¹. Y. Ì.

P/i/·s·p/y·f Ri./t
Profssor of Philosophy, Corell Universit
Profssor of Mode Languages,
Universit of Cambridge
Pellow of Sidne Sussex College
Bogazici Univarsity Library
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no reproducton of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.
First published 1991
Eighth printng 2003
Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge
British Library Cataloglillg ill Plblicatioll data
Hegel, Georg \VIlhelm Friedrich 1770-1831
Elements of the philosophy of right -(Cambridge texts in
the history of politcal thought).
1. State. Theories
|. Title U. Wood, Allen W Ü. Nisbet, H. B. (Hugh
Barr) :gao W. [Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts.
Library oj COlgress Cataloglillg ill Pllblicatioll data
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 1770-1831
[Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts. English]
Elements of the philosophy of right/G.WE Hegel; edited by Allen W Wood;
tanslated by H. B. Nisbet.
p. C. - (Cambridge texts in the history of politicl thought)
Translaton of: Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts.
|bUî 0 521 34438 7 (hardback) -|bUî 0 521 34888 9 (paperback)
1. Law-Philosophy. 2. Natural law. 3. State, The.
4· Politcal science. 5. Ethics.
|. Wood, Allen W U. Nisbet, Hugh Barr. Ü. Title. W. Series.
K230·H43G7813 1991
340'.I -c20 90- 21617 L
|bUî 0 521 34438 7 hardback
|bUî 0 521 34888 9 paperback



\ ~~`
Eéiter's iotreéoctieo
Kjte ellr·cietieos
Elements of the Philosophy of Right
Ioé·x e;oeo·s
D820 v
x ä
Editor's intoducton
Hegel was bor on 27 August 1770 in Stuttgart, in the south German
state of Wiirttemberg, son of a middle-class civil servant. His pro­
fessional career, pursued entrely outside his home state, did not
begin untl he was over t, and was interrupted between 1806 and
1816. His eventual rise to prominence was meteoric: Hegel was
offered a professorship at the Universit of Heidelberg in 1816,
followed by an appointent two years later to the prestgious chair in
philosophy at the Universit of Berlin which had had Fichte as its only
previous occupant. Hegel occupied this positon untl his death from
cholera on 14 November 1831. The influence of his philosophy
began to decline even before his death, but its impact on Prussian
academic life was perpetuated through the actvity of some of his
students, especially Johannes Schulze, who was Privy Councillor in
charge of educaton from 1823 untl the 1840sJ
Hegel's frst lectures on right, ethics and the state were delivered in
1817, during his frst autumn at Heidelberg. As his text he used the
paragraphs on 'objectve spirit' fom his newly published Eocc/e¡e·éie
e; t/· P/ilese¡/icel Sa·oc·s (1816). (EH §§ 400-452).2 His second
series of lectures came a year later in Berlin. He soon formed the
intenton of expanding his teatent of this part of the system in a
longer text, which probably exsted in draf well before his third series
of lectures on right and the state were delivered in 1819-1820.
A fatefl tum of politcal events in Prussia forced him to delay
publicaton of this new work. Since the defeat of Prussia by Napoleon
in 1806-1807, a reform movement within the goverent had been
tking the count away fom absolutsm and toward consttutonalism.
Editor's Introductio1
After the defeat of Napoleon in ISIS, this made Prussia an object of
suspicion and alarm throughout the relatvely less progressive con­
tnental states, especially Austia and Russia. In the summer of ISI9,
the cause of reform was decisively defeated by its opponents within
the feudal nobility (see Preface, note I S). In September there was a
conference of German states in Carlsbad. It imposed censorship on
all academic publicatons and set forth guidelines for the removal of
'demagogues' from the universites. This resulted in the dismissal of
several prominent academics, including Hegel's old personal enemy
J. F. Fries, but also in the arrest of some of Hegel's own students and
assistants (see Preface, notes 6, S, II, 1 2, IS, IS). I the light of the
new situaton, Hegel revised his textbook on right, composing a new
preface in June, IS20. Published early in IS2I, it was to be his last
major work.
Images of Hegel's politcal thought
From the begng the P/iloso¡/,o;Rig/twas an object of conto­
versy. The earliest reviews, even those written by men Hegel had
counted among his friends, were almost uniformly negatve.3 Hegel's
attack on Fries in the Preface was interpreted as showing unqualifed
approval of the academic repression. His declaraton: 'What is
ratonal is actual; and what is actual is ratonal' was read as bestowing
an unqualifed blessing on the politcal status quo (see Preface, note
22). Many could see nothing in Hegel's book except an attempt to
ingratate himself with the authorites. A Fries himself put it:
'Hegel's metaphysical mushroom has grown not in the gardens of
science but on the dunghill of servit.'4
The earliest attacks on the P/iloso¡/,o;Rig/t viewed it solely in
relaton to the immediate politcal situaton. Later critcs in the liberal
taditon followed their interpretaton, but gave to the image of Hegel
as conservatve sycophant a broader philosophical significance.5
Right-Hegelian interpretatons of Hegel's politcal thought under
Friedrich Wilhelm Íand German natonalist and statst interreta­
tons during the Bismarck period tended only to confrm the idea that
Hegel's politcal thought consort well with the spirit of absolutsm
and the Prussian Mec/tsteet.°In the first half of our century the same
iage of Hegel naturally led critcs to see him as a forerunner of
German imperialism and Natonal Socialism.7 Together with the
Editor's Intrduction
thought that the roots of Marxsm lie in Hegel's philosophy, this
secured for Hegel a prominent if unenviable place in the popular
demonology of totalitarianism.8
There were always those, however, who insisted that Hegel was
fundamentally a teorist of the moder consttutonal state,
emphasizing in the state most of the same features which W the
approval of Hegel's liberal critcs. This was always the positon of the
Hegelian 'cente', including Hegel's own students and most direct
nineteenth-century followers.9 This more sympathetc taditon in
Hegel scholarship has reasserted itself decisively since the middle of
this century, to such an extent that there is now a virtual consensus
among knowledgeable scholars that the earlier images of Hegel, as
philosopher of the reactonary Prussian restoraton and forerunner of
moder totalitarianism, are simply wrong, whether they are viewed as
accounts of Hegel's attude toward Prussian politcs or as broader
philosophical interpretatons of his theory of the stateJo
Hegel and the Prs sian state
Hegel's politcal thought needs to be understood in relaton to the
insttutons and issues of its own tme. Yet this is something even
Hegel's contemporaries themselves were often unable to do. The
difcult and obscurit of Hegel's writngs posed problems for them,
just as they have for subsequent readers. The Preface of the P/ile-
se¡/, e;Rig/t, with its immediate relaton to events of the day, pro­
vided the earliest critcs with an easy and obvious way of grasping,
labelling, and categorizing its contents. From Hegel's attacks on Fries
and his evident attempt to placate the censors, they inferred that he
was an opponent of the Prussian reform movement, siding with the
reacton's repressive policies toward intellectual life generally and the
universites in partcular. In the light of the-se conclusions, they
judged (or prejudged) the politcal theory presented in the rest of the
book. Had the critcs studied the actual contents of the P/ilese¡/,e;
Rig/t more closely, however, they could not have reconciled them
,vith the idea that Hegel's defence of the state is an apology either for
the conservatve positon or for the Prussian state as it exsted in 1820.
In 1815, under the reform administaton of Chancellor
Hardenberg, King Friedrich Wilhelm U solemnly promised to give h
people a written consttuton. The politcal victory of the conservatves
Editor's Introducion
in the summer of 1819 ensured that the promise would never be kept,
and it was a firm tenet of the conservatve positon that it never should
be kept, that it never should have been given in the frst place. Yet
earlier in the year both Hardenberg and the progressive Interior
Minister Wilhelm von Humboldt drew up consttutonal plans, pro­
viding for representatve insttutons, in the shape of a bicameral
estates assembly. These plans are stgly similar to the Estates as
described by Hegel in PR §§ 298-314 (see § 300, note I; § 303, note
I; § 312, note I).
The Prussian offcer corps and the higher levels of the civil service
were open only to the hereditary nobilit. Reformers under the
administaton of Chancellor Karl Freiherr vom Stein (1808-1810)
had attempted without success to open them to the bourgeoisie. In
Hegel's ratonal state, all citzens are eligible for military command
and the civil service (PR § 271, note 2; § 277, note I; § 291 and note
I). Hegel advocates public criminal tials and tial by jury, neither of
which exsted in Prussia during his lifetme (PR § 228 and note I).
Hegel's ratonal state does stongly resemble Prussia, not as it ever
was, but Prussia as it was to have become under the reform
administatons of Stein and Hardenberg, if only they had been vic­
torious. Where Hegel's state does resemble the Prussia of 1820, it
provides for the liberalizing reforms which had been achieved
between 1808 and 1819 (PR § 206 and note I; § 219 and note 2;
§ 288 and note I; § 289 and note I).
Hegel was no radical, and certainly no subversive. In relaton to the
Pruss ian state of 1820 he represented the tendency toward moderate,
liberalizing reform, in the spirit of Stein, Hardenberg, Humboldt and
Altenstein (who had arranged for his appointent to his chair in
Berlin). Hegel did not have to be ashamed of publishing his views
(untl the middle of 18 I 9, most of them were even the ofcial positon
of the monarch and his chief ministers). But they were diametically
opposed to the views of Pruss ian conservatves on some of the largest
and most sensitve politcal issues of the day.
If Hegel was not a conservatve, does that mean that he was a
'liberal'? It does mean that Hegel was a proponent (usually a cautous
and moderate one) of many social and politcal policies and
tendencies that we now recognize as part of the liberal taditon. But
the term 'liberalism' normally connotes not ony these policies, but
also a deeper philosophical ratonale for them, or rather a pluralit of
Editor's Introducion
rauona|cs which to somc dcgrcc sharc a common spirit and socia|
thc outcomc oI thc acuons and intcracuons oI human individua|s
pursuing thcir individua| cnds. Jhc spirit is onc which tcnds to bc
instcad to protcct individua| rights and bccdoms,and |iving bv thc
Iaith thathumanprogrcssismost|ikc|v iIindividua|sarc|cIttoh:id
thcir own wav toward whatcvcr thcv happcn to conccivc oI as thc
Ior which individua| conscicncc, rcsponsibi|iw and dcccncv arc
socictv can pcrhaps bcstbcmcasurcd bvthc Iact that'|ibcra|ism'in
Iact that |ibcra|ism's princip|cs sound to most oI us |ikc p|autudcs,
whichnodcccntpcrson cou|dm oI dcnving.
modcmwor|d. Buthcdocsrcgard itsstandpointas|imitcd,andIor
thisrcasonpotcnua||vdcsuucuvc oI thcvcrvva|ucsitmostwantsto
promotc. Hcrcgardsthisstandpointassa|vagcab|con|vwhcnp|accd
inthccontcxtoI a|argcrv1sion,whichmcasurcsthcsubjccuvcgoa|s
mora| va|ucs a dctcrminatc, |imitcd p|acc in thc tota| schcmc oI
things. In this scnsc,Hcgc| is a criuc oI|ibcra|ism,cvcnitsdccpcst
and most uoub|ing modcm criuc. Jhis is what givcs thc grcatcst
conunuingintcrcsttoHcgc|'scthica| thoughtandsocia|thcorv.
�� iisIoundcd onancthica|thc�-
6cs thc human goodvvith thc sc|I-actua|izauon oI thchumanspirit.
H�|' sf� t


�»,�Anc in whichJ
� ·¤


cxtcma|(PR § 23). EvcninthccascoIIrccacuon,Hcgc|thinksthat
m�stpcop|c idcnuF it with '� � ( Ui0li|r), with doing
Editor' Introducion
whatever we please (lR;:¡,R)or with ventng our partcularity and
idiosyncrasy (lR ;:¡A). Hegel regards this view as� and
immature; he insists that we are free o!�u­
,larit:_�Id�vely', according to the 'concept'
of te m (lR;z¡).
�� ¯-~�
'-F�ton is acton in which we deal with nothing that is exteral
to our own objectve nature. That does not mean that feedom con­
sists in withdrawing fom what is other than ourselves. On the con­
tr, Hegel insist that 'absence of dependence on an other is won
not outside the other but in it, it attains actualit not by fleeing the
other but by overcoming it' (LG ;¡8zA). Thus Hegel describes
freedom as 'being wit oneself in an other', that is, actvely relatng to
something other than oneself in suc� a way that this other becomes
integrated into one's projects, completng and flfilling them so that it
count as belonging to one's own acton rather than standing over
against it. This means that freedom is possible only to te extent that
we act ratonally, and in circumstances where the objects of our acton
are in harmony with our reason. The most spiritual of such objects is
the social order in which we live: just as Hegel's teatent of
Jndi�ual �an pscholog falls under the heading of 'subjectve
spirit', so his teatent of the ratonal societ, in the Pl·lsssol, s1
R·glt,consttutes the sphere of��tve spirit' (LG;¡8¡).Freedom
is actual, therefore, only in a ratonal societ whose insttutons can be
felt and known as ratonal by individuals who are 'with themselves' in
those insttutons.
Hegel's name for a ratonal system of social insttutons is 'ethical
life' (S·tt/·:l/s·t)(lR;;:++~:+¡).Corresponding to 'objectve' ethi­
cal lfe (the sstem of ratonal insttutons) is a 'subjectve' ethical life,
an individual character which disposes the individual to do what the
insttutons require (lR ;;:+ê~:+8). The ethical dispositon is
Hegel's answer to the Kantan separaton of dut from inclinaton,
and more generally to the moralistc psychology which supposes that
unless we are moved by impartal reason to follow moral principles
adopted from a universalistc standpoint, we minevitably adopt the
utterly selfsh policy of maing our own interests. On the con­
tr, Hegel is convinced that the most potent, as well as the most
admirable, human dispositons follow neither of these two patter. A
ratonal society is one where the demands of social life do not
fustate the needs of individuals, where dut fulfls individualit
Editor's Intrduction
rather than suppressing it. In such a societ ratonal individuals can
�est to a satsfactory degree without having to
maxmize it, and they need not make great sacrifices in order to give
priority to right and duty or to show concer for the good of others.
Because our social life is in harmony with our individualty, the dutes
of ethical life do not limit our freedom but actualize it. \\en we
become conscious of this, we come to be \vith ourselves' in our
ethical dutes. Such dutes, Hegel insists, do not restict us, but
liberate us (PR § 149).
We might put the point by saying that for Hegel I am free when I
'identf' myself with the insttutons of my communit, feeling myself
to be a part of them, and feeling them to be a part of me. But Hegel
would deny that such feelings consttute freedom unless they are a
'certaint based on tn.t/' ( R § 268). That is, the insttutons of the
communit must |ná, harmonize the state's universal or collectve
interest with the tue, objectve good of individuals; and individuals
must be cssscisosof this harmony. Of course there is no freedom at all
in a society whose members 'identfi themselves wth it only because
they are victms of illusion, decepton, or ideology.
Personhood and s ubjectvt
Liberals are usually proud of the fact that they mean by feedom what
most people mean by it, not what Hegel means. They usually think
teis the absence of obstacles to doing.as we like, whether our
choices are good or bad, ratonal or arbitary. Confonted ,vith
Hegel's doctines, they ofen think that his praise of freedom is a
dangerous decepton; they fear that he wants to restict freedom as
they mean it in the name of freedom as he means it. Such fears are
largely unfounded. Hegel's ethical teory is not based on freedom in
the ordinary sense, but it does not follow from this that Hegel's theory
is hostle or even indifferent to freedom in the ordinary sense. On the
contary, Hegel thinks that in the modem world, people cannot be
fee in his sense unless social insttutons provide considerable scope
and protecton for arbitary freedom.
This is because Hegel thinks that, in the modem world, we are
conscious of ourselves in new ways, and that we cannot be "vith
ourselves' in social insttutons unless they provide for the actualiza-
ton of our self-image in these respects. First, we think of ourselves as
Editor's Introducion
p··ssos, indeterminate choosers, capable of abstactng fom all our
desires and qualites ( R § 5), and demanding an exteral sphere for
the exercise of our arbitary freedom (R § 41). This sphere begins
with the person's exteral body and extends to all the person's prop­
ert (R §§ 45-47). The category of 'abstact right' applies to such a
sphere of arbitary freedom. It is called 'abstact right' because in
protectng the rights of persons we must abstact from the partcular
use they make of these rights, even fom its bearing on the person's
own interests (R § 37). Abstact right is a variet of freedom in the
Hegelian sense because it involves 'being with oneself' in the exteral
objects which one owns. The ratonalit of the modem state requires
that the abstact right of persons be safeguarded; this is the prim�
�(R §209,R).
Moder individuals not only regard themselves as arbitarily fee
choosers, but tey also see themselves as giving meaning to their lives
through the partcular choices they make. So regarded, individuals
are so/;·as (R §§ 105-106). Subjects derive what Hegel calls 'self­
satsfacton' from their role in determining for themselves what wl
count as their own partcular good or happiness (R §§ 121-123).
Their sense of self-worth is bound up with the fact that they are aware
of leading 3 reflectve life, shaped through their own deeds. Subjec-

tvit is also the sphere of moralit, in which individuals measure their
choices by universal standards and reflect on their actons from the
standpoint of conscience.
Hegel gives the name 'subjectve freedom' to the variety of 'being
with oneself in an other' in which the 'other' is the individual's own
actons and choices. Moder individuals cannot be free in the
Hegelian sense unless social insttutons provide for subjectve
freedom in several ways. Modem ethical life must provide for
individual self-satsfacton by enabling people to shape and actualize
their own determinate individualites (R § 187). Thus te state must
respect my right as an individual self to direct my own life, and
provide for tis right in the fonn of its insttutons (R §§ 185R,
206R). It must also honour moral conscience (R § 137R) and hold
me responsible for my actons only in so far as the are the e¬ressi¯
of my subjectvit (R §§ 115-120). A state which fails to do these
�'extent a state in which individuals cannot be free or
'wit themselves'.
