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Hegel's Political PhilosophyA Systematic Reading of the Philosophy of Right$
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Thom Brooks

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625741

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625741.001.0001

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(p.29) Chapter 2 Property
Hegel's Political Philosophy

Thom Brooks

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter begins by explaining how the section ‘Subjective Spirit’ is related to the Philosophy of Right. Central to this explanation is the development of the free will from one section to the other. This view helps us make best sense of the primary problem of the Philosophy of Right, namely, how the free will can will freely, and not arbitrarily. The chapter explains why Hegel's views on property ownership in abstract right are primarily illustrative of the initial development of the free will, rather than a complete theory of property, as many have maintained. If this position is correct, then we cannot present a picture of Hegel's theory of property that exclusively considers abstract right, nor can we understand abstract right as a realm of private law. This position is best arrived at after grasping the relation of the abstract right within the Philosophy of Right and Hegel's larger philosophical system.

Keywords:   Hegel, Philosophy of Right, Subjective Spirit, free will, property ownership, abstract right, philosophical system

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