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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A world-soul on horseback, 18 July 2011
This review is from: Outlines of the Philosophy of Right (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
The OUP edition is a classic mid-twentieth century translation by TM Knox. There is also a nineteenth century translation and a more recent Cambridge edition. Knox's translation is serviceable and has the additions of Hegel's students from posthumous German editions. This new edition has a new introduction by Hegel scholar Stephen Houlgate who emphasises the theme of socially located freedom that typifies much recent anglophone Hegel commentary, at the risk of some banality in its overall reading.

The content of the Philosophy of Right is 'objective mind', by which Hegel means contract, family, legal institutions, the state and its external relations. He writes from the standpoint of seeing a historical rationale in positive social arrangements. This is expressed in the famous 'what is real is rational' remark in the introduction. In the background, he tends to see aspects of divine justice at work in apparently secular human affairs. Hegel is criticised for not contesting social arrangements as a result of these views, though this is not entirely fair.

The book is only part of a larger system, though it can be read alone. It is a good introduction to his thinking for those with some background in social or legal studies. To my mind though, the best introduction to those coming to Hegel for the first time is the introductory chapters of Hegel's Encyclopaedia Logic, reproduced in Weiss's 'Hegel: the Essential Writings'. Hegel remains one of the world's great philosophers, but expect to have to struggle with both his language and the concentrated power of his thought.
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Outlines of the Philosophy of Right (Oxford World's Classics)
Outlines of the Philosophy of Right (Oxford World's Classics) by G. W. F. Hegel (Paperback - 10 July 2008)
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