bd. VIІI. Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp Verlag.

Maier, H. (1980). Die ältere deutsche Staats- und Verwaltungslehre. München, C.H.Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung.

Schelling, F. W. J. von. (1859). Philosophie der Kunst (Vorlesung) (1802/1803). Schellings sämmtliche Werke, Abt. 1, Bd. 5, 1802-1803. Stuttgart und Augsburg: J. G. Cotta.

Schelling, F. W. J. von. (1800). System des transzendentalen Idealismus. Universität Lausan-ne: J. G. Cotta.

Siep, L. (2000). Der Weg der «Phänomenologie des Geistes». Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.


Abstract views: 173



How to Cite

Loy, A. (2023). The concept of “Sittlichkeit” in Georg Hegel’s philosophy. Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 28(2), 48–88.






Download data is not yet available.