Hegel’s philosophy of Right—his moral and political philosophy—was conceived and elaborated as an integral part of a larger speculative system. Despite this, both critics and defenders often have examined his political ideas in isolation, apart from their philosophical context. In this book, Peter J. Steinberger treats Hegel’s political philosophy explicitly in items of the general methodological principles Hegel sets forth in the ‘Logic’, offering the first systematic effort to bridge the gap between these two areas of Hegelian thought.
Steinberger focuses on four issues that are particularly revealing of Hegel’s political philosophy in general — crime and punishment, the ‘moral’ standpoint, marriage, and the structure of the rational state.
Proceeding in the light of Hegelian logic, Steinberger shows that Hegel’s reconciliation of individual and social interests within the state is both internally consistent and philosophically illuminating. He argues that Hegel’s endorsement of such liberal practices and principles as constitutional monarchy, equal opportunity, and religious freedom is in fact based on philosophical positions far different from those of the conventional theorists of modern politics.
According to Steinberger, much of the debate regarding Hegel’s supposed authoritarianism ignores the nature of his philosophical protocol and thus fails to see that his political prescriptions are rooted in a bold and quite radical effort to deduce the concept of the modern state—an effort that far transcends, and is utterly indifferent to, normal partisan disagreements.
Table of Contents
I – CONTEXTS: POLITICS AND LOGIC
1) Accommodationism and Perfectionism
2) Varieties of Conceptual Analysis
II – THE CONCEPT OF RIGHT
3) Crime, Punishment, and Abstract Right
4) A Note of the Moral Standpoint
6) The Constitution of the Rational State
7) Epilogue: Politics and the Ethical Community
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