For moder individuals, Hegelian freedom cannot exst unless
Editor' Introducion
there is room for freedom in the ordinary sense. Hegel wants to
replace the ordinary concept of freedom with his concept not because
he is opposed to freedom in the ordinary sense, but because he t
that startng with his concept of freedom enables us to see c/,
freedom in the ordinary sense is objectvely a good thing for people to
have. In that way, Hegel's view is not at odds ,vt those who value
feedom in the sense of the unhindered abilit to do as we please. On
the contary, Hegel's ethical teory shows how their positon can be
At the same tme, Hegel's view also proposes to tell us something
about c/¬freedom in the ordinary sense is objectvely valuable, and
when it is not. Like John Stuart Mil , Hegel t the abilit to do as
we please is good not in itself but because it is required for the
achievement of other vital human goods. The chance to do as we
please is valuable when it is necessary for or conducive to freedom in
the Hegelian sense; otherwise, it may be worthless or even harmfl.
Hegel's view implies that freedom in the ordinary sense should be
protected when it belongs to the rightfl sphere of some person or
when it is conducive to a subject's self-satsfacton or to the actualiza­
ton of that subject's individualit. It also implies that in a case where
doing as we please is not conducive to these goods, there is no reason
to value such freedom at all.
Hegel does not believe that we can decide in the abstact and
irrespectve of a stuctured social context when freedom in the ordi­
nary sense falls ,vithin our right and serves to actualize our individu­
alit. He does name certain things which are cental to our
personality, and hence belong ,vithout excepton to our inalienable
and imprescriptble rights: the right to our own body and fee status
0R;¡;),the right to hold private propert 0R ;;+¡-+e),and the
right over one's own ethical life, religion, and conscience 0R;êê).
But he does not agree with Kant that we should t to constuct our
social insttutons so that they maxmize the amount of personal
feedom which everyone can enjoy according to a universal lawP
Instead, Hegel thinks that the precise content of our right as persons
and subjects depends on a system of ratonal insttutons, apart from
which we cannot even b�at 'maxmal personal fedom' mght
mean, much less determine how it might be achieved.
It is the fncton of positve law, for example, to make right deter­
minate. Our right as persons have validit only when they are exressed
Editor's Introducion
in |aw. Convcrsc|v, howcvcr, Hcgc| ho|ds that posruvc |aws arc
ob|igatorv on|v tothccxtcntthatthcv agrccincontcntwith what isin
itsc|Iright(Pi§§zoo-z1j). A|thoughpcrsona|rightsarcnotdctcr-
minatccxccptwithìnasvstcmoI |aw,Hcgc|docsminkthatsomc|aws
(c.g. thosc cstab|ishing s|avcrv or Iorbidding pcrsons toho|d privatc
propcrw) arc p|aìn|v unjust in thc contcxt oI anv svstcm oI |aw. In
notob|igatc us.
Hcgc|'s |ibcra| criucs arc in thc habit oI savìng that hc docs not
bc|icvc in Iounding a socia| ordcr on thc conccpuon oI individua|
rìghts. Jhc c|cmcnt oI uuth in this asscruon is that Hcgc| t
pcrsona| right, apart Irom a dcvc|opcd svstcm oI cthica| |iIc, is an
�n, hc bc|icvcs that a socia| ordcr Ioundcd (as in
|ibcra| po|iuca| thcorv) on such absuacuons wl bc unab|c cvcn to
subjccuvc Irccdom is a 'mcchanisuc' conccpuon L c statc, which
rìghts, Ior this scts thc statc up as an absuacuon in opposiuon to
ìndivìdua|s. InFichtc'sthcorv,Iorcxamp|c,Hcgc|sccsthcstatcasa
po|icc powcr whosc on|v Iuncuon is to supcrvisc and rcgu|atc thc
acuonsoI individua|sthroughcocrcivcIorcc(ìiA:o/za).�
rca| arantcc oI Irccdom is a wc||-consututcd cthica| |ìIc, which
customsand insutuuonsprovìdingmdividua|s wìthconcrctc|vm|h|-
Hcgc| is not an cncmv oI what |ibcra|s va|uc in thc namc oI
thcconduct oI indivìdua|s, buthc insiststhat thcsc |imits cannot bc
drawn prccisc|v (Pi §zja). Jhis docs not bothcr h bccausc hc
docsnotsharcthc |ibcra|s' Icar thatthcstatcwl incvitab|v ucspass
into thc righm| tcrritorv oI indivìdua| Irccdom un|css wc guard thc
boundarics jca|ous|v. On thc conuar, Hcgc| maintains that thc
'substanuvc unitv' rcsts on thc prìncip|cs oI 'subjccuvìw' and 'pcr-
princip|cs cou|d bc|ong on|v to a statc which is inhcrcnt|v sc|I-
dcsuucuvc,out to dcsuovthc sourcc oI itsownpowcr.
Editor's Introduction
From Hcgc|'s point oI vicw, a morc scrious thrcat H hccdom in
modcm socicn is what hc ca||s thc 'princip|c oI atomicin', thc
tcndcncv in modcm|iIc Ior individua|s to bc on|vabsuact pcrsons
or withdraw too Iar into thcir subjccuvitv, Hcgc| bc|icvcs that thcv
thcv do has anv signihcancc Ior thcm. Jhis is a thrcat to pcop|c's
hccdom bccausc it mcans that thcv cannot bc 'with thcmsc|vcs' in
thcirsocia||iIc, it rcndcrs thcm powcr|css to makc thcir|ivcsthcir
thcv mav bc, arc a|| a|ikc ho||ow and mcaning|css to thcm, widcr
choiccs on|v conIront thcm with an cmpuncss morc vast and
Hcgc|'s primarv am in mc P/|/sss¡/, s1 R|e/| is to show how
pcrsona| right and subjccuvc hccdom can rcccivc rca| contcnt
through thc insutuuons oI thcmodcmstatc. Inothcr words, itL to
show us how thc modcmstatcis aItcr a|| thc actua|in oI concrctc
Irccdom (Pi ;z¡8). Jhis statc as Hcgc| dcscribcs it dißcrs |itt|c
homthcstatcwhich|ibcra|thcoricst tojusuF,butHcgc|'sstatcis
not thc samc asthcirsbccauschis jusmcauon isdiI|crcnt.Hcgc|'s
statc is about diIIcrcnt things, scrvcs diIIcrcnt human nccds, scts
Civ s ociet
Human bcings havc not a|wavs known thcmsc|vcs as pcrsons and
subjccts. Jhcsc conccpuons, according to Hcgc|, arc historica||v
and Chrisuan spiritua|in. But thcvdid not bccomc actua| cvcn in
branccs, orstatcswcrcsubjccttoccc|csiasuca|authoriucsorucatcd
as thc privatc propcrn oI an individua| or a Iami|v. Pcrsona|in and
subjccuvin wcrc not actua| in thc dcmocrauc Grcck po|is, or thc
mcdicva| Church, orthcIcuda| statc oI thc car|v modcmcra. Jhcv
havcbccomc actua| on|v inthcmodcmstatc which arosc out oI thc
Editor's Introduction
it dccisivc|v Irom car|icr and |css dcvc|opcd socia| ordcrs: Hcgc|'s
namc Ior it is 'civi| socicw'. Prior to Hcgc|, thc tcrm 'civi| socicw'
(/õ·e:·l::/::6:s/s:/ch,and itscognatcs in Laun, Frcnch, and omcr
|anguagcs)wasgcncra||vintcrchangcab|cwiththctcrm'statc'. 'Civi|'
socicwwasthcrca|moI ciuzcns(8õ·e:·,:|o:s,:||s,:»s),inconuastto
'natura|' socicw or thc Iami|v.'' Hcgc|, howcvcr, disunguishcs civi|
socicw bom both thc Iamûv, thc privatc socictbascd on |ovc (P i
§:ç8),andIromthcstatc,i.c. thcpub|iccommuniwbascdcxp|icit|v
onrcason and aimìng at co||ccuvc orunivcrsa| cnds. Civûsocicwis
thc rca|m in which individua|s cxst as pcrsons and subjccts, as
|iIc-acuviwinthc |ight oIthcir conungcntand subjccuvc nccds and
privatc, parucu|ar and conungcnt (Pi §:8ç), not communa| cnds
sharcd wìm othcrs through Icc|ing (as in thc Iami|v) or through
rcason (asinthcstatc).
I othcr words, civ socicw is thc rca|m oI thc markct cconomv.
achicvc actua|iw as subjccts, on|v whcn thcv dcpcnd onthcmsc|vcs
Ior thcìr own |ivc|ìhood and wc|Iarc (Pi §:8z). Hc is a suong
parusan oI thcvicwthat thc co||ccuvìzcd orstatc-run cconom is a
prc-modcm insutuuon, ìncompaub|c wìth thc modcm princip|c oI

At thc samc umc, civì| socicw is not sìmp|v idcnuca| with thc
markct cconomv. As a mcmbcr oI civi| socicw, thc individua| has a
dctcrmìnatc socia| idcnuw signihcd bv thc tcrm 8o·e:·, not ìn thc
posscsscs a kind oI co||ccuvcrauon: w, which isnonc thc |css rca|
Ior bcìngunintcndcd (Pi§ :8oi). Jhis 'inncr ncccssiw' Iormsthc
ìng with thc princip|c oI bcc ìndividua|iw (Pi §§ :8z-:8a). Civi|
socicw is not mcrc|v thc natura| rcsu|t oI pcop|c's Ircc and sc|I-
intcrcstcd bchaviour (a conccpuon Hcgc|had car|icr samzcd undcr
Editor's Itztroduaion
the ttle 'the spiritual animal kingdom' (phG � 397)). It is a genuine
fonn of society, a 'universal family' which makes collectve demands
on its members and has collectve responsibilites toward them (PR
As members of this society, individuals have the dut to support
themselves through labour which benefits the whole, while civil
societ as a whole owes each individual the opportunity to labour in a
way which provides a secure, respected and self-flflling mode of life
(PR ;238). This means that civil societ is charged with the educa­
ton of individuals for membership in it (PR ;239), and also collec­
tvely responsible for preventng them from falling into poverty,
whether through their own improvidence (PR ;240) or through the
contngencies of the market system. The poor in civil societ are
victs not of some natural misfortune, but of a social c·sse(P R
Though the market economy has a tendency toward ratonalit,
Hegel sees that it is the scene of systematc conficts of interest
between producers and consumers, and also of occasional ibalances
which adversely afect everyone; the actvites of civil society must be
consciously supervised uit is to remain just and stable (PR ; ; 235-
236). Thus he regards state-run economy and complete freedom of
tade and commerce as exemes; the health of civil societ requires a
middle course (PR ;236R). The responsibilit for overseeing and
regulatng civil societ's economic actvites belongs to what Hegel
calls the state's 'police' fncton (see PR ;231, note I).
Estates and corporatons
Individual freedom in civil societ involves much more than simply
being lef alone to fnd our way through life in a market system. If we
are to be 'with ourselves' as members of civil societ, we must also
achieve a determinate social identt, a specific tade or profession
(6:c:·/:),conferring upon us a determinate social estate, standing or
status (Stcso (PR ;207). Through membership in an estate, our
economic actvit ceases to be mere individual self-seeking. It
becomes a determinate kind of contibuton to the welfare of civil
societ as a whole, recognized for what it is by, others.
In the case of the urban tades and professions, Hegel thinks this
calls for the organizaton of civil societ into 'corporatons' -
Editor's Introduction
professional associatons or guilds, recognized by the state. A cor­
poraton provides its members with a collectve responsibilit and aim
within civil society: to look after the special business of their pro­
fession, to tain new people to work in it, and to set standards for the
work it does. Corporatons also look after their own interests, provid­
ing assistance to members who are out of work, \vithout undermining
their dignit as tends to happen when they depend on either private
charit or public assistance (PR § 253R). In Hegel's state, as in the
consttutonal proposals of Humboldt and Hardenberg, corporatons
are also the chief vehicles for popular politcal representaton (see P R
§ 303, note I). Probably the only reform of the Stein or Hardenberg
administatons about which Hegel had serious reservatons was the
aboliton of guild monopolies, which were terminated in the interests
of free tade (see PR § 255, note 2).
Above all, corporaton membership provides individuals with a
sense of concrete social identty. Civil societ provides for subjectve
feedom by offering individuals a wide variet of different lifestles
between which to choose. But Hegel does not sympathize with Mill's
noton that societ should encourage individuals to engage in all sorts
of eccentic experiments \vith their lives, in the hope tat by tial and
error they may occasionally find something worth imitatng.H He
t their choices must be between recognized ways of life,
systematcally integrated into the organic system of modem ethical
life; the various ways of life should be known to provide dignit and
flflment to those who lead them. Corporaton membership helps
indh�duals to achieve a recognized estate or status (Stc»o of this
kind. Without this, indh�duals \vill be isolated from others, alienated
from ch� societ, and lacking in any determinate standards for suc­
cess in life. They \vill gauge their self-worth in civl society not by
ethical standards, but only by the selfish pursuit of wealth, which can
never satsfy them because it has no determinate measure (PR § 253).
In Hegel's state, however, corporaton membership is open mainly
to the male urban mddle class. Hegel argues that civil servants do not
need corporatons since the place of corporatons for them is taken by
the organizaton of the goverent service; he also thinks that the
unreflectve ethical dispositon of the rural populaton is unsuited to
the corporate spirit (PR § 250). But he also recognizes that wage­
labourers are not eligible for corporaton membership (pR § 252R).
Editor's Introduction
Hegel is disturbed by civil society's systematc tendency toward
extemes of wealth and poverty. He notes that the economic processes
of civil societ themselves produce a class which is systematcally
excluded fom civil societ's wealth, its spiritual benefts, and conse­
quendy even from its ethical life (PR § § 243-244). Hegel's teatent
of this topic is characteristcally hard-headed, perceptve and unsen­
tmental. His main concer is with the social causes of povert and
with its consequences for the ethical health of civil societ. He sees
the fundamental cause of poverty as the process of 'universaliz
applied both to people's needs (though the standardizaton and
mass-marketng of commodites) and to their labour (through mass­
producton). The greatest profts come as a result of employing cheap
mass-labour, so that the wealthy have an interest in the exstence of a
poor class, whose bargaining power is weak in relaton to capital (PR
§ 243). 'When there is great poverty, the capitalist finds many people
who work for small wages, which increases his eargs; and this has
the frther consequence that smaller capitalists fall into povert'
(VPR l, 610). For Hegel, povert in civil societ is not an accident,
or a misfortune or the result of human error or vice; rather, 'the
complicatons of civil societ itself produce povert' (VPRI7 138),
which (along ,vith personal right and subjectve freedom) is a special
characteristc of moder civil society. 'The emergence of povert is in
general a consequence of civil societ; fom which on the whole
povert arises necessarily' (VPRI9 193).
Hegel refses to blame either the wealthy or the poor, as individu­
als, for the fact of povert. But he does regard poverty as a cause of
moral degradaton, turg those subject to it into a 'rabble' (Ps/:/).
Since Hegel thinks every member of civil society has a right to ear an
adequate livng as a member of a recognized estate, he regards the
poor as victms of c·s»eat societ's hands. The basis of te 'rabble
mentalit' (Pe/:/lcä|e/:|t)is the outage of the poor (against the rich,
civil societ, and the state) at the wrong they suffer (PR § 241). Under
the conditons of life H which the poor are subject, however, the
effect of this justfied outage is to produce a dispositon which is
fundamentally at odds with the ethical principles of civl societ.
Because they have no chance of the dignity and self-sufficiency
afforded by recognized labour in civil societ, the rabble lose both a
sense of self-respect and a sense of right and wrong as applied to thei
Editor's Introduction
own acuons. Jhcv ccasc to rccognLc thc rights oI othcrs, and thc
on|v rightthcvarcintcrcstcdinis thcirownimagincdrightto|ivcat
civi|socicw'scxpcnscwithout workingata||.
Jhus thc rabb|c mcnta|iw bccomcs a crimina| mcnta|iw. Hcgc|
suggcststhatasimilaratutudc mava|sodcvc|opamongthcwca|thv.
Jhc rich h:id that thcv can buv anvthing, that thcv do not nccd to
oI thcir wca|th. Jhc rich and thc poor cqua||v comc to rcgard thc
cthica| princip|cs oI civi| socictv with scom (sccPi§zaa, notc 1).
ForHcgc|'sstudcntand co||cagucEduardGans (towhomHcgc|
|cñthctaskoI |ccturingonthcP/|/sss¡/,s1R|e/tinBcr|induringthc
statc is rauona| cntai|s thc conc|usion that thc prob|cm oI povcrw
rabb|c. 'Hcnccthcpo|iccmustbcab|ctobringitaboutthatthcrcis
prob|cm oI povcrtv arc |css apriorisuc, and |css opmsuc. Povcrw
providcs p|cntv oI occasion IorcxcrciscoI mora||vgood intcnuons,
butHcgc|t thatprivatcchariwisnoso|uuontothcprob|cmoI
povcrw, and oñcn cvcnmakcs itworsc(sccPi§zaz, notc1).Jhc
powcr') is thc agcncv rcsponsib|c Ior prcvcnung povcrw, butHcgc|
considcrs thcvariousmcans at itsdisposa| Ior doing so, andargucs
that nonc oI thcm can so|vc thc undcr|ving socia| prob|cms (P i
The politcal s tate
A thc disuncuvc|vmodcm socia|insutuuon, civi| socicwisdccisivc
IorthcIormoI thcothcrinsutuuonsoImodcmcthica||iIc.Bccausc
modcm individua|s arc pcrsons vvith rights oI propcrw, thcrc is no
modcm socicw, 'Iami|v' can rcIcr on|v to mc pauiarcha| bourgcois
Editor's Introducion
nuclear family; the feudal family, the 'clan' or wider kinship group
(Stcoo)celebrated by some of Hegel's Romantc contemporaries as
the model for all social relatons - no longer has any legitmacy (PR
§ § 172, 177)·
The family's sole remaining fncton is to enable individuals to find
a haven fom the harsh interacton of independent persons in civil
societ, by partcipatng in bonds of substantal unit on the level of
immediate feeling. For this reason, Hegel argues that propert within
the family should be held in common, administated by the husband
and father. He alone, under normal circumstances, exercises the
rights of personalit in the sphere of civil societ (PR § § 170-171);
the wife and mother is naturally confned to the sphere of the family,
as the guardian of its principle (PR § 166). She and the children '
exercise their personal rights in their own name only at those POintsj ,
where the family reaches its limit and dissoluton: when a marriage

ends in divorce (PR § 176), when the children leave the family to
found new families of their own (P R § 177), or when the father dies
(PR § 178).
