This study is concerned with the conception of the soul and its relation to the world in Hegel’s Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. The mediator between soul and world is the phenomenon of custom, which serves to illustrate Hegel’s divergence from “subjective idealism”. While custom at the subjective and objective levels is considered, not only by Kant and Fichte but also by enlightenment philosophers in general, as a reduction of spontaneity, Hegel shows that custom is in fact of fundamental importance for the human self and its freedom. Freedom is not, according to this view, pure spontaneity, but is referred to the given, or in Hegel’s words, to substantiality. It is precisely custom which constitutes a certain substantiality in the midst of subjectivity, providing support to the subject so that it may be present to the world and not reduced by it to the sphere of unreal inwardness.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.