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

Published by Oxford University Press in 2008. Houlgate’s updated translation of Knox’s 1965 translation.

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What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational. Hegel’s Outlines of the Philosophy of Right is one of the greatest works of moral, social, and political philosophy. It contains significant ideas on justice, moral responsibility, family life, economic activity, and the political structure of the state–all matters of profound interest to us today. Hegel shows that genuine human freedom does not consist in doing whatever we please, but involves living with others in accordance with publicly recognized rights and laws. Hegel demonstrates that institutions such as the family and the state provide the context in which individuals can flourish and enjoy full freedom. He also demonstrates that misunderstanding the true nature of freedom can lead to crime, evil, and poverty. His penetrating analysis of the causes of poverty in modern civil society was to be a great influence on Karl Marx. Hegel’s study remains one of the most subtle and perceptive accounts of freedom that we possess, and this newly revised translation makes it more accessible than ever. This edition incorporates Hegel’s lecture notes within the text and provides a glossary of key terms, up-to-date bibliography, and invaluable notes.

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