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Political ThinkersFrom Socrates to the Present

Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present (3rd edn)

David Boucher and Paul Kelly
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date: 27 February 2024

p. 46725. Hegellocked

p. 46725. Hegellocked

  • Alan Patten


This chapter examines the political ideas of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. In his Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1821), Hegel articulates his views about reason, actuality, and philosophy. For Hegel, the task of philosophy is to identify and display the reason contained in the actual institutions and practices of the social world. Hegel believes that philosophy will be able to find reason in the institutions of the social world he inhabits. After providing a short biography of Hegel, this chapter considers some of the central themes and theses of the Philosophy of Right. It also explores several basic elements in Hegel's thought, including his concept of freedom, his ideas of spirit and dialectic, and his account of the institutions of property and contract. It concludes by reflecting on Hegel's significance as a political thinker.

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