G. W. F. Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche are often considered the philosophical antipodes of the nineteenth century. In Infinite Autonomy, Jeffrey Church draws on the thinking of both Hegel and Nietzsche to assess the modern Western defense of individuality-to consider whether we were right to reject the ancient model of community above the individual. The theoretical and practical implications of this project are important, because the proper defense of the individual allows for the survival of modern liberal institutions in the face of non-Western critics who value communal goals at the expense of individual rights. By drawing from Hegelian and Nietzschean ideas of autonomy, Church finds a third way for the individual-what he calls the "historical individual," which goes beyond the disagreements of the ancients and the moderns while nonetheless incorporating their distinctive contributions.
Jeffrey Church is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston.
Contents Preface List of Abbreviations Introduction 1 Three Concepts of Individuality 1.1 The Natural Individual 1.2 The Formal Individual 1.3 Rousseau and the Historical Individual 2 Hegel's Defense of Individuality 2.1 The Distinctively Human Subject and the Good Life 2.2 The Autonomy of the Laboring Subject 2.3 The "Infinite Worth" of Individual Character 3 Hegel on the Ethical Individual 3.1 The Origin of Community 3.2 The Nature of Community 3.3 Politics as the Highest Ethical Community 4 Hegel on the Modern Political Individual 4.1 The Ancient Versus the Modern State 4.2 Expansion of Desire in Modern Commercial Society 4.3 Estates and Corporations as Ethical-Political Communities 5 Nietzsche's Defense of Individuality 5.1 The Problem of Individuation in Nietzsche 5.2 The Will to Power and the Development of the Distinctively Human 5.3 Individuality as a Narrative Unity 6 Nietzsche on the Redemptive Individual 6.1 The Tension in the Bow and Human Community 6.2 Silenus' Truth 6.3 The Aesthetic Justification of Existence 6.4 The Individual's Redemption 6.5 Eros and Eris of Community 7 Nietzsche on the Antipolitical Individual 7.1 Historical Development of State and Culture in Modernity 7.2 On the Nature and Function of the Modern State 7.3 The Possibilities of Modern Culture Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index