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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.96) Chapter 7 Monarchy
Hegel's Political Philosophy

Thom Brooks

Edinburgh University Press

Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of G. W. F. Hegel's Philosophy of Right for contemporary interpreters is its discussion of the constitutional monarch. This chapter first argues that Hegel's justification of the constitutional monarch is established with the use of his logic, and then considers the question of whether or not it matters who serves as the monarch. It examines the domestic and foreign powers of the monarch, and argues against the virtual consensus of recent interpreters that Hegel's monarch is far more powerful than has been previously understood. In part, Hegel's monarch is perhaps even more powerful than Hegel himself may have realised, and certain inconsistencies with some of his claims are demonstrated. The present interpretation is a distinctive break from the virtual consensus on Hegel's monarch, without endorsing the view that Hegel was a totalitarian.

Keywords:   Hegel, constitutional monarch, Philosophy of Right

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