Defending Hegel's account from the charge of misogyny.
Scholars generally think that Hegel's philosophy is conservative and reactionary with regard to women's rights and as a result dismiss his philosophical account of the relationship between family and the political community as irrelevant. Sara MacDonald argues that in fact the logic of Hegel's thought necessitates the recognition of equal political and civil rights.
Combining a detailed study of Hegel's political philosophy with close readings of two important literary works that help clarify his thought, MacDonald traces the historical development of an enduring link between personal lives and stable political communities. While Sophocles' Antigone highlights the tension in states that deny the interests of their citizens, MacDonald shows that Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream offers an alternative image, one that sees freedom for all as essential to an ethical family and state and is consistent with Hegel's thought in both the Phenomenology of Spirit and The Philosophy of Right.
In an era of political cynicism and apathy, Finding Freedom seeks to strengthen modern political life, arguing that Hegel’s understanding of the true nature of human freedom - one that promotes equality - can be grounds for reinvigorating both the family and the political community.