Civil societ in Hegel's theory also determines the politcal form of
the moder state. Hegel argues that the form most suited to the
moder state is consttutonal monarchy (PR § 273). Only there does
a poltcal systeuexplicit and ratonal come to be personifed
in an individual, who thus gives the state the form of subjectve
feedom (PR § 279). The offces of the state must no longer be (as in
the feudal state, and in the Prussia of Hegel's tme) the propert or
·the personal prerogatves of individuals or families; the civil service
must be a body of qualifed professionals, open to all members of
societ irrespectve of birth (PR § 291).
I a societ which emphasizes the dignit of fee subjectvit,
individuals are naturally interested in the conduct of the state's
affairs, and they want a voice in determining its policies. Conse­
quently, the moder state must have representatve insttutons (PR
§ 301). Hegel argues that deputes to the Estates (Sts:á)should be
chosen not by popular electon from geographical disticts but (as
their name implies) they should represent determinate groups (cor­
poratons) within civil societ. Otherwise, individuals, who are con­
nected to the politcal process only through the castng of one vote in
an immense multtude, will be alienated from the state by the very
process whose fncton is to connect them to it (PR § 3 IIR).
Editor's Introduction
In a Hegelian consttutonal monarchy, the hereditary prince or
sovereign represents the 'moment of ultmate decision' (PR § 275).
But Hegel intends this only in a 'formal' or 'subjectve' sense; 'objec­
tvely', he says, the sovereign is bound by his ministers, so that in a
well-consttuted state the individual qualites of the sovereign wlbe
of no consequence (PR §§ 279A, 280A). Hegel plainly intends real
politcal power to be in the hands neither of the prince nor of the
people, but of an educated class of professional civil servants.
For Hegel, as for N,the fncton of representatve insttutons is
not to gover, but to advise those who gover, and to determine who it
is that govers.16 Hegel expects deputes to the Estates to be ordinary
citens, not professional politcians. One evident reason for this is
that he wants the Estates to be close Hthe people, and to represent its
tue sentments; another reason (unstated, but quite evident) is that
he does not want the Estates to be politcally stong enough to chal­
lenge the power of the professionals who actually gover. But he does
not intend the Estates to be powerless either. In his lectures, Hegel
describes a mult-part system in the Estates, and he insists that the
goverent's ministy must always represent the 'majorit part';
when it ceases to do so, he says, it must resign and a new ministy,
representng the majorit in the Estates, must take its place (see P R
§ 301, note 2). This idea takes the Hegelian consttutonal monarchy
most of the way toward presently exstng parliamentary systems with
a nominal hereditary monarch (as in Britain, Holland, Belgium, or
The s tate and te individual
To be absolutely and substantvely free, individuals must be 'with
themselves' in their social life. One aspect of this is the satsfacton of
their subjectvit, in that ample scope is allowed for arbitary choice
and the satsfacton of individual welfare. A ratonal and tg
beings, however, we relate ourselves universally to the whole of the
social world. Our freedom is not flly actual unt we are with our­
selves in ends which are universal in scope. We cannot be fee (in
Hegel's sense) unless we successflly pursue ends larger than our
own private good, indeed larger than anyone's private good.
Through corporatons, individuals in civil societ acquire ethical
ends which go beyond their self-interest. These ends, Hegel says,
Editor's Introduction
pass over in tur into the absolutely universal end: the state (PR
§ 256). Hegel distnguishes 'the politcal state proper' from the state
in a broader sense, the community as a whole with all its insttutons
(PR § 267). He regards the state in the latter sense as the individual's
fnal end.
Hegel asserts that the individual's highest freedom consists in
membership in the state (PR § 258). Accordingly, the highest con­
sciousness of feedom is the consciousness of this membership, in
what he calls the 'politcal dispositon' or 'patiotsm'. Hegel denies,
however, that tu-atiotsm consists in the wlgness to do heroic
deeds and make extaordinary sacrifices for the sake of one's county.
Instead, he says patiotsm is nothing more than a habit of leading
one's normal life and doing one's ethical dut, while taking the state
Ü one's 'substantal basis and end' (PR § 268).
Hegel locates the absolutely universal end in the state because it
alone is a self-sufcient individualit, not part of any larger whole. To
those who would relate their actons to some stll larger entt
('humanit at large', a 'cosmopolitan world societ' or 'all sentent
creaton') Hegel points out that such enttes are t real,�
abstactons. e do not actualize our feedom by entertaining the
�±¬of moralists, but only by relatng ourselves to some­
thing real which tuly actualizes the power of reason in the world. The
state, Hegel says, is 'the absolute power on :c·t/'(P R § 33 I).
For the same reason, the state is also the fndamental vehicle of
world history. Human history for Hegel is a progressive succession of
spiritual principles, which actualize themselves successively in the
politcal consttuton and spiritual culture of naton states (PR § 344).
Thus human actons gain universal, cosmopolitan signifcance not
through their relaton to abstact moral principles, but only in so far as
they are the actons of someone culturally and historically situated,
and give exstence to the ethical life of a determinate people at a given
stage of its history. If I want to see my actons in their universal
historical significance, I must regard myself as the child of my age and
people, and my deeds as the expression of the principle embodied in
my state and my tme.
The state, for Hegel, is an 'absolute end'; indh'iduals should place
it above their own private interests. '[The state has] the highest right
in relaton to individuals, whose /|e/:st1stris to be members of the
state' (PR § 258). But the state is an absolute end only because it is
Editor's l1trduction
·c||ssc/, Hegel describes 'ratonality' as the 'unity and interpeneta­
ton of universality and individualit' (PR § 2S8R). In other words,
what makes the state an end in itself is the way in which it systemat­
cally harmonizes the personal right, subjectve freedom and happiness
of its individual members. The state is an 'infnite' end distnct fom
and higher than its members' rights and happiness only because it
systematcally unifes these fnite ends.
This is why patiotsm, for Hegel, is not a dispositon to do exa­
ordinary deeds on the state's behalf, but only te 'certaint, based on
tuth' that in pursuing all my other ends (in my personal, family or
professional life) I thereby always relate myself at the same tme to the
state as my universal and ultmate end. That consciousness is what
makes the state 'the actualit of concrete freedom' (PR § 260).
[patiotsm is] the consciousness that my substantal and par­
tcular interest is preserved and contained in the interest and end
of an other (in tis case, the state), and in the latter's relaton to
me as an individual. A a result, this oter immediately ceases to
be an other for me, and in my consciousness of this, I am free.
(PR § 268)
This makes it a gross distorton to associate Hegel's view with the
image of individuals having to sacrifice themselves to the ends of the
state. Such sacrifces may be required in some circumstances, but it is
precisely the c/·:s¬:c/||,of such circumstances which makes the state
an end in itself.
The principal such circumstance for Hegel is cc·.It is mainly here,
Hegel thinks, that the universal interest of the state can for once be
clearly distnguished from the lesser interests of individuals. Although
war is an abnormal conditon in the life of natons, Hegel thinks that
occasional wars are inevitable, even that they are necessary to
preserve the ethical health of peoples (PR § 324R).
We badly misunderstand Hegel's view if we m it implies that
wars are a good thing, or that we should not ty our best to avoid
them. Even during war, Hegel says, war always has the character of
something that ought to cease (pR § 338). It may help us to under­
stand Hegel's view of war if we realize that what he believes about war
is closely analogous to what we all believe about human mortalit
generally. We know we cannot live forever, and we realize that if we
all could, then this would eventually have disastous consequences for
Editor's Introduction
the human race as a whole. Hegel's views about war no more imply
that wars are a good thing, which we should not ty our best to avoid,
than our views about human mortality imply that our own deat is a
good thing, which we should not ty our best to avoid.
Hegel's l egacy
Hegel is an important philosopher; his penetatng analysis of the
human predicament in moder societ is perhaps unsurpassed among
social observers of the past two centuries. At the same tme, his
thought is subtle and complex; his writngs are difficult, even infri­
atng - laden with impenetable and pretentous jargon fom which
h meaning can be separated only with skilled and carefl surgery,
even then usually not without risk of mortal injury.
The inevitable result is that Hegel is cited much more fequently
than he is read, and discussed far ofener than he is understood.
Some of those who discourse on Hegel with the greatest sophistca­
ton know him only through warped, inaccurate or bowdlerized
second-hand accounts (for instance, accounts of the Hegelian dialec­
tc as 'thesis-antthesis-synthesis'). J7 The 'Hegelian' ideas which
capture the popular imaginaton are ofen not present in Hegel at all,
or have only the most tenuous and dubious connecton with what
Hegel actually thought or wrote. Before it gains currency, a fact about
Hegelian doctine has ofen been so distorted by oversimplifcaton
and misunderstanding that the tuth fom which it started is almost
impossible to recognize.
This is the case with the taditonal images of Hegel as reactonary,
absolutst, totalitarian. Taken literally, of course, these images have
been long discredited. Yet in our liberal culture they nevertheless
possess a kind of symbolic tuth, because they represent this culture's
self-doubts projected wit righteous venom into its iconography of
the enemy. Hegel is especially unappealing to that dogmatc kind of
liberal who judges past social and politcal thinkers by the degree to
which they artculate the views which (it has been decided before­
hand) all people of good wlmust share. The value of Hegel's social
thought wlbe better appreciated by those who are wlg to queston
received views, and take a deeper look at the philosophical problems
posed by moder social life.
Hegel leaves the liberal's state prett much intact, but his social
Editor's Introduction
theory is mercilessly critcal of the ahistorical, individualistc and
moralistc ratonale which liberalism provides for it. In its place,
Hegel gives us an alteratve interpretaton of moder social life, of
moder economic and politcal insttutons, of moder humanit's
concepton of the human good, of te meaning of its fndamental and
insatable drive for freedom.
This means that although Hegel's theory was put forward as a
ratonal dece of the moder state, his tue legacy belongs rather to
the o|||a of moder societ. The basic tendency of Hegel's social
thought is to undermine moder societ's liberal self-interpretaton;
to the extent that its insttutons have been shaped by this interpreta­
ton, its tendency is even to critcize those insttutons themselves. He
presents a communitarian rather than an individualistc ratonale for
moder economic and politcal insttutons and of the freedom they
seek to actualize. This provides the basis for an indictent of any
societ which ties to call itself ' free' even though it fails to offer its
members any ratonally credible sense of collectve purpose, leaves
them cynically discontented with and alienated from its politcal
insttutons, deprives them of a socially stuctured sense of self-iden­
tt, and condemns many of them to lives of povert, frustaton and
alienaton. It leads us to queston the value of the formalisms -
representatve democracy, the market economy, the protecton of
individual libertes - with which liberals wish to identf 'freedom',
and to emphasize instead the social contents and consequences which
liberals would usually prefer to leave 'open' by excluding them from
the domain of collectve concer and contol.
Once we realize tis, we can understand why it is that Hegel's most
bitter twenteth-centur foes have been those who want to save the
liberal state from its radical opponents on the right or the left. We can
also see through the ironic decepton they perpetate when they avail
themselves of te distorted nineteenth-century image of Hegel as
quietst and conservatve apologist. What |/~fear in Hegel's thought
is not quietsm, but the very opposite - subversion of the liberal status
Clearly, Hegel's social thought is now outdated in important
respects. As Hegel writes about them, the family, civil society, and the
state are clearly insttutons of the early nineteenth centur. Hegel
insists on the one hand that all human individuals are persons and
subjects who must be treated universally as such; on the other hand,
he defends a state which excludes women from public life entrely,
and large segments of the populaton from all politcal partcipaton.
With hindsight, it is easy for us to perceive an irreconcilable antagon­
ism between these two positons. We are just as unlikely to be persu­
aded by Hegel's defence of hereditary monarchy, or his version of a
representatve legislature. Even more fundamentally, the naton state
itself was probably never able to play the lofty role in human life which
Hegel assigned it.
Yet at a deeper level, Hegel's philosophy may not be dated at all. It
is not clear that we have in any way surpassed Hegel's concepton of
modem human beings, their history, their needs and aspiratons, and
the general social conditons required for their self-actualizaton.
Without denying the right of persons and subjects, Hegel asserts
against liberal orthodoxy the vital necessit for modem humanit of
concrete social situated ness and integraton. He reminds us that
without this, the formal freedom to make arbitary choices and
express our subjectvit leads in the directon of alienaton rather than
self-actualizaton. He stesses the point that we cannot be free unless
our social life is self-tansparent. We must be able to gain ratonal
insight into it, and live consciously in the light of this self-awareness.
Hegel remains an important social thinker largely because these
ideas, products of the age of German idealism, are stll cental to our
aspiratons as reflectve social beings. Hegel is also current because
these same aspiratons are stll radically unflflled. This can add only
urgency to Hegel's idea that the value of those freedoms liberals most
prize, though real and important, is nevertheless only conditonal,
since it casts serious doubt on the eAtent to which the conditons are
really satsfed. Hegel meant the P/|/sss¡/, s1 R|e/| to afford its
readers a joyous reconciliaton with the social world around them. But
for us the actual effects of studying Hegel's book may be very dif­
ferent from what its author intended.
Some informaton used in the editorial notes was given to me by
Terence Invin, Allen Rosen, and Rega Wood. Professor H. B. Nisbet
provided detailed, informatve advice on the introducton and
editorial notes. Professor Raymond Geuss provided advice on the
content and stucture of the intoducton. In preparing the notes, I
Notes to pages uíí-uííí
was also aided by the informatve editorial apparatus in Hermann
Klenner's excellent editon of Gnl1ldliliell der Plilosophie des Recllls
(Berlin: Akademie Verlag derDDR, 1 981 ).
Ithaca, June 1 990 Allen W. Wood
Notes to editor' s i ntroducton
I See John Edward Toews, Hegelialislll (Cambridge: Cambridge
Universit Press, 1 980), p. II3; cf. C. VaÏenndpp, Johallles Schulze
IlId das Izere prellfisdze Ullerchtswesell ill seiler Zeit (Leipzig, 1889).
2 See pp. xlv-xlix for key to abbreviatons of the ttles of Hegel's
3 See Manfred Riedel (ed.), Materialiell XU Hegels Redltsphilosophie
(Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1 975), I, pp. 53-208.
4 J. F. Fries, Letter of 6 January 1821 , in Gunther Nicolin, Hegel itl
Berdltelseiller Zeitgelossen (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1 970), p. 221 .
5 In his highly infuental book Hegel lllld seile Zeit (1 857), RudolfHaym
not only depicted Hegel's philosophy as 'the scientfc domicile of the
spirit of Prussian reacton', but also concluded that Hegelian specu­
latve idealism, rightly understood, leads to 'the absolute formula of
politcal conservatsm':
A far as I can see, in comparison with the famous saying
about the ratonalit of the actual in the sense of Hegel's
Preface, everything Hobbes and Filmer, Haller or Stahl have
taught is relatively liberal doctine. The theory of God's grace
and the theory of absolute obedience are innocent and harm­
less in comparison ,vith that frightfl dogma prololmeillg the
eisting as etilg to be holy.
(Rudolf Haym, Hegel lwd seile Zeit (Berlin: Rudolf Gaerter,
1857), pp. 367-368)
6 For instance, in: J. E. Erdmann, Philosoplische Vorleslwgen iber dell
Staat (1851 ); C. Rossler, S)'stem der Staatslehre (1857); A. Lasson,
System der Redltsphilosophie (1 882). For a recent account of teir
views, see Henning Otann, Illdividllllm 11Ild Gemeillsdlaj bei Hegel,
Bald I: Hegel im Spiegel der Ilterpretatiollen (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1 977),
pp. 1 24-1 52.
7 See Ottann's account of Hegel interpretaton under the Third
Reich: IlldividllullI IlId Gemeillsdlaj, pp. 1 52-182. It is noteworthy,
however, that .:egel was seldom cited in Nazi Iiter..lf, and
menton of him there was almost uniformly negatve. Alfred
Rosenberg, the 'offcial philosopher' of Natonal Socialism, was well
Notes to pages viii-ix
awarc of Hcgcl's admirauon for tbc !rcncb Rcvoluuon, and
dcnounccdtbcHcgcIian Volksstaat asaconccpuon|alicntoourbIood
(Roscnbcrg, TIle M),th ojthe Twetltieth CtuT', n.V. Birô(Jorrancc,
CA.loonudc, 1 982), p.328). HcgclbasusualIybccn associatcdwitb
and mostofIcnby tboscwbosc rcaI targct is notsomucb fascism as
8 5cc]obnOcwcy, Genlal Philosophy alld Politic (1 91 5); KarlFoppcr,
TIle Opetl Society ald Its Elemies, Volllle II; Tle High Tide ojPropheC':
Hegel, Mat: ald the Ajenlath (1 945). !or a broadcr account oftbis
nadiuon, scc Otmann, bldividlllm 111d Gell eillsclaj, pp. 1 92-223.
9 Jbcsc includcd Lduard Gans, KarI Ludwig Nicbclct, Karl
Roscnkranz,andtbc LducauonNinistcr]obanncs 5cbuIzc. 5cc]obn
Ldward Jocws,Hegelia1lism, cspccially pp. 71-1 54, 203-242.
