‘Elements of the Philosophy of Right’ by Georg W. F. Hegel

First published as Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts in 1820, this English translation published by Cambridge University Press in 1991. Download link updated on 25. June 2021.

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This book is a translation of a classic work of modern social and political thought, Hegel’s Elements of the Philosophy of Right. As his last major publication, it was an attempt to systematize ethical theory, natural right, philosophy of law, political theory and the sociology of the modern state into the framework of philosophy of history.

Hegel’s work has been interpreted in radically different ways, influencing many political movements from far right to far left, and is widely perceived as central to the communication tradition in modern ethical, social and political thought.

This edition includes extensive editorial material informing the reader of the historical background of Hegel’s manuscript, and explaining his allusions to Roman law and other sources, making use of lecture materials which have only relatively recently become available.

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