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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.62) Chapter 5 Family
Hegel's Political Philosophy

Thom Brooks

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter adopts the following approach to interpreting Hegel's views: When we judge the arguments of the Philosophy of Right we are not speaking of Hegel, the person, as a judge we should avoid on an Equal Rights Tribunal. We are in the business of attending carefully to his arguments. It shares the view with most, if not all, contemporary philosophers that the ideal family is not a heterosexual, monogamous, married couple with children, where the wife's roles are limited to homemaker and mother; there is no such thing as ‘an ideal family’. The chapter attempts to merely set straight Hegel's arguments in favour of the family and the particular form this family takes, arguing that the substance of Hegel's arguments only make sense if we take seriously the rationalist dialectical structure which informs the whole of the Philosophy of Right. The view of the family we find may be familiar, but the author's account is able to best make sense of Hegel's arguments, and provides a more robust understanding of Hegel's views on the family that improves upon and corrects previous accounts.

Keywords:   Hegel, Philosophy of Right, ideal family, dialectical structure

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