:o !n tbc carly twcnuctb ccntury, tb¡s posiuon was rcprcscntcd by
scbolars sucb as !ranz Roscnzwcig and Hans Hcimsötb (!ranz
Roscnzwcig, Hegel 111ld der Staat (1 920); Hans Hcimsötb, Politik 11d
Moral ill Hegels Gescllicztsphilosophie ( 1 935) ). Aftcrtbc 5ccondWorId
powcrfuIIy dcfcndcd by tbrcc inüucnual scbolars. ]oacbim K¡ttcr,
Lric Wcd, and J. N. Knox. 5cc Knox, 'Hcgcl and Frussianism'
(1935) (rcprintcd in Waltcr Kaufmann (cd.), Hegel's Political Philo­
sophy (lcw\ork.Atbcrton, 1 970)), and alsotbccditorialmatcriaIin
Knox's 1 942 nanslauonofThe Philosophy ojRight (OxfordLnivcrsity
Frcss, 1 967); Lric Wcil, Hegel et I'iat (1950); and ]oacbim Rittcr,
Hegel alld the Fretlch Revolt/tiotl (1 957), n.R.O.WmcId(Cambridgc,
NA.N! JFrcss, 1 982). Alistofprom¡ncntHcgclscbolarssincctbc
1 950S wbosbarctbcbasicvicwofKnox,Wcil,andRittcrwouldbavc
to includcv¡rtuaIlycvcryrcsponsiblcscbolarofHcgcl'stbougbtintbc
pasttwogcncrauons.5cccspccialIy.5blomoAvincri,Hegel' TleoT' oj
the Modem State (Cambridgc Lnivcrsity Frcss, 1 972); ]acqucs
d'Hondt, Hegel il His Tile (1 973), nanslatcd by ]obn Burbidgc
(Lcvviston,Í. Broadvcw, 1 988). Oncc again, forarcliablcaccount
of tbc nadiuon wbicb vicws Hcgcl as part of tbc 'mainsncam of
Wcstcm poliucal tbcory' scc Otmann, IlIdividt/11I lwd Geselscllaj,
pp.224-378. Adcbatcbctwccnproponcntsoftbcncwconscnsusand
tbc oldcr nadiuon oflibcral criucism canbc found inWaltcr Kauf-
mann (cd.), Hegel's Political Philosophy. Jbc rcccnt publicauon of
nanscripuonsofHcgcl'slccturcsbctwccn 1 81 7 and 1 83 1 basfurtbcr
conhrmcd sucb intcrprctauons. 5cc tbc cditors' innoducuons to
tbcsctcxtsbyKarl-Hcinz!ung(VFR:, 25-126, VPR1 7 17-34) and
OictcrHcnricb (VFR: 9 9-39).
Notes to pages xííí íí
I I Jbcrc arc somcwbo dcnytbcrc is any sucb tbingas a communin's
'common intcrcst' and somc wbo tbink tbcrc arc no ob]ccuVc
�nditid uIntcrcsu, tbat indivdual intcrcsts arc notbing but wbat
individuals bappcnto cnjoy,wantorprcIcr.!Isucbpcoplc arcrigbt,
oIcoursc, tbcntbcrccannotbcanysucbtbingas (Hcgclian) hccdom,
hccdom iuclIwillbc onlyan illusion.
1 2 Kant,A3 I 6IB373; JF289-290/73; RL230/35. (!orkcyto abbrc-
1 3 5cc NanIrcd Kcdcl, BetweeT Traditioll alld Reolutioll, t. Waltcr
Wrigbt(Cambridgc. Cambridgc LnivcrsinFrcss, 1 984), Cbaptcr 6,
pp. 1 32-137.
1 4 5ccÀq OnLibert, cd. Llizabctb Rapaport (!ndianapolis. Hackctt,
1 978), pp. 61-65, 1 08.
1 5 Lduard Gans, Nafllreclzt lmd Ulziversalrechtsgescliclte, cd. Nanhcd
Ricdcl (5tuttgart. K!ctt-Cotta, 1 98 1), D. 92.
16 Àq OIl Rereselltative Govenzmet, cd. Currin5biclds(!ndianapolis.
Bobbs-Ncrrill, 1 958), pp. 74-76, 8 1-82.
1 7 Jbis parucular niadic piccc oIjargon was actually uscd by botb
!icbtc and 5cbcl!ing (cacb Ior bis own purposcs), butto myknow-
prcscnung tbc Hcgclian dialccuc to Hcinricb Noriu Cbalybaus, a
bowdlcrizcroIGcrman idcalistpbilosopby(scc G.L.Nucllcr, 'Jbc
Hcgcl Lcgcnd oI "Jbcsis-Anutbcsis-5yntbcsis"', JOllnlal of the
HistoI' of Ideas 19 ( 1958), pp. 41 1-414. Jo usc tbis jargon in
cxpoundingHcgcl is almost always an unwitungconIcssion tbattbc
cxpositorbaslittlcorno nrst-band knowlcdgc oIHcgcl.
xx i
1770 Bor 27 August, Stuttgart, Wiirttemberg.
1 788 Enters the Tiibingen theological seminary.
1793 Leaves Tiibingen, becomes private tutor to a family in
Ber, Switerland.
1 797 Takes a new tutoring positon in Frankfrt a.M.
1801 Afer the death of his father, uses his legacy to fnance
an academic career at Jena, where his fiend Schelling
helps him to secure an unsalaried positon as Privat­
dozent. D:Dá:: 8:tc:o P|:/t:'s cs1 S:/://:»e's
S,st:os1P/|/sss¡/,, Hegel's first publicaton.
1 802 Pc|t/ c»1K»sc/:1e:, u» t/: 0c,s s1 I·:ct|»eNcts·c/
1 805 Promoted to Professor Extaordinarius.
1 806 Fathers an illegitmate child by his married landlady,
Dorothea Burkhardt.
1 807 I/:P/e:s··:e·:s|s¬s1S¡|·|t.Napoleon's defeat of Prus­
sian forces at Jena disrupts the university, and Hegel is
forced to seek employment elsewhere, becoming editor
of a newspaper in Bamberg.
1 808 Becomes Rector of a gymnasium (secondary school) in
1 81 2 Marries Marie von Tiicher. Soe·:::s1!se|:,Volume i .
1 81 6 S:|e·:::s1!se|:,Volume ii.Hegel is offered a professor­
ship in philosophy at the Universit of Heidelberg.
£»ods¡c:1|cs1t/:P/|/sss¡/|:c/So:o::s,frst editon in
one volume, to be used as a text in Hegel's Heidelberg
I 8I 7 Lectures for the first tme on the system of ideas later
presented in the Philosophy oJRight during the academc
year I 8I 7-I 8I 8.
I 8I 8 Invited to succeed Fichte (d. I 8I4) at the prestgious
chair of philosophy at the Universit of Berlin. At
Berlin, lectures for a second tme (I 8I 8-I 8I 9) on the
Philosophy oJ Right, whch by now probably exsts com­
plete i draf.
I 8I 9 Politcal upheavals and the insttuton of academic cen­
sorship lead to withdrawal and revision of the Philosophy
oJ Right. Lectures on these topics for a third tme
I 8I 9-I 820.
I 820 Completes the Philosophy oJRight.
I 82I Publicaton of the Philosophy oJ Right i January. Lec­
tures on its subject a fourth tme I 821-I 822.
1 822 Lectures on the philosophy of right a fifth tme
1 822-1 823.
1 824 Lectures on the philosophy of right a sixth tme
I824-1 825·
1 827 Enccopaedia oJ the Philosophical Scences revsed and
exanded to three volumes.
1 830 Third editon of Enccopaedia oJ the Philosophical
1 831 Begins lecturing a seventh te on the philosophy of
right. Afer a month, is sticken with cholera and dies 1 4
? À
Translator's preface
This tanslaton is based on the text of the frst editon of the R::/ts-
¡/|/sss¡/|: (1 820), as reproduced in Volume vii of Hegel's 0:·/:,
edited by Eva Moldenhauer and Karl Markus Michel and published
by the Suhrkamp Verlag (Franrt am Main, 1 970). I have compared
the text throughout with the variorum editon of te work in Volume i i
of Karl-Heinz Ttng's editon of Hegel's |s·/:ss»ew s/:· R::/ts-
¡/|/sss/|: t8·8t8
t (referred to as VP R H, see key to abbrevia­
tons, p. xv ),whose readings I have at tes adopted in preference
to those of the Suhrkamp editon; in all such cases, and on those
occasions when I have encountered errors in the Suhrkamp text, I
have supplied exlanatory foototes.
To the main numbered paragraphs of his text, Hegel fequendy
adds elucidatory comments, ofen of considerable length, which he
describes as ÷»o:·/s»e:»¯ a term which I have tanslated (both in
the singular and in the plural) as 'Remarks'. These Remarks are
indented throughout the tanslated text, as they are in the German
original, to distnguish them fom the main text of the numbered
paragraphs to which they are appended. Many of these paragraphs are
frther augmented by 'Additons' (sõtz:) consistng of additonal
material from lectures on the R::/ts¡/|/sss/|: delivered by Hegel
afer the frst editon of the work had appeared. These Additons are
not indented, but printed in smaller tpe and prefied in each case by
te word 'Additon' in order to distnguish them fom Hegel's basic
text and Remarks. The Additons were not in fact compiled by Hegel,
but by his pupil Eduard Gans, who incorporated them in his own
editon of the R::/ts¡/|/sss¡/|:,first published in 1 833 and reissued in
Translator's preace
1 840; they have also been included in more recent editons such as
those of Bolland (1902) and Lasson (191 I), as well as that of the
Suhrkamp Verlag (1 970). Gans derived the Additons not from
manuscripts of Hegel himself, but from the lecture notes of two other
pupils, namely H. G. Hotho, who attended Hegel's lectures of 1822-
1 823, and K. G. von Griesheim, who attended the lectures of 1 824-
1 825. They are included in this tanslaton rather because of their
long taditonal associaton with Hegel's text than because of any
claim they might have to scrupulous philological accuracy. They
should, in fact, be teated ·th cauton, not so much because they are
based on the notes of students (which actually seem to be conscien­
tous and reasonably accurate in this case), but because Gans's
extacts are highly selectve, combining material from two distnct
lecture series and consistng largely of paraphrase rather than ver­
batm quotaton. The complete original texts of Hotho's and
Griesheim's notes have been available since 1974 in Volumes iii and
I respectvely of Htng's editon of the |s·/:s:ue:·: |:/:· R::lts-
¡l|/sss¡l|:(VPR), in which Htng helpflly encloses in curly brackets
those sectons draw upon by Gans for the Additons. To facilitate
comparison between Gans's versions and the original lecture notes as
published by Htng, I have identfed the source of each Additon by
prefing to it the letter H (Hotho; see VPR iii), G (Griesheim; see
VPR I), or both. I have checked Gans's Additons against their
sources throughout, and while I have made no attempt to indicate the
content of those large sectons of Hotho's and Griesheim's notes
which Gans has simply ignored, or to record the numerous modifca­
tons of phrasing and terminology which he has himself intoduced, I
have drawn attenton in foototes to those occasions on which he
appears to have misread or seriously misrepresented the text of
Hotho's and/or Griesheim's notes, or added comments of his own for
which there is no precedent in the sources.
Gans also had at his disposal Hegel's own manuscript annotatons
to §§ I-1 8o of the frst editon of the R::lts¡l|/sss¡l|:.These anno­
tatons, which are reproduced in Hoffneister's (1955) and Htng's
editons of the work and in tat of the Suhrkamp Verlag, are not
included here, because they consist for the most part not of con­
tnuous prose but of highly condensed jottngs whose value for an
understanding of the text is limited; besides, they are frequently
Trnslator's preace
crptc, so that any tanslaton of them would have to rely heavily on
In those sectons of the text for which he was himself responsible,
Hegel uses two distnct means in order to indicate paragraph divi­
sions, and I have retained this distncton in my tanslaton. Major
divisions - of which there are relatvely few - are indicated by the
conventonal device of startng a new line and indentng the begng
of the new paragraph. Less important diVisions are marked only by a
dash before the begng of the next sentence (or group of
I have also attempted to reproduce, in the English tanslaton,
Hegel's fequent use of italics for emphasis. These italcs are an
important pointer not only to those terms or ideas on which Hegel
wished to lay partcular stess, but even at tmes to his meaning (see,
for example, the frst sentence of § 1 67, in which the italics make it
clear that the words in parenthesis refer only to the noun 'inward­
ness', and not to the noun 'tuth' as well). Hegel's use of italics for
ttles of books is likewise retained, although I have not followed his
(by no means consistent) practce, in which he was influenced by
printng conventons of his day, of italicizing personal names and both
real and hypothetcal quotatons; in keeping with moder usage,
names are set in normal tpe and quotatons are identfed as such by
quotaton-marks alone. Only on very rare occasions (for example, on
two occurrences of the word 'this' in the Additon to § 70) have I
intoduced italics of my own to indicate necessary emphasis in
A word must now be said concerg the principles underlying this
tanslaton, and about the ways in which it differs fom the well­
known version by T. M. Knox (Oxord, 1 942).
The R::/ts¡/|/sss¡/|:is characterized by a high level of abstacton
and densit of expression, and makes frequent use of technical terms
and phrases of uniquely Hegelian significance. I could not therefore
hope to attain that degree of readabilit and naturalness of English
expression at which I aimed in my tanslaton of Hegel's !::ts·:s s»
t/:P/|/sss¡/,s10s·/1H|sts¬6s:s1s:t|s») (Cambridge, 1 975), for
the latter work is for the most part considerably less abstact and
technical in character than the R:d:ts¡l|/sss¡/|:.But I have attempted,
as in the previous tanslaton, to achieve a high degree of literalness,
xx ii
Translator's preace
especially in conveying the conceptual basis of Hegel's thought; on
the present occasion, however, I have been more conscious of the
need to maintain consistency in tanslatng technical terms and words
which Hegel uses partcularly fequently, or which have a partcular
signifcance within his thought. To cite two examples, I tanslate
terms such as c»s»1]·s|:/('in and for itself) literally throughout,
and render Hegel's much-used term 8:st|oos»eas 'determinaton'
wherever possible, supplying the original in brackets in cases where
sense and usage cal for alteratve renderings. I considered it less
essental, on the other hand, to ty to reproduce Hegel's sentence
stucture exactly where this would have made for unduly cumbersome
or unidiomatc English.
The term R::/t,which occurs in the ttle of Hegel's work and on
numerous occasions throughout the text, also calls for comment. Its
range of meaning, which is closely akin to that of the Latn term |ss,is
much wider than that of the English word 'right', for it encompasses
not only the rights of specific individuals and groups of people, but
also the entre realm oflaw and justce, both as philosophical concepts
(cf. Ncts··::/t,English 'natural law') and actual insttutons (cf ·ao|s-
:/aR::/t,English 'Roman law'). For the sake of consistency, I have
tanslated it as 'right' whenever possible, and on those (relatvely
infequent) occasions when I have had to tanslate the word R::/t-as
distnct fom its compounds - as 'law' or 'justce', I have added the
original in square brackets.
T. M. Knox's tanslaton has been of considerable assistance to
me. On many occasions, I found myself indebted to his solutons to
dauntng problems which confont the reader and tanslator of
Hegel's text. Where Knox's renderings seemed incapable of signif­
cant improvement - as was not inequently the case - I made no
attempt to look for alteratves simply for the sake of being diferent.
On the other hand, Knox's language is ofen excessively formal by
today's standards, and even at tmes archaic (which is scarcely sur­
prising afer alost half a century); in such cases, I have tied to adopt
a less stlted idiom.
The main diference between my tanslaton and Knox's, however,
is that his general stategy L almost the reverse of my own as des­
cribed at the top of this page. Knox declares in his preface (pp. x-xi )
that he has aimed at a literal tanslaton. This literalness is more
conspicuous, however, in his attempts to reproduce Hegel's sen-
Translator's preace
tence-stucture and turs of phrase, even at the expense of English
idiom, than in his teatent of Hegel's network of concepts. He tends
to paraphrase technical expressions (for example, by rendering c»·ué
1:·s|:/as 'absolute(ly)'), and to tanslate the same conceptual term in
numerous different ways according to context (for example, by
employing over twent-fve different tanslatons for the term 8:st|o-
os»e- admittedly an exteme and problematc case); and in partcu­
larly abstact passages, he tends to abandon even his customary
adherence to Hegel's sentence-stucture in favour of fee paraphrase
(comparison of our respectve renderings of § 183, for example, or of
the first sentence of § 1 73 should make the latter diference
apparent). In view of these differences of approach, Knox's render­
ings have on many occasions stuck me as too loose or imprecise, and
I have duly endeavoured to improve on them. But I must again
acknowledge with grattude that Knox's general understanding of
Hegel's German is of a high order, with the result that the number of
outight errors I have been able to ident in his tanslaton (around
sevent-five) is remarkably small for a work as long and complex as
the R::/ts¡/|/sss¡/|:.
Some of Knox's solutons to problems posed by Hegel's technical
terminology are now so well established in English-speaking Hegel
scholarship that I have simply taken them over, as I did in my previous
tanslaton. These include his tanslatons of ·:c/and c|·//:d:as 'real'
and 'actual', and of os·c/|sd:and s|tt/|d:as 'moral' and 'ethical'. (The
latter tanslaton, incidentally, is sanctoned by a manuscript gloss of
Hegel's on the expression :t/|sd::P]|:/t:»/:/·: ('ethical theory of
dutes') in § 1 48: the gloss reads '£t/|s:/:-statt moralisch -sittlich' (i.e.
'not mdral, but ethical or s|tt/|:/')¯ see VPR ii
The pairs of words just cited are, however, only two instances of a
phenomenon which occurs with bewildering fequency in Hegel's
writngs and which confonts the tanslator with formidable diff­
cultes - namely his tendency to employ pairs, or even tiads, of terms
which were virtually synonymous in the German of his day and to
invest them at tmes - but by no means invariably - with nuances of
difference or even with contastng meanings; some of these dif­
ferences of meaning wl indeed be apparent only to those who are
familiar with the connotatons of the terms in queston in other parts
of Hegel's philosophical system. Examples of such couplings (in addi­
ton to the two already mentoned) include Dcs:|»and £x|st¬z,D|»e
Translator's prece
and Soc/·, 0/;·li and C·g·osiooé, 8·zi·l··ug and R·/oiiso (also
|··/ö/iois), Cnoz·and Sd··o··l·, Cm|l/and £¬p1oé·ug, and Aoiiso
and |s/l. It is sometmes possible to find equivalent (if at tmes
somewhat arbitarily chosen) pairs of words in English, such as
'reference' and 'relaton' for 8ei·l··ugand |··/ö/iois, or 'boundary'
and 'limit' for C··oz·and Sd··o··l·. But on many occasions, the only
natural tanslaton for both German words wl be the same English
word, as with 'exstence' for both Dos·io(very awkwardly rendered by
some earlier tanslators as 'determinate being') and Pi···z, 'thing'
for Diogand Sod··,and 'object' for 0/;·liand C·g·osio··é.My solu­
ton in such cases has usually been to employ the same English word
for both, adding the German originals in square brackets; the wider
associatons and range of meaning of such terms, as used by Hegel,
can then be followed up in the glossary at the end of the volume.
