‘Lectures on Natural Right and Political Science: The First Philosophy of Right’ by Georg W. F. Hegel

This edition published by University of California Press in 1996.
Edited and translated by J. Michael Stewart, Peter C. Hodgson, Introduction by Otto Pöggeler.


These lectures constitute the translation of earliest version of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, namely the lectures on “Natural Right and Political Science” delivered in Heidelberg in 1817-18. This transcription of the lectures remained in obscurity until the manuscript containing law student Peter Wannenmann’s transcription of the lectures was discovered in 1982 and published a year later by the editorial staff of the Hegel Archives at the Ruhr University in Bochum. It presents the philosopher’s social thought with clarity and boldness and differs in some significant respects from Hegel’s own published version of 1821.

The Heidelberg lectures are an indispensable resource for understanding the Philosophy of Right edition of 1821 and is an invaluable supplement to one of the great classics of political philosophy.

J. Michael Stewart, until his death in 1994, was a professional translator and independent Hegel scholar in England.

Peter C. Hodgson is the author and editor of over twenty books, and is Charles G. Finney Professor of Theology Emeritus, at Divinity School, Vanderbilt University. He studied for his AB degree at Princeton University and his BD degree at Yale Divinity School, and completed his MA and PhD at Yale University.

Otto Pöggeler studied at the University of Bonn and the University of Heidelberg, and in 1961 became the editor of Hegel-Studien. His academic positions have included Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Hegel-Archiv at the Ruhr-University Bochum, and visiting professor at Pennsylvania State University, and then at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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