When both of the words in such a coupling occur with great
fequency, I have supplied the originals of both (as with Dos·io and
£xisi···z, Diogand Soc/·). But where one of the two is used with
greater fequency, or adheres consistently to a shared meaning fom
which its parter at tmes deviates, I have supplied the original only of
the less frequent or more variable term, as with the adjectves /·ssoé··
(fequently used) and ponilo/o·(less frequently used) for 'partcular',
and the nouns 0/;·li (consistent meaning) and C·g·osio··é (more
variable meaning) for 'object'. This arrangement has the advantage of
reducing the number of German interpolatons needed in the text. To
the same end, I have normally supplied such words, where they are
required, only on their first occurrence within each of Hegel's num­
bered paragraphs (including any subsequent Remarks or Additon),
except where the interval between successive occurrences is so long
as to justf a repetton; later occurrences of the relevant English
term within the same paragraph and its appendages can normally be
assumed to tanslate the German term already supplied on the
previous occasion. When the near-synonym of the German term in
queston also occurs within a given paragraph and its appendages, I
have contnued to supply the German originals of both in all instances
where the two might otherwise be confused. In a few cases where I
have been unable to detect any semantc difference between such
terms - as with the pairings Cnuésoiz and Priozip ('principle') or
7orisiand R·c/isg·/·/n··('jurist'), for example, and on some occasions
with 8···c/iæm·gand R·d·mnæ«·g('justficaton') - I have used the
Trnslator's prece
same English word for both without supplyng the original of either.
But in all cases where signifcant distnctons might otherwise be
missed, or where conceptually signifcant German terms are
tanslated in an unconventonal or anomalous manner, I have added
the original in brackets. The obvious disadvantage of interruptng the
English text with parentheses of this kind is, to my mind, outweighed
by the greater precision and insight into Hegel's usage which this
procedure makes possible.
A of the German terms so far mentoned are to be found, \vith
their Englsh tanslatons, in the glossary. In this glossary, those
English renderings which, in the text, are normally accompaned by
the German original are identfed by an asterisk, and cross­
references to their synonyms, near synonyms, and apparent synonyms
are also supplied. The glossary makes no claim to comprehensive­
ness; it includes only key terms, and in partcular those which present
diffcultes of tanslaton. It chief purpose, apart from listng the
standard tanslatons employed, is to elucidate, by means of cross­
references to related terms and by including most secondary as well as
primary English renderings of the German words listed, those clus­
ters of concepts which are of vital importance to an understanding of
Hegel's thought. It is, of course, impossible to apply a list of standard
Englsh equivalents mechanically in tanslatng a work as complex as
the R·c/isp/i/sssp/i·,or to use the glossary in reverse as a key to the
German originals of every English term listed in it. Two examples
may illustate the difcultes involved. First, two or more completely
different German words, which are in no way synonyms, may have to
be tanslated by the same Englsh term which happens H have two or
more distnct meanings. Thus, the words So/;·li, C·g·osiooé (in
certain contexts), and |oi·noo,may all be tanslated as 'subject', as
applied respectvely to mind as distnct fom its object, to the topic of
a teatse or discourse, and to one who owes allegiance to a sovereign
or state. But in te absence of mdictonary-stle defnitons of each
distnct usage - and such defnitons are beyond the scope of a
glossary of tanslatons - only the context \vithin the work itself can
make the different senses intelligible. And secondly, in cases where
literal tanslaton is impossible - as with many of Hegel's adjectval
nouns, whose English tanslaton requires a noun to be added to the
adjectve in queston (for example, in the second sentence of § 1 70,
where ·io C·¬·ioso¬·s is tanslated 'a common purpose', or in the
Translator's prece
third sentence of § I 1 8, where gooz o··ée··s is tanslated as 'things
quite different') - words may be generated ('purpose' and 'things' in
the examples just cited) for which no precise equivalent is present in
the original. In those (relatvely few) instances of this kind where
confsion or serious ambiguit seemed likely to result, I have supplied
the original German in brackets. It must, however, be emphasized
that, in any systematc study of Hegel's linguistc usage, there is no
substtute for consultng the original text.
Another class of terms which present the tanslator with difcultes
are those which Hegel on some occasions invests with a sense
peculiar to his own system, but on other occasions contnues to use in
one or more of the senses which they possess in everyday usage. The
most familiar of these is perhaps the verb oo1·/·o, which I have
normally tanslated as 'to supersede' when it is used in its technical
sense (which itself encompasses the meanings 'to remove (or cancel)',
'to raise', and 'to preserve'); when tanslatng it in other ways (for
example, as 'to overcome'), I have added te original in brackets.
Similarly, |s·si·//·ug often denotes that mode of 'representatonal
thought' or 'representatonal thinking' which, for Hegel, deals not in
concepts but in images raised to the form of universalit; but on other
occasions, it signifes no more than a 'noton' or 'idea' in the everyday
senses of these words. The range of this partcular term - like the
term 8·siio¬·ug- is exceptonally wide and variable in Hegel's writ­
ings, and I have supplied the original in brackets on those occasions
where tanslatons other than 'representatonal thought' or 'represen­
ttonal thinking' are required. Hegel's use of the term D··,however,
is more consistent. He uses it almost invariably in its technical sense,
to denote the fll development (or 'tuth') of the Bgrf or concept.
To indicate this special significance, I have tanslated it throughout
with a capital, as 'Idea'.
Certain oter terms cause difficultes because the insttutons to
which they refer do not have precise counterparts in present-day
societ, or because the German term in queston has no precise
equivalent in English. Thus, Hegel's Ps/iz·ihas a much wider sense
than the English 'police', since it refers to an authorit whose
responsibilit extends beyond the upholding of law and order to such
matters as price contol, public works, and welfare provisions; for this
reason, Knox and others have tanslated it as 'public authorit'. To
this I would object that Hegel's Ps/iz·i is just as alien to modem
Trnslator's prece
Lctman-spcakcts as thc uansÌauOn `pOÌÎCc´ Îs tO mOdcH ÍnµÌÎsh-
spcakcts, OcCausc thc WOtd Ps/iz·iÎn mOdcH Lctman has muCh thc
samc tanµc O! mcanÎnµ as `pOÌÎCc´ has În mOdcH ÍnµÌ:sh. Ï haVc
aCCOtdÎnµÌ\uscdthc uansÌauOn`pOÌÎCc´ thtOuµhOut. ²hctctmSiöoé·
pOscs twO dÎsunCtptOOÌcms, Þtst OcCausc thc ÎnsutuuOns tO WhÎCh Ît
tc!cts haVc Chanµcd În ChataCtct sÎnCc ÏcµcÌ´s da\, and scCOndÌ\
OcCausc Ît has nOt just Onc OuttwO |aÌOcÎt CÌOscÌ\ tcÌatcd) mcan:nµs.
²hcSiöoéeWctc, ÎnthchtstpÌaCc, thc Ístatcs|Ot£iois)O!!cudaÌand
aOsOÌuust sOCÎct\, WhOsc tcptcscntauVcs mεht COnsututc a !OtmaÌ
suppOscdÌ\ natutaÌ dÎVÎsÎOns WÎthÎn sOCÎcÞ |suCh as nOOÎÌÎÞ, CÌctH,
and COmmOncts), and thc tctm COuÌd aCCOtdÎnµÌ\ Oc uscdÎn a WÎdct
scnsc |as thc sÎnµuÌat SiooétcµuÌatÌ\ Was) tO dcnOtc Othct natutaÌ!\
dÎsunCt sOCÎaÌ µtOups suCh as thc ptaCuuOncts O!dÎÜctcnt uadcs Ot
ptO!cssÎOns. Ïn thc !Otmct, ptcdOmÎnantÌ\ pOÌÎuCaÌ scnsc, Ï haVc
uansÌatcdSiöoé·as `Ístatcs´ |WÎtha CapÎtaÌ). Pd ÎBthc Ìattct, WÎdct
scnsc, Ï haVc uansÌatcd Îtas `cstatcs´ |WÎtha smaÌÌÌcttct), ÎB Otdct tO
dÎsunµuÎsh Ît !tOm ÏcµcÌ´s tctm K/oss·, WhÎCh Ï haVc În tuH
uansÌatcd as `CÌass´ and WhÎCh COttcspOnds mOtc CÌOscÌ\ tO thc
mOdcH COnCcpt O! CÌass as a sOCÎO-cCOnOmÎC CatcµOt\. ²hc tctm
Uiss·osc/ot, În ÏcµcÌ´s da\ as În thc ptcscnt, has nO ptcCÎsc
cquÎVaÌcnt În ÍnµÌÎsh, thc ncatcst apptOXmauOn OcÎnµ thc tctm
`sCÎcnCc´,WhÎCh Ï haVc aCCOtdÎnµÌ\ uscd tO uansÌatc Ît. Uisswsc/otÎn
Lctman dcnOtcs an\OtanCh O!knOWÌcdµc OtsChOÌatÌ\aCuVÎÞWhÎCh
Îs putsucd andCuÌuVatcdÎnas\stcmauCmannct, andÎnÏcµcÌ´s Casc,
ÎtÎsassOCÎatcdÎnpatuCuÌatWÎthphÎÌOsOph\as hchÎmscÌ!undctstOOd
Ît. ²hc ÍnµÌÎsh tctm `sCÎcnCc´, On thc Othct hand, at ÌcastsÎnCc thc
htstha!!O!thcnÎnctccnth CcntuC,has CattÎcd a mOtc CÎtCumsCtÎOcd
mcan:nµ, OcÎnµ assOCÎatcd Þtstand!OtcmOstWÎth thc cXpÌanauOn O!
natutaÌ phcnOmcna.
ÍVcnthc COmmOncstO!LctmanVctOs, thc VctO s·io |`tO Oc´), Can
Causc COnsÎdctaOÌc ptOOÌcms, ChÎc!Ì\ OcCausc ÏcµcÌ OÜcn uscs Ît În
an aOsOÌutcscnsc|Î.c.WÎthOutaptcdÎCatc). buChusaµc|asÎB`²OOc,
OtnOttOOc´)ÎstatcÎnÍnµÌÎsh, sOthatÌÎtctaÌuansÌauOnÎsnOtaÌWa\s
pOssÎOÌc. \hctcs·i··Înthc aOsOÌutc scnscÎs COupÌcdWÎth oosic/I`În
ÎtscÌ!), (írsic/ |`!OtÎtscÌ!), ctC., Ï haVc uansÌatcd Îtas `tO haVc OcÎnµ´
|!Ot cXampÌc, `tO haVcOcÎnµ În and !Ot ÎtscÌ! !Ot ÏcµcÌ´s ooii··é(ír
sid·s·io).\hctc Îtmcans `tO cXst´, Ï haVc at umcs tcndctcd Ît as `tO
Oc ptcscnt´ În OtdcttO aVOÎd COnmsÎOnWÎth `tO cXst´ as a uansÌauOn
Trnslator's preace
of Hegel's cisii···o,although 'to exst' is sometes feasible where no
confusion with cisii···o is possible.
A word must be said in conclusion on the issue of gender-specifc
language. By present-day standards, Hegel's views on women, like
those of many of his contemporaries, are highly discriminatory and
even offensive (see, for example, ; r êê of the R·d·isp/i/sssp/i·).
Accordingly, he regularly uses masculine pronouns, adjectval forms,
etc. either to include the feminine, or to exclude it altogether because
he considers the female sex irrelevant to whatever politcal or social
insttuton he is discussing. I the interests of accuracy, I have
wherever possible tanslated such forms literally. I have, however, in
most cases tanslated the word M·osc/as 'human being', although in a
minorit of contexts where this would have sounded unduly awkward
or necessitated a misleading use of the plural, I have tanslated it as
'man' or 'mankind' (see, for example, ; r ëand the Additon to ; r ¸e).
Square brackets are used throughout to indicate material inter­
polated by the editor or tanslator. Such material icludes both orig­
inal German terms where these are supplied, and words or phrases
which I have added for ease of reading or comprehension, but which
have no equivalents in the original. Works frequently cited in the
foototes are referred to by short ttle or abbreviaton, followed
(where applicable) by volume-number in Roman numerals and page­
number: e.g. VPR iii, r oo, U··l·, vii, zoo.
Finally, I wish to express my grattude to Professor Allen Wood for
his scrutny of my tanslaton and for many helpful suggestons, and to
Mrs Ema Smith for fittng into an already busy schedule the tme­
consuming task of tping the manuscript.
Cambridge, June r eeo H. B. Nisbet
Key to abbrevatons
In the editorial notes, writngs of Hegel, Kant, Fichte, and Fries wl
be cited according to the followng system of abbreviatons. ^
tanslatons occurring in the notes are by the editor, but standard
English tanslatons (where they exst) will normally be cited, with
English paginaton following German paginaton, separated by a slash
Writngs of Hegel
H·g·/: U··l·: I/·s·i· U··loesgo/·. Frankfurt:
Suhrkamp Verlag, 1 970. Cited by volume and page
H·g·/s 8·io·, edited by Johannes Hoffmeister and
Friedheim Nicolin. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag,
1981. Cited by volume and page number.
H·g·/: I/· L·ii·n, tanslated by Clark Butler and
Christane Seiler. Bloomington: Indiana Universit
Press, 1 984. Cited by page number.
Dm···ozé·sFic/i· \c/·o·ioéSc/·#iog\cl··oS,si·osé··
P/i/sssp/i·(1801), U··l·II.
I/·Dm··oc·8·io··oFic/i·'s ooéSc/·//iog'sS,siw:s1
P/i/sssp/,, tanslated by H. S. Harris and Walter
Cerf Albany: SUNY Press, 1 977.
Di·|·mss·ugD·oisc//ooés, U··l·I.
'The German Consttuton', tanslated by T. M. Knox,
Ke to abbreiations
in Z. Pelczynski (ed.) H·g·/'sPs/iiico/U·iiiog,Oxord:
Clarendon Press, r eê+.
E H £oz,l/spëoi· é··p/i/sssplisd Uiss·osc/of··· ( r ë I ;
Heidelberg version). H·g·/s së¬i/ic/· U··l·, W.
Aufage der Jubilaumsausgabe, edited by Hermann
Glockner. Stuttgart: Friedrich Frommann Verlag,
r eêë. Volume ½. Cited by paragraph (§) number.
EL £··z,l/spëoi·é··p/i/sssp/isc/·o Uiss·osc/of···I ( r ër ;,
rev. r ëz;,r ë¸o), U··l·VIII.
H·g·/:Lsgic, tanslated by William Wallace. Oxford
Universit Press, r e;¡. Cited by paragraph (§) num­
ber. Additons are indicated by an 'A'.
EN £oz,l/spëoi·é··p/i/sssp/isc/·o Uiss·osc/of·oI I ( r ër ;,
rev. r ëz;, r ë¸o), U··l·D.
H·g·/'sP/i/sssp/,s1Aoie··,edited by M. J. Pet. New
York: Humanites Press, r e;o.Cited by paragraph (§)
EG £oz,l/spëéi· Je· p/i/sssp/isc/·o Uiss·osd·of·o III
( r ër ;,rev. r ëz;, r ë¸o), U··l·X.
H·g·/'sP/i/sssp/,s1Mioé,tanslated by William Wal­
lace and A. V. Miller. Oxford Universit Press, r e;r .
Cited by paragraph (§) number. Additons are indi­
cated by an 'A'.
GW C/oe/·oooéUiss··· (r ëoz), U··l·II.
Foii/ooéKos¬/·ég·,tanslated by Walter Cerf and H.
S. Harris. Albany: S UNY Press, r e;;.
J R 7·oo·· R·o/p/i/sssp/i· ( r ëo¡-r ëoê) (previous tde:
7·o·os··R·o/p/i/ssspli· II), edited by J. Hoffmeister.
Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, r eêe.
H·g·/o··éi/·Ho¬ooSpini,tanslated by Leo Rauch.
Detoit: Wayne State Universit Press, r eë¸.Cited by
page number.
J R I 7·o···s·· R·o/p/i/sssp/i· I ( r ëo¸-r ëo+), edited by J.
Hoffeister. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, r e¸o.
Cited by page number.
Ke to abbreiations
L W |8·on·i/oogé··]|··/ooé/·ug··· ioée·|·no¬¬/oogd
Looáiöoé· ées Kig:·ic/s U·i·ti··o/··g i¬7o/·:8¸
ooé:86, U··l·IV.
'Proceedings of the Estates Assembly in the Kngdom
of Wiirttemberg, 1 81 5-181 6', H·g·/'s Ps/|iico/ U·ii-
NP A||m/··g··P·spëoiil(1 808-18I I), U··l·W.
/··éi·¬iss···sc/of//c/··· 8·looé/·ugso·t··· éesAoio·-
··c/is (1 802), U··l·II.
Aoiom/Lo¬,tanslated by T. M. Kox. Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1 975. Cited by page
PhG P/öos······s/sgi·é·s C·isi·s (1 807), U··l·III.
P/···s¬···s/sg s1Spini, tanslated by A. V. Miller.
Oxord University Press, 1 977. Cited by paragraph (�)
PR P/i/sssp/i·é·sR·c/is (1821), U··l·VII.
H·g·/'s P/i/sssp/, s1 Rig/i, the present tanslaton.
Cited by paragraph (§) number. Remarks are indi­
cated by an 'R', Additons by an 'A'.
/··éi·wg/isc/·Rdno/i//(183 I), U··l·X.
'The English Reform Bil', H·g·/'sPs/|iico/ Uniiog.
SP |··/ö/iois é·s Slwiizis¬os zo· P/i/sssp/i·. Do·-
si·//oog s·io·· v··sc/im·o Mséáloiiso·o ooé
|··g/·ic/·ugé·s o·o·si···¬iiéo/i···, U··l·II.
'Relatonship of Skeptcism to Philosophy, Expositon
of its Different Modifcatons and Comparison of the
Latest Form with the Ancient One', in George di
Giovanni and H. S. Harris, 8·i¬···· KooiooéH·g·/.
Albany: SUNY Press, 1 985, pp. 3 I I-362.
SS S,si··o é·· Siii/ic/l·ii (1 802), edited by G. Lasson.
Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1 967.
S,si··o s1£i/ico/ Lm ooéFi·si P/i/sssp/, s1 Spi·ii,
tanslated by H. S. Harris. Albany, 1 979. Cited by
page number.
Ke to abbreiations
I/·s/sgisc/·7og·sésc/·if·s (r ;e¸-r ëoo), U··l·i .
H·g·/: I/··· £sso,s, 1793-1795, tanslated by Peter
Fuss and John Dobbins. Universit of Note Dame
Press, r eë+.
£o·/r Io·s/sgico/Unii··gs, tanslated by T. M. Knox.
Philadelphia: Universit of Pennsylvania Press, r e;I .
Cited by page number.
|s·/·s·ug·s s/··éi·

si/·iil, ¸vols. U··l·xiii-xv.
I/· P/i/sssp/, s1 Fio· ÷n, tanslated by F. B. P.
Osmaston. New York: Hacker, r e;¡. +vols. Cited by
volume and page number.
Di·|·n··ufi··é··C·sclic/i·,edited by J. Hofneister.
Hamburg, r e¡¡.
tanslated by H. B. Nisbet. Cambrdge, r e;¡. Cited
by page number.
|sn·soo i|/·· éi· C·s.l·ic/i· ée· P/i/sssp/i· i-iii,
L·cio··s s·· i/· Hisis¬ s1 P/i/sssp/,, tanslated by
Elizabeth Haldane. New York: Humanites Press,
r eêë. Cited by volume and page number.
VPG |s·/·soog·s i|/··éi· P/i/ssspli· ée· C·s.l·ic/i·, U··l·
D·P/i/sssp/,s1Hisis¬,tanslated by J. Sibree. New
York: Dover, r e¡ê. Cited by page number.
|s·/·s·ug·ss/··R·c/isp/i/sssp/i·,edited by K.-H. Ilt­
ing. Stuttgart: Frommann Verlag, r e;+. Including
notes and tanscriptons from Hegel's lectures of
r ër ë-r ër e(tanscripton by C. G. Homeyer), r ëzr-
r ëzz, r ëzz-rëz¸ (tanscripton by H. G. Hotho),
r ëz+-rëz¡ (tanscripton by K. G. von Griesheim),
r ë¸I (tanscripton by D. F. StauB). Cited by volume
and page number.
Di·P/i/ssspli· é·s R·d·is: Di·Miisc/··if·s Uo·····s-
¬o···· 0·iée//··g 18q-I88) o··é Hs¬c·· 6··/i··
Ke to abbreiations
:88-:8o), edited by K.-H. Iltng. Stuttgart: Klett­
Cotta Verlag, 1 983. Cited by page number.
P/i/sssp/i· ées R·c/is: Di· |sr/·s·og cso :8o/:8zc,
anonymous tanscripton or tanscriptons edited by
Dieter Henrich. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1 983.
Cited by page number.
|sr/·s·og·o ||/·· éi· P/i/sssp/i· é·· R·/içso, U··l·
L·ao··s 0B i/· P/i/ss@/, s1 R·/igiso, 3 volumes,
tanslated by E. B. Speirs and J. B. Sanderson.
London: Routledge ö Kegan Paul Ltd., 1 895. Cited
by volume and page number.
Uiss·osc/ofée·Lsgil( 1 81 2, 1 81 6), U··l·V~VI. Cited
by volume and page number.
H·g·/'s Scieoc· s1 Lsgic, tanslated by A. V. Miller.
London: George Allen öUnwin, 1 969. Cited by page
I wrtngs cited by paragraph (;),a comma used before 'R' or 'A'
means 'and'. Thus: 'PR ;33,A' means ' PR ;33 and the additon to
;33'; 'PR ;270,R,A' means: 'PR ;270 and the Remarks to ;270
and the Additon to ;270'.
Wrtgs of Kant
GS Koots C·so¬¬·/i· Sc/nf·o. Berlin: Ausgabe der
koniglich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaf­
ten, 1 91 0- . Cited by volume and page number.
A Kniil é·· ··io |·moof, edited by Raymund
Schmidt. Hamburg: Meiner, 1 956.
I¬¬ooo·/Koot 's6·iiioo·s1Po··R·osso, tanslated by
Norman Kemp Smith. New York: St Martn's, 1 963.
Cited by frst (A) and second (B) editon paginaton,
separated by a slash (e.g. A8¥BI 1 6).
EF Zo¬wig·oFn

'Perpetual Peace', tanslated by H. B. Nisbet, in Hans
Reiss (ed.) Koot 'sPs/|iico/U·iiiogs.Cambridge: Cam­
bridge Universit Press, 1 970. Cited by page number.
Ke to abbreiations
G Cnuf·gée·M·iop/,silée·Siii·o, GS W.
Fs·uéoiis··ss1i/·M·iop/,sics s1Ms·o/s, tanslated by
Lewis White Beck. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill,
r e¡e. Cited by page number.
KpV Kniilée·p·oliisd·w |·n··uf, GS V.
6niioo·s1P·octico/R·osso,tanslated by Lewis White
Beck. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, r e¡ê. Cited by
page number.
R R·/igisoim···/o//é··C··oz·oée·//s1·o |·mo··f, GS
R·/igisoUii/i··i/·Li¬iiss]R·oss·· ÷/s···,tanslated by
Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H. Hudson. New
York: Harper ö Row, r eêo. Cited by page number.
RL M·iop/,silé·Siit·o.Rechtslehre, GS ½.
M·iopl,sico/ E/·ois s17osiic·, tanslated by John
Ladd. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. Cited by page
number, but occasionally by secton (§) number,
especially passages not tanslated into English.
TL M·iopl,silée·Siii···.Tugendlehre, GS ½.
D·Dsctn···s1|i·to·, tanslated by Mary J. Gregor.
New York: Harper ö Row, r eê+.Cited by page num­
/··é··· C··r··i··spmc/:Dos ¬ogi·· ée· Io·s·i··ic/iig
s·i··, ioogto/····ic/i1«·éi·P·cis,G S ½u.
'On the Common Saying: 'This May Be True In
Theory, But It Does Not Apply In Practce',
tanslated by H. B. Nisbet, i Hans Reiss (ed.) Ko··i's
Ps/iiico/ U·iii··gs. Cited by page number.
VE £io· |sn·s·ugKo··is s/··£ilil, edited by P. Mener
(Berlin: Pan Verlag Rolf Heise, r ez+).
L·cto··ss··£ilia,tanslated by L. Ineld. New York:
Harper, r eê¸. Cited by original German and English
page number.
Ke to abbreiations
Writgs of Fichte
Fic/i·s U··l·, edited by I. H. Fichte. Berlin: W. de
Gruyter ö Co., 1 971 . Cited by volume and page num­
8·ii·ogzo·8··ic/iigoogé·|n·i/· és Po//ilo¬s s/··
éi·;oozssisc/· Rws/oiiso (o÷ii·æpi is 6srr·ci i/·
Po//ic's7oég¬·ois 6soc¬iog i/· F··oc/ Rws/oiiso)
(1 793), FW ½.
Cnué/og·o ésAoio~·c/is (1 796), FW III.
Sci·oc·s1Rig/is,tanslated by A. E. Kroeger. London:
Trubner ö Co., 1 889.
S,si·¬é··Siii·o/·/··(1 798), FW W.
Io· Sci·oc· s1 £i/ia, tanslated by A. E. Kroeger.
London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner ö Co. Ltd.,
1 897.
Uisswsc/ofs/·/·· (1 794), including the two intoduc­
tons (1797), FW l.
Io· Sci·oc· s1Kos¬/·ég·, tanslated by Peter Heath
and John Lachs. Cambridge Universit Press, 1 983.
Writgs of Fries
÷oi/·sps/sgisc/·· Kniil é·· |oof (oi/·sps/sgico/
6niioo·s1R·osso). Heidelberg: Winter, 1 838. Cited
by volume and page number, sometmes also by sec­
ton (§) number.
First editon (1 807) of AKV, enttled A·o·K·iiilé·
|¬oof(A·¬6·iiioo·s1R·osso).Cited by volume and
page number, sometmes also by secton (§) number.
g·¬·io· sicois··c/i/ic/·÷osic/i·o (Io· C·m·oo F·é··-
oiiso ooé C·moo 6sosiiioiiso). Heidelberg: Mohr ö
Winter, 1 81 6. Cited by part and page number; dedi­
caton cited by page number only.
Ke to abbreiations
'Feierrede an die teutschen Burschen' ('Address to
the German Fraterites') 0ppssiiisos//oii sée·
U·i¬o·isc/··Zeii·ug¸oOctober 1 81 7.
|··éie C·1/·ée··gées Usl/siooé·s ·ué6/o·oci·née·
D·eis.l··oéo·d·éi·7oée··(I/·Doog··Psseé/, i/·7·¬s
is C·m·o·· U·/l-8ei··g ooé 6/o·oct··). Heidelberg:
Mohr ö Winter, 18 I ê. Cited by page number.
Hooé/oc/· ée· p·oliiscI···· P/i/sssp/i·. Heidelberg:
Mohr ö Winter, 1 81 8.
7o/ios ·ué £vogs·os: sé··, Sc/o/·ii ée· See/·. £io
p/i/sssp/isd··· Rs¬oo. (18 I ¸), 2nd expanded edn.,
Heidelberg: Christan Friedrich Winter, 1822.
Dio/xoess··Ms·o/|i,ooéR·/igis··,tanslated by Davd
Walford. Totowa, N]: Bares and Noble, 1 982. Cited
by page number.
G. W. F. Hegel
Elements of the
Natural Law and Politcal Science in
Table of Contents
[The Occasion of the Present Work]
[The Speculatve Method]
[The Province of Ethics]
[Recent Superficial Treannents of Ethics and
the State]
[The Relaton of Philosophy to the State]
1 0
1 5
1 9
Intoducton 25
[§§ 1-2: The Speculatve Method] 25
[§ 3: Philosophy and Jurisprudence] 28
[§§ 4-10: Freedom] 35
[ §§ 1 1-21 : Development of the Free Will] 45
[§§ 22-28: The Absolutely Free Will] 53
[§§ 29-32: The System of Right] 58
[§ 33] Subdivisions 62
Par One: Abstra Right 65
[§§ 34-40: The Person] 67
Secton I. Propert 73
[§§ 41-53: Persons and Things] 73
A. [§§ 54-58] Taking Possession 84
B. [§§ 59-64] Use of the Thing 88
C. [§§ 65-70] The Alienaton of Propert 95
[§ 71] Transiton fom Propert to Contact 102
Secton 2: Contact 1 04
[§§ 72-75: The Contactual Relaton] 1 04
[§§ 76-79: Moments of the Contact] 106
[§ 80: Kinds of Contacts] I I C
[§ 81 : Transiton to Wrong] I I 7
Secton 3: Wrong I I A
[§§ 82-83: The Concept of Wrong] I I A
A. [§§ 84-86] Unintentonal Wrong 1 17
B. [§§ 87-89] Decepton 1 1 8
C. Coercion and Crime I I 9
Philosophy a/Right
|;;eo-e¸. Coercion] r r e
|; ;e+-eê. Crime] r zr
| ; ;e;-ee.The Cancellaton of Crime] r z¸
|;;r oo-ror . Justce] r zê
|;;roz-ro¸. Punishment and Revenge] r¸o
|;r o+JTransiton from Right to Moralit r ¸r
Par Two: Moralit r¸¸
|;;r o¡-ro;.Subjectvit] r¸¡
|;;r oë-r iz. Subjectvit and Objectvit] r¸;
|;;r r ¸-r r +.Acton] r +o
Secton r . Purpose and Responsibilit r+¸
|;;r i ¡-r i ê.Responsibilit and Liabilit] r +¸
|;;rt-r i ë.Purpose and the Right of
Knowledge] r ++
Secton z. Intenton and Welfare r +;
|;;r i e-r zo.The Right of Intenton] r +;
|;;r zr-rz¡. Self-Satsfacton and Welfare] r +e
|;;r zê-r zë. Right and Welfare] r¡¸
Secton ¸. The Good and the Conscience r ¡;
| ;;r ze-r ¸ r . The Good] r ¡;
| ;r ¸z. The Right of Insight into the Good] r ¡ë
| ;;r ¸¸-r¸¡. Moral Dut] r êr
|;;r ¸ê-r¸ë. True Conscience] r ê¸
|;;r¸e-r+o.Evil] r ê;
|;r +r J Transiton from Moralit to Ethical
Life r ë¡
Part Tree: Ethical Li r ë;
|;;r +z-r+¸. The Ethical as the Idea of
Freedom] r ëe
|; ; r ++-r+¡. Ethical Objectvit] r ëe
|; ; r +ê-r +;. Ethical Subjectvit] r eo
|;;r +ë-r +e.Ethical Dut] r er
|;;r ¡o-r ¡ r . Virtue] r e¸
|;;r ¡z-r ¡¡. Ethical Right]
r e¡
|;;r ¡ê-r¡;. Ethical Spiit]
r e;
Table oj Conte
Secton I : The Family r ee
[§ r ¡ë. Love] r ee
[§ r êo.Moments of the Family] zoo
A. Marriage zoo
[§§ r êr-rê¸. The Marriage Relaton] zoo
[§ r ê¡.The Marriage Ceremony] zo¡
[§§ r ê¡-r êê.Diference of the Sexes] zoê
[§ r ê;. Monogamy] zo;
[§ r êë. The Incest Prohibiton] zo;
[§ r êe. Family Propert] zoë
B. The Family's Resources zoe
[§§ r ;o-r ;r . Propert i Common] zoe
[§ r ;z. The Kinship Group] zoe
C. The Upbringing of Children and the Dis-
soluton of the Family zr o
[ § r ;¸. Parental Love] zr o
[§§ r ;¡-r ;¡. Upbringing of Children] z r r
[§ r ;ê. Divorce] zr ¸
[ § r ;;. The Emancipaton of Children] zr ¡
[§§ r ;ë-rëo.Rights of Inheritance] zr ¡
[ § r ër J Transiton from the Family to Civil
Societ z r e
Secton z.Civil Societ zzo
[§§ r ëz-r ë¡.A Societ of Persons] zzo
[§§ r ë¡-r ë;.The Development of Partcu-
larit] zzz
[§ r ëë. Moments of Civil Societ] zzê
A. The System of Needs zz;
[§ r ëe. Subjectve Needs] zz;
a. [§§ r eo-r e¡JThe Nature of Needs
and their Satsfacton zzë
b. [§§ r eê-r eëJThe Nature of Work z¸ r
c. [§§ r ee-zoëJResources [and
Estates] z¸¸
B. The Administaton of Justce z¡o
[§§ zoe-zro. The Recogniton of Personal
Right] z¡o
a. [§§ zr r-zr ¡J Right as Law z¡r
Philosophy of Right
b. [§§ 21 5-21 8] The Exstence of the
Law 246
c. The Court of Law 251
[ §§ 21 9-221 : The Need for Public
Justce] 251
[§§ 222-228: The Legal Process] 253
[§ 229: Transiton to the Police and
the Corporaton] 259
C. The Police and the Corporaton 259
[§ 230: Partcular Welfare as a Right] 259
a. The Police
[§§ 23 1-234: The Need for a
Universal Authority] 260
[§§ 235-240: Civil Societ's Need
for Economic Regulaton] 261
[§§ 241-245: Povert in Civil
Society] 265
[§§ 246-248: Civil Societ's
Tendency to Colonial Expansion] 267
[§ 249: Transiton to the Corpora-
ton] 269
b. [§§ 250-255] The Corporaton 270
[§ 256: Transiton from Civil
Societ to the State] 273
Secton 3: The State
[§§ 257-258: The State as Ethical Idea and
Objectve Freedom] 275
[§ 259: Moment of the State] 281
A. Consttutonal Law 282
[§§ 260-262: The State's Relaton to
Individuals] 282
[§§ 263-266: The State's Relaton to Insttu-
[§§ 267-27°: The Subjectve and Objectve
Sides of the State: Patiotsm, The Consttu-
ton, Religion]
[§ 271 : The Consttuton as an Organism] 304
I. The Interal Consttuton 305
Table oj Contents
[§§ 272-274: Moments of the Ratonal
Consttuton] 305
a. The Power of the Sovereign 31 3
[ § 275: Three Moments of the
Sovereign Power] 3 1 3
[i. Universalit]
31 4
[§§ 276-278: 1 . Unity of the
Sovereign] '
31 4
[§ 279: 2. The Sovereign as
Individual Person and Subject] 3 1 6
[§§ 280-281 : 3. The Sovereign as
Natural Individual] 321
[ § 282: The Right to Pardon] 325
[ii. §§ 283-284: Partcularit: The
Sovereign's Right to Appoint
Offcials] 326
[iii. §§ 285-286: Individualit: The
Stabilit of the Sovereign
b. The Executve Power 328
[§§ 287-290: The Stucture of the
Civil Service] 328
[§§ 291-292: Qualficatons for
Public Service] 332
[ §§ 293-297: The Dutes of Civil
Servants] 332
c. The Legislatve Power 336
[ §§ 298-299: The Functon of
Legislaton] 336
[§ 300: The Role of the Monarch
and Executve i Legislaton] 339
[§§ 301-304: The Estates Assem-
bly] 339
[§§ 305-307: The Upper House] 345
[§§ 308: The Lower House] 346
[§§ 309-3 1 0: The Task of
Deputes] 348
[§ 3 I I : The Electon of Deputes] 350
[§§ 3 1 2-3 1 3: The Bicameral System] 351
Philosophy of Right
i +-¸ r ¡. The Functon of the
Estates Assembly ¸¡I
|; ;¸ r ê-¸ r ë.Public Opinion] ¸¡¸
|;¸ r e. Freedom of Public Com-
municaton] ¸¡¡
|;¸zo.Transiton to Exteral
Sovereignt] ¸¡ë
II. Exteral Sovereignty
|;;¸zr-¸z+.The State as an Individual] ¸¡e
|;;¸z¡-¸zë. The Military Estate and
|;¸ze. The Sovereign's Authority over
Foreign Affairs] ¸ê¡
B. Interatonal Law
|;;¸¸o-¸¸I : The Status of Interatonal
Law] ¸êê
|;;¸¸z-¸¸¸. Treates Between States] ¸êë
|;;¸¸+-¸¸e. The Relatons Between States
in Time of War]
|;¸+o.Transiton from the State to World
History] ¸;I
-C. World History ¸;z
|;;¸+r-¸++.World History as the History of
Spirit] ¸;z
|;¸+¡. The Viewpoint of World History Is
Above Moral or Ethical Judgements] ¸;¸
|;;¸+ê-¸¡r . The Stages of World History as
Natonal Principles]
|;;¸¡z-¸¡+.The Four Realms of World
History] ¸;ê
r. ;¸¡¡. The Oriental Realm ¸;;
z. ;¸¡ê.The Greek Realm ¸;ë
¸. ;¸¡;. The Roman Realm ¸;e
+. ;;¸¡ë-¸êo.The Germanic Realm ¸;e
The immediate occasion for me to publish this outline is the need to
provide my audience \vith an intoducton to the lectures on the
P/i/sssp/,s1Rig/twhich I deliver in the course of my offcial dutes. '
This textbook is a more extensive, and in partcular a more systematc,
expositon of the same basic concepts which, in relaton to this part of
philosophy, are already contained in a previous work designed to
accompany my lectures, namely my £occ/spc·éic s1t/·P/i/sssp/icc/
Sci·oc·s (Heidelberg, 1 81 7).
The fact that this outline was due to appear in print and thus to
come before a wider public gave me the opportunit to amplif in it
some of those R·¬c·ls whose primary purpose was to comment
briefly on ideas ||s·st·//·mgcoJ akin to or divergent from my own, on
frther consequences of my argument, and on other such matters as
would be properly elucidated i the lectures themselves. I have ampli­
fed them here so as to clarif on occasion the more abstact contents
of the text and to take fuller account of related ideas ||snt·//·ug·oJ
which are current at the present tme. As a result, some of these
Remarks have become more extensive than the aim and stle of a
compendium would normally lead one to el'ect. A genuine com­
pendium, however, has as its subject-matter what is considered to be
the entre compass of a science; and what distnguishes it - apart,
perhaps, from a minor additon here or there - is above all the way in
which it arranges and orders .the essental elements |Ms¬·ot·J of a
content which has long been familiar and accepted, just as the form in
which it is presented has its rules and conventons which have long
been agreed. But a philosophical outline is not expected to conform to
Philosophy oj Right
thÎspattcH, Î!OnÌ\OcCausc ÎtÎs ÎDaµÎncd thatWhatphÎÌOsOph\puts
!Otwatd Îs as cphcmctaÌ a ptOduCt as ÏcncÌOpc´s WcaVÎnµ, Wh:Ch Îs
Ocµun a!tcsh cVcC da\.`
ÏtÎsCcttaÎnÌ\uuc that thc pt:mat\ dÎ!!ctcnCc OctWccn thc ptcscnt
OudÎnc and an OtdÎnat\COmpcndÎumÎs thcmcthOdWhÎChCOnsututcs
Îts µuÎdÎnµptÎnCÎpÌc. ÜutÏamhctc ptcsuppOsÎnµthatthcphÎÌOsOph:-
CaÌ mannct O!ptOµtcssÎnµ!tOm Onc tOpÎC tO anOthctand O!COnduCt-
Înµ a sCÎcnuÞC ptOO!¬ thÎs cnutc spcCuÌauVc mOdc O!COµnÎuOn ¬ Îs
csscnuaÌÌ\ dÎ!Ïctcnt !tOm Othct mOdcs O!COµn:uOn.' ²hc tcaÌÎZauOn
that suCh a dÎ!ÏctcnCc Îs a ncCcssat\ Onc Îs thc OnÌ\ thÎnµWh:Ch Can
saVcphÎÌOsOph\!tOm thc shamcmÌ dcCÌÎnc ÎntOWh:ChÎthas !aÌÌcnÎn
Out umcs. Ïthas Îndccd OccntcCOµn:Zcd that thc !Otms and tuÌcs O!
thc OÌdct ÌOµÎC ¬ O!dchn:uOn, CÌassÎÞCauOn, and În!ctcnCc ¬ Wh:Ch
ÎBCÌudc thc tuÌcs O! thc undctstandÎnµ´s COµn:uOn [Ícr-
siooé·s··l·ooioisJ, atc Înadcquatc !Ot spcCuÌauVc sCÎcnCc. Lt tathct,
thcÎtÎnadcquaC\hasnOtsOmuChOccntcCOµnÎZcd as mctcÌ\!cÌt, and
thcn thc tuÌcsÎn qucsuOn haVc Occn Cast asÎdc, as Î!thc\Wctcs:mpÌ\
!cttcts, tO makcWa\!Otthc atOÎuat\ ptOnOunCcmcnts O!thc hcatt, O!
!antas\, and O!COnunµcntÎntuÎuOn, and sÎnCc, În spÎtc O!thÎs, tc!ÌcC-
uOn and tcÌauOns O! thOuµht Înc7ÎtaOÌ\ aÌsO COmc ÎntO pÌa\, thc
dcspÎscd mcthOd O! COmmOnpÌaCc dcduCuOn and tauOCÎnauOn Îs
unCOnsCÎOusÌ\ adOptcd. ¬ bÎnCc Ï haVc mÌÌ\ dcVcÌOpcd thc natutc O!
spcCuÌauVc knOWÌcdµcÎn m\Sci·oc·s1Lsgic,¹Ï haVc OnÌ\ OCCasÎOnaÌÌ\
addcd an cXpÌanatOt\ COmDcnt On ptOCcdutc and mcthOd În thc
ptcscnt OutÌÎnc. LÎVcn that thc suOjcCt-mattct Îs COnCtctc and
ÎBhctcntÌ\ O! sO VatÎcd a natutc, Ï haVc O! COutsc OmÎttcd tO
dcmOnsuatc and OtÎnµ Out thc ÌOµÎCaÌ ptOµtcssÎOn În caCh and cVct\
dctaÎÌ. Üut On thc Onc hand, Ît mµht haVc Occn COnsÎdctcd supct-
ÜuOustO dOsOÎnV:cWO!thc !aCtthatÏhaVcptcsuppOscda !amÎÌÎatÎÞ
W:th sCÎ0nuhC mcthOd, and Onthc Othct, ÎtWÎÌÌ tcadÎÌ\Oc nOuCcd that
thc WOtk as a WhOÌc, ÌÎkc mc COnsuuCuOn ,os/iuoogJ O!Îts patts, Îs
OascdOnthc ÌOµÎCaÌ spÎtÎt. ÏtÎs aÌsO ChÎc!Ì\ !tOmthÎs pOÎnt O!VÎcWthat
Ï WOuÌd WÎsh thÎs ucausc tO Oc undctstOOd and judµcd. ÏOt What Ît
dcaÌsWÎthÎs sci·oc·,and ÎB sCÎcnCc, thc COntcntÎs csscnuaÌÌ\Înscpat-
aOÌc !tOm thc(mì.
ÏtÎs uuc thatWc ma\hcatÎtsaÎd O\ thOsc WhO sccm tO adOpt thc
mOstthOtOuµhapptOaChthat!Otm Îs a putcÌ\cXtcDaÌquaÌ:Þ, ÎndÎ!-
!ctcnt tO thc mattct |Sod··J ÎtscÌ!, WhÎCh Îs aÌOnc O! COnscqucnCc,
mtthctmOtc,thc taskO!thcWtÎtct,cspcCÎaÌÌ\thcphÎÌOsOph:CaÌWtÎtct,
1 0
may be said to consist in the discovery of imi/s, the statement of
imi/s,and the disseminaton of imi/sand correct concepts.6 But if we
consider how this task is actually performed, we see on the one hand
how the same old brew is reheated again and again and served up to
æ and sundry - a task that may not be without its merits in educatng
and arousing the emotons, though it might sooner be regarded as the
superfluous product of over-zealous actvit - 'for they have Moses
and the prophets; let them hear them'.7 Above all, we have ample
opportunit to wonder at the tone and pretentousness that can be
detected in such writers, as if all that the world had hitherto lacked
was these zealous disseminators of tuths, and as if their reheated
brew contained new and unheard-of tuths which ought, as they
always claim, to be taken partcularly to heart, above all 'at the present
tme'. But on the other hand, we can see how whatever tuths of this
kind are handed out by one part are displaced and swept away by
tuths of precisely the same kind dispensed by other partes. And if,
amidst this jumble of tuths, there is something that is neither old nor
new but enduring, how can it be extacted from these formlessly
fluctuatng reflectons -how can it be distnguished and verifed other
than by sci·oiácmeans?
The imi/concerg ·ig/i,·i/ics,ooéi/·sioi·is at any rate a s/éas
its ¬ssiiisoooép·s¬o/goiisoin po//ic/o¬sooéiopo//ic¬s·o/ii, ooé
··/igiso.What more does this tuth require, inasmuch as the thinking
mind |C·isiJ is not content to possess it in this proxmate manner?
What it needs is to be cs¬p··/·oé·éas well, so that the content which
is already ratonal in itself may also gain a ratonal form and thereby
appear justfed H free tg. For such tng does not stop at
what Lgen, whether the latter is supported by the exteral positve
authorit of the state or of mutual agreement among human beings, or
by the authority of inner feeling and the heart and by the testmony of
the spirit which immediately concurs with this, but starts out from
itself and thereby demands to know itself as united in its innermost
being with the truth.
The simple reacton ||··/o/i·oJ of ingenuous emoton is to adhere
with tustng convicton to the publicly recognized tuth and to base
one's conduct and fed positon in life on this firm foundaton. But
this simple reacton may well encounter the supposed difficult of
how to distnguish and discover, among the io1oii·co·i·ns1spioisos,
what is universally acknowledged and valid in them; and this perplex-
Philosophy ofRight
it may easily be taken for a just and genuine concer with the matter
|Soc/-}itself. But in fact, those who pride themselves on this perplex­
ity are in the positon of not being able to see the wood for the tees,
and the only perplexty and diffculty that is present is the one they
have themselves created; indeed, this perplext and diffcult is
rather a proof that they want something other than what is universally
acknowledged and valid, something other than the substance of the
right and the ethical. For if they were genuinely concered wit the
latter and not with te vooin·and ponico/oni, of opinions and being,
they would adhere to the substantal right, namely to the command­
ments of ethics and of the state, and regulate their lives accordingly. -
A frther difficult arises, however, from the fact that human beings
i/ioland look for their freedom and the basis of ethics in [the realm
of thought. But however exalted, however divine this right may be, it
is nevertheless tansformed into wrong if the only criterion of thought
and the only way in which thought can know itself to be free is the
extent to which it éiv··g·s1ìs¬ ¬/oi is ooiv··soh, oclos¬/·ég·é ooé
vo/|éand manages to invent something po·¡ico/o·for itself.
The noton ||s·si·//·ugJ that feedom of thought, and of spirit i
general, can be demonstated only by divergence from, and even
hostlit towards, what is publicly acknowledged might seem to be
most firmly rooted nowadays in ··/oiiso|8·zi·l·iugJisi/·sioi·,for this
very reason, it might seem to be the essental task of a philosophy of
the state to invent and propound ,·ioosi/··i/·s¬,and specifcally a
new and partcular theor. If we examine this noton ||sni·//s··gJ and
the actvit that is associated with it, we might well imagine that no
state or consttuton had ever previously exsted or were in exstence
today, but that we had os¬(and this 'now' is of indefnite duraton) to
start right from the beginning, and that the ethical world had been
waitng only for such intellectual constuctons, discoveries, and
proofs as are os¬available. As far as ooio··is concered, it is readily
admitted that philosophy must recoge it os iiis, that the philo­
sopher's stone lies hidden ss¬·¬/···, but ¬ii/i·· ··oio·· iis·/, that
nature is ·oiisoo/¬ii/ioiis·/ and that it is this ocioo/reason present
within it which knowledge must investgate and grasp conceptually -
not the shapes and contngencies which are visible on the surface, but
nature's eteral harmony, conceived, however, as the law and essence
i¬¬oo···iwithin it. D··i/ico/¬sné,on the other hand, te state, or
reason as it actualizes itself in the element of self-consciousness, is
1 2

not supposed to be happy in the knowledge that it is reason itself
which has in fact gained power and authority 'C·¬c/iJwithin this ele­
ment, and which asserts itself there and remains inherent witin it.'
¹÷ééiiis·· (. There are two kinds of laws, laws of nature and laws of
right: the laws of nature are simply there and are valid as they stand: they
suffer no diminuton, although they may be infringed in individual cases.
To know what the law of nature is, we must familiarize ourselves with
nature, for these laws are correct and it is only our notons '|sni·/ls« J
concering them which may be false. The measure of these laws is
exteral to us, and our cogniton adds nothing to them and does not
advance them: it is only our cogniton of them which can expand. Kow­
ledge 'K ·isis} of right is in one respect similar to this and in another
respect different. We get to know the laws of right in just the same way,
simply as they are; the citzen knows them more or less in this way, and
the positve jurist also stops short at what is given. But the diference is
that, with the laws of right, the spirit of refectona comes into play and
their ver diversity draws attenton to the fact that they are not absolute.
The laws of right are something /ciéés¬·:¹something é··|c·é;sohuman
beings. It necessarily follows that our inner voice may either come into
collision with them or concur with tem. The human being does not stop
short at te exstent 'eoDcs·i·sé·sJ, but claims to have within himself
the measure of what is right; he may be subjected to the necessit and
power of exteral authorit, but never i the same way as to natural
necessit, for his inner self always tells him how things ought to be, and he
fnds within himself the confrmaton or repudiaton of what is accepted
as valid. In nature, the highest tuth is that a law c|siscic//;in laws of
right, however, the thing '8cd:·} is not valid because it exsts; on the
contary, everone demands that it should match his own criterion. Thus
a confict may arise between what is and what ought to be, between the
right which has being in and for itself, which remains unaltered, and the
arbitary determinaton of what is supposed to be accepted as right. A
disjuncton and confict of this kind is found only in the sphere '8séw }of
the spirit, and since the prerogatve of the spirit thus seems to lead to
discord and unhappiness, we often tum away fom the arbitariness oflife
to the contemplaton of nature and are inclined to take the latter as a
model. But these very discrepancies 'C·go sëiz·Jbetween that right which
has being in and for itelf and what arbitariness proclaims as right make
it imperatve for us to lear to recognize precisely what right is. In right,
aTranslator's note: Geist de Betracluung; Hotho's notes, on which Gans based this Addi­
ton, simply read Geist ('spirit'): see VP R ttt, gg.
Translator's note: 'Die Rechtgesete sind Geset:tes'; Hegel plays on the similarity of the
word Gmt: (law) and Geet:tes (someting laid down or posited).
Philosophy ofRight
The spiritual universe is supposed rather to be at the mercy of
contngency and arbitariness, to be gsé-1rsck·s,so that, according to
this atheism of the ethical world, in:i/lies soisu·it, and at the same
te, since reason is nevertheless c/ss supposed to be present in it,
tuth is nothing but a problem. But, we are told, this very circum­
stance justfes, indeed obliges, every thinker to take his own initatve,
though not ios·crc/s1the philosopher's stone, for this search is made
superfuous by the philosophizing of our tmes and everyone,
whatever hs conditon, can be assured that he has this stone in his
grasp. Now it does admttedly happen that those who live within the
actualit of the stte and are able to satsf their knowledge and
voliton within it - and there are many of them, more in fact than
thnk or know it, for /csicc//rthis includes w·¬so·- or at least those
who csososos/rfind satsfacton withn the state, laugh at such initat­
ives and assurances and regard them as an empt game, now more
amusing, now more serious, now pleasing, now dangerous. This rest­
less actvit of vain reflecton, along with the recepton and response it
the human being must encounter hs own reason; he must therefore
consider the ratonalit of right, and this is the business of our science, in
contast with positve jurisprudence, which is ofen concered only with
contadictons. Besides, the present-day world has a more urgent need of
such an investgaton, for in olden tmes there was stll respect and
veneraton for the exstng '/·s··/o:é·o}law, whereas the culture '8i/é·:··g}
of the present age has taken a new directon, and thought has adopted a
leading role in the formaton of values. Theories are put forward in
oppositon to what already exsts 'áDcs·i·oéeo},theories which seek to
appear correct and necessary in and for temselves. From now on, tere
is a more special need to recognize and comprehend te thoughts of right.
Since thought has set itself up as the essental form, we must attempt to
grasp right, too, in terms of thought. If thought is to take precedence over
right, this would seem to throw open the door to contngent opinions; but
genuine thought is not an opinion about something 'éi·8cJ:·}, but the
concept of the thing '8cd:·} itself. The concept of the thing does not
come to us by nature. Everyone has fingers and can take a brush and
paint, but that does not make him a painter. It is precisely the same \vit
tg. The thought of right is not, for example, what everbody knows
at fst hand; on the contary, correct thinking is knmving 'écsk·:·s}
and recognizing the thing, and our cogniton should therefore be
1 4
encounters, might be regarded as a separate issue |SoJ·J,developing
independently in its own distnct way, were it not that p/i/sssp/, in
general has incurred al kinds of contempt and discredit as a result of
such behaviour. The worst kind of contempt it has met with is, as
already mentoned, that everyone, whatever his conditon, is con­
vinced that he knows all about philosophy in general and can pass
judgement upon it. No other art or science is teated with this
ultmate degree of contempt, namely the assumpton that one can take
possession of it outight.
In fact, what we have seen the philosophy of recent tmes proclaim­
ing with the utost pretension in relaton to the state has no doubt
enttled anyone who wishes to have a say in such matters to the belief
that he could just as well do the same thing on his own account, and
thereby prove to himself that he was in possession of philosophy. I
any case, this self-stled philosophy has expressly stated that imi/
iis·hcom·si/·l··s¬··|··loooiJ,but that tuth consists in what ¬·//op
1s¬·oc/ioéiviéoo/'s/·o·i, ·¬siiso,ooéwi/osios¬in relaton to ethi­
cal subjects, partcularly in relaton to the state, goverent, and
consttuton. What has not been said in this connecton to fatter the
young in partcular?8 And the young have certainly taken note of it.
The saying 'for he giveth to his own in sleep' has been applied to
science, so that all sleepers have counted themselves among the
c/ss·o, but the concepts they have acquired in their sleep have of
course bore the marks of their origin.9 - A leader of this superfcial
brigade of so-called philosophers, Herr Fries, t had the temerit, at a
solemn public occasion which has since become notorious,!} to put
forard the following idea ||srsi·//oogJin an address on the subject of
the state and consttuton: 'In a people among whom a genuine
communal spirit prevails, all business relatng to public afairs would
gain its /o1s¬/·/s¬,1ìs¬i/·p·sp/·iis·h/iviogsocietes, steadfastly
united /, i/·soc··é/s··és11n·oés/ip,would dedicate themselves to
every single project of popular educaton and popular service'; and so
on. - The chief tendency of this superfcial philosophy is to base
science not on the development of thought and the concept, but on
immediate percepton and contngent imaginaton; and likewise, to
reduce the complex inner artculaton of the ethical, i.e. the state, the
architectonics of its ratonalit - which, through determinate distnc-
Hegel 's llOle: I have testfed elsewhere to the superfcialit of his science: see my Scece
a/Logic (imberg, r8r2), Intoducton, p. x."
Philosohy ofRight
tons between the various spheres of public life and the rights [BÛ·Lh¬
iæJ they are based on, and through the stict proportons in
which every pillar, arch, and buttess is held together, produces the
stength of the whole fom the harmony of its parts - to reduce this
refned ,·/iueiwJ stucture to a mush of 'heart, fiendship, and
enthusiasm'.'2 According to this noton ||s·si·//oogJ, the ethical
world, like the universe of Epicurus, should be given over to the
subjectve contngency of opinions and arbitariness; but of course
this isnot the case.13 By the simple household remedy of attibutng to
)·/|··gwhat reason and its understandirig have laboured to produce
over several thousand years, all the touble involved in ratonal insight
and cogniton, guided by the tg concept, can of course be
avoided. Goethe's Mephistopheles -a good authorit -says much the
same thing in lines which I have also quoted elsewhere:
Do but despise reason and science,
The highest of all human gif -
Then you have surrendered to the devil
And must surely perish. ''
The next step is for this view to assume the guise of pi·nas well; for
what lengths has such behaviour not gone to in order to lend itself
authorit! By means of godliness and the Bible, however, it has
presumed to gain the supreme justfcaton for despising the ethical
order and the objectvit of the laws. For it is surely also piety which
envelops in te simpler intuiton of feeling that tuth which, in the
world itself, is diversified into an organic realm. But if it is the right
kind of piet, it abandons the form of this [emotonal] region as soon
as it emerges from [the conditon of] inwardness into the daylight of
the Idea's mdevelopment |£om/i·ugJand manifest abundance, and
it brings \vith it, fom its inner worship of God, a reverence for the
laws and for a tuth which has being in and for itself and is exalted
above the subjectve form of feeling.
The partcular form of bad conscience which betays itself in the
vainglorious eloquence of this superficial philosophy may be
remarked on here; for in the frst place, it is precisely where it is at its­
¬ssispi·ii/·ssthat it has most to say about spi·ii,where its talk is driest
and most lifeless that it is freest with the words 'life' and 'enliven', and
where it shows the utost selfshness of empt arrogance that it most
ofen refers to the 'people'. But the distnctve mark which it carries
I 6

on its brow is its hated of law. That right and ethics, and the actual
world of right and the ethical, are grasped by means of i/sog/isand
give themselves te form of ratonalit - namely universalit and
determnacy -by means of toughts, is what consttutes i/·/o¬,and it
is mwhich is justfably regarded as the main enemy by that feeling
which reserves the right to do as it pleases, by that conscience which
identfes right with subjectve convicton. The form of rigt as a éon
and a /o¬is felt by it to be a é·oé, cs/é/·ii··and a s/ocl/·, for it does
not recognize itself in the law and thereby recognize its own feedom
in it, because the law is the reason of the thng |Soc/·J and reason
does not allow feeling to warm itself in the glow of its own partcu­
larit |Por¡ilo/o·|iöiJ. The /o¬ is therefore, as I have remarked
elsewhere in the course of this textbook, ¯ the chief shibboleth by
which the false brethren and fiends of the so-called 'people' give
themselves away.
Since this arbitary sophisty has usurped the name of p/i/sssp/,
and persuaded a wide public that such actvites are philosophy, it has
almost become dishonourable to contnue to speak philosophically
about the nature of the state; and right-minded |··d·i/ic/·J men can­
not be blamed if they grow impatent as soon as they hear talk of a
philosophical science of the state. There is even less cause for sur­
prise that goverents have at last directed their attenton to such
philosophizing, for philosophy with us is not in any case practsed as a
private art, as it was with the Greeks, for example, but has a public
exstence |£xisi·ozJ, impinging upon the public, especially - or solely
- in the service of the state. Goverents have had enough con­
fidence in those of their scholars who have devoted themselves to this
subject to leave the development ,os/i/é·ogJ and import of philo­
sophy entrely to them - granted that here and there, they may have
done so not so much out of confidence in science as out of indif­
ference towards it, retaining teaching posts in philosophy only for
reasons of taditon Gust as in France, to the best of my knowledge,
chairs of metaphysics at least have been allowed to lapse). But their
confidence has frequendy been il repaid, or alteratvely, if they are
thought to be motvated by indifference, the resultant decay of
thorough knowledge |£·l·ooi··isJ should be regarded as the penalt
for this indifference. It may initally appear that this superfcial philo­
sophy is eminendy compatble at least ,vith outward peace and order,
in that it never manages to touch the substance of tings |Soc/·oJ,or
1 7
Philosophy ofRight
even to suspect its exstence; it would thus have no cause to fear
police interventon, at least initally, if it were not that the state also
contained the need for a deeper educaton and insight, and demanded
that this need be satsfied by science. But superficial philosophy leads
automatcally, as far as the ethical [world] and right and dut in
general are concered, to those principles which consttute super­
ficialit in this sphere, namely the principles of the Ssp/isisas we find
them so clearly described by Plato.J6 These principles identf what is
right with so/;·ciic··oéscoéspioisos,with so/;·aic·1··/|ogcoépcrtia-
/cr'ocrtilo/ör·J csociciiso, and they lead to the destucton of inner
ethics and the upright conscience, of love and right among private
persons, as well as the destucton of public order and the laws of the
state. The signifcance which such phenomena '£nc/·is·ugwJ must
acquire for goverents can scarcely be reduced, for example, by the
claim that the very confdence shown by the state and the authority of
an offcial positon are enough to warrant the demand that the state
should accept and give free rein to what corrupts the substantal
source of all deeds, namely universal principles, and should even
allow itself to be defed, as if such defance were entrely proper. 'If
God gives someone an ofce, he also gives him sense ' |·nicoéJ','is
an old chestut which will scarcely be taken seriously by anyone
In the importance which circumstances have again led goverents
to attach to the way in which philosophers conduct thei business,
there is no mistaking the fact that the stdy of philosophy now seems
in many other respects to require an element 'Ms¬·oJof protecton
and encouragement. For in so many publicatons in the feld of
the positve sciences, as well as in works of religious edifcaton and
other indeterminate literature, the reader encounters not only that
contempt for philosophy which I have already referred to, in that
the very people who reveal that their intellectual development
'C·éc··l·o/i/é·ugJ is extemely retarded and that philosophy is com­
pletely alien to them also teat it as something they have finished and
done with; beyond this, we also fnd tat such writers expressly
ipugn philosophy and declare its content, the csoc·pioc/csgoiiisos]
Cséand of physical and spiritual nature, the csgoiiisos]imi/,to be a
foolish, indeed sinfl presumpton, and that r·csso,and again r·cses,
and in endless repetton r·csso is arraigned, belittled, and con­
demned. Or at the very least, they let us see how, for a large prop or-
1 8
ton of those engaged in supposedly scientfic study, the claims of the
concept consttute an embarrassment from which they are neverthe­
less unable to escape. If, I say, one is confronted with such
phenomena '£nc/·ioug···J, one might almost begin to suspect that
taditon is 1ìs¬i/ispsi·as]ciw no longer worthy of respect nor
sufficient to guarantee is/·rcoc· and a contnued public exstence
'Fi···zJ to the study of philosophy.ti8 - The declamatons and
presumptuous outbursts against philosophy which are so common in
our tme afford the peculiar spectacle on the one hand of being in the
right, by virtue of that superficialit to which philosophical science has
been degraded, and on the other of themselves being rooted in the
very element against which they so ungratefully tur. For by declaring
the cogniton of tuth to be a futle endeavour, this self-stled
philosophizing has reduced all thoughts and all topics isi/·sc¬·/w·/,
just as the depotsm of the Roman emperors r····sc·éc//éisiioaisos
between paticians and slaves, virtue and vice, honour and dishonour,
and knowledge 'K···oioisJ and ignorance.2o A a result, the concept
of tuth and the laws of ethics are reduced to mere opinions and
subjectve convictons, and the most criminal principles - since they,
too, are csociais··s¯ are accorded the same status as those laws; and in
the same way, all objects, however barren and partcular 'ocrtilo/crJ,
and all materials, however arid, are accorded the same status as what
consttutes the interest of all tng people and the bonds of the
ethical world.
It should therefore be considered a stoke of gssé 1noo·for science
- although in fact, as I have already mentoned,2i it is a o·c·ssc¬
csos·oo···c·of the i/iog'8cc/·Jitself - that this philosophizing, which
could well have contnued to spin itself into its own web of sc/s/csiic
¬isés¬, has come into closer contact with actualit, in which the
principles of rights and dutes are a serious matter, and which lives in
Hegel' nole: I was reminded of such views on reading a letter ofJohannes von Muller
(Werke [Tubingen, 1 81 0-19], Part Vtt,p. 56), where he says of the conditon of Rome in
1803 when the city was under French rule: 'Asked how the public educatonal insttu­
tons were faring, a professor replied: "On les tolere comme les bordels." " `´ One can
stll even hear people recommendilg so-called 'ratonal theory' [Veunflehre], i.e. logc,
perhaps in the belief that no one in any case bothers about it any longer as a dry and
unfruitl science, or that, if this does happen now and again, those who study it vfnd
only vacuous formulae, neither benefcial nor detimental, so that the recommendaton
cannot possibly do any harm, even if it does no good either.
"Tralllalor's nole: 'They are tolerated, like the brothels.'
1 9
Philosophy oj Right
the lght of its consciousness of these principles, and that a po//|csplit
has consequently resulted between the two. It is i/isc·n r·/ciiso s1
p/i/sssp/,iscaoc/in·which is the subject of misunderstandings, and I
accordingly come back to my earlier observaton that, since philo­
sophy is ¬/srciisos1i/·rciisoc/,it is for that very reason the cs¬pr·-
/·osisos1i/·pr·s·oicoéi/·cctoc/, not the settng up of a ¬sné/csoé
which exsts God knows where - or rather, of which we can very well
say that we know where it exsts, namely in the errors of a one-sided
and empt ratocinaton. I the course of the following teatse, I have
remarked that even Plato's Rwo//ic,a proverbial example of an mpn
iéec/,is essentally the embodiment of nothing other than the nature
of Greek ethics; and Plato, aware that the ethics of his tme were
being penetated by a deeper principle which, within ths context,
could appear immediately only as an as yet unsatsfed longing and
hence only as a destuctve force, was obliged, in order to counteract
it, to seek the help of that very longing itself. But the help he required
had to come fom above, and he could seek it at frst only in a
partcular ·xi¬c/form of Greek ethics. By this means, he imagined
he could overcome the destuctve force, and he thereby inflicted the
gravest damage on the deeper drive behind it, namely fee infinite
personality. But he proved his greatess of spirit by the fact tat the
very principle on which the distnctve character of his Idea turs is
the pivot on which the impending world revoluton ted.
What is ratonal is actual;
and what is actual is ratonal.2
This convicton is shared by every ingenuous consciousness as well as
by philosophy, and the latter takes it as its point of departure in
considering both the spinioc/and the ociorc/universe. If reflecton,
fng,Jr-wh� r form the sub' 've consciousness �e
--.' regards the pr·s·oias ccioand looks beyond it D a spm of superior
knowledge, it fnds itself in a vain positon; and since it has actualit
only in the present, it is itself mere vanit. Conversely, if the Iá·cis
seen as 'only an idea', a representaton ||srsi·h·ugJ in the realm of
opinion, philosophy affords the opposite insight that nothing is actual
except the Idea. For what matters is to recogne in the semblance of
the temporal and tansient the substance which is immanent and the
eteral which is present. For since the ratonal, which is synonymous
with the Idea, becomes actual by entering into exteral exstence

'£x|st:»z},it emerges in an infnite wealth of forms, appearances, and
shapes and surrounds its core with a brightly coloured covering in
which consciousness at fst resides, but which only the concept can
penetate in order to fnd the inner pulse, and detect its contnued
beat even within the exteral shapes. But the infinitely varied circum­
stances which take shape within this exteralit as the essence
manifests itself within it, this infinite material and its organizaton, are
not the subject-matter of philosophy. To deal with them would be to
interfere in things 'D|se:}with which philosophy has no concer, and
it can save itself the touble of giving good advice on the subject. Plato
could well have refrained from recommending nurses never to stand
stll with children but H keep rocking them in their arms; and Fichte
likewise need not have perfected his ¡css¡snms/ct|s»sto the point of
'constuctng', as the expression ran, the requirement that the pass­
ports of suspect persons should carry not only their personal descrip­
ton but also their painted likenessP I deliberatons of this kind, no
tace of philosophy remains, and it can the more readily abstai from
such ulta-wisdom because it is precisely in relaton to this infinite
multtude of subjects that it should appear at its most liberal. I this
way, philosophical science wlalso show itself furthest removed fom
the hated which the vanit of superior wisdom displays towards a
multtude of circumstances and insttutons - a hated in which pett­
ness takes the greatest of pleasure, because this is the only way in
which it can attain self-esteem 'S://steq:/ñ.
This teatse, therefore, in so far as it deals with politcal science,
shall be nothing other than an attempt ts:so¡·:/:»1cs1¡s·t·c, t/:
stct:cscs|s/:·:»t/,·ct|ssc/:»t|o.A a philosophical compositon, it
must distance itself as far as possible fom the obligaton to constuct
a stct:cs|tsse/tts/:, such instucton as it may contain cannot be
aimed at instctng the state on how it ought to be, but rather at
showing how the state, as te ethical universe, should be recognized.
'Ioou 'P6oo�, [oou xai iò r�orHla.
Hie Rhodus, /|csaltus.24
To comprehend c/ct|sis the task of philosophy, for c/ct|sis reason.
As far as the individual is concered,�ch individua�ny case a


y, too, is |ts 0Bll t|o::so¡·:/:»1:1|s
�It is just as foolish to imagine that any philosophy can
tanscend its contemporary world as that an individual can overleap
Philosophy ofRight
his own tme or leap over Rhodes.
If his theory does indeed
tanscend his own tme, if it builds itself a world csiisog/iis/·,then
it certainly has an exstence, but only within his opinions - a pliant
medium in which the imagin
n can constuct anything it pleases.
With little alteraton, the saying just quoted would read:
Hc·cis the rose, dance /c·c.
What lies between reason as self-conscious spirit and reason as
present actualt, what separates the former from the latter and
prevents it fom finding satsfacton in it, is the fetter of some abstac­
ton or other which has not been liberated into [the form of the
concept. To recognize reason as the rose in the cross of the present
and thereby to delight in the present - this ratonal insight is the
··csoci/iciisowith actuality which phlosophy grants to those who have
received the inner call is cs¬p··/·oé, to preserve their subjectve
freedom in the realm of the substantal, and at the same tme to stand
with their subjectve freedom not in a partcular and contngent situa­
ton, but in what has being in and for itself.
This is also what consttutes the more concrete sense of what was
described above in more abstact terms as the ooins11noc··écs··i·oi.
For 1m· in its most concrete signifcance is reason as conceptual
cogniton, and csoi·oi is reason as the substantal essence of both
ethical and natural actualit; te conscious identt of the two is the
philosophical Idea. - It is a great obstnacy, the kind of obstnacy
which does honour to human beings, that tey are unwlg to
acknowledge in their atttudes 'C·sio··ugJ anything which has not
been justfied by thought - and this obstnacy is the characteristc
propert of the modem age, as well as being the distnctve principle
of Protestantsm. What Luther inaugurated as faith in feeling and in
the testmony of the spirit is the same thing that the spirit, at a more
mature stage of its development, endeavours to grasp in the cs··cwiso
as to free itself in the present and thus find itself therein. It has
become a famous sayng that 'a half-philosophy leads away from God'
- and it is the same half-measure which defnes cogniton as an
cpp¬i¬ciisoto the tuth - 'whereas tue philosophy leads to God'
the same applies to philosophy and the state. Reason is not content
with an approxmaton which, as something 'neither cold nor hot', it
'spews out of its mouth'
and it is as little content with that cold
despair which confesses that, in this temporal world, things are bad or

at best indiferent, but that nothing better can be expected here, so
that for this reason alone we should live at peace with actualit. The
peace which cogniton establishes with the actual world has more
warmth in it than this.
A frther word on the subject of issoiog iosim:¡isos on how the
world ought to be: philosophy, at any rate, always comes too late to
perform this functon. Athe i/sog/iof the world, it appears only at a
tme when actualit has gone through its formatve process and
attained its completed state. This lesson of the concept is necessarily
also apparent fom history, namely that it is only when actualit has
reached maturit that the ideal appears opposite the real and
reconstucts this real world, which it has grisped in its substance, in
the shape of an intellectual realm.30 When philosophy paints it grey
in grey, a shape of lfe has grown old, and it cannot be rejuvenated,
but only recognized, by the grey in grey of philosophy; the owl of
Minerva begins its fght only with the onset of dusk.31
¯ * ¯
But it is tme to conclude this foreword; as a foreword, its fncton
was in any case merely to make exteral and subjectve comment on
the point of view of the work to which it is prefaced. If a content is to
be discussed philosophically, it wl bear only scientfc and objectve
teannent; in the same way, the author will regard any critcism
expressed in a form other than that of scientfc discussion of the
matter |So/·J itself merely as a subjectve postscript and random
asserton, and wl teat it with indiference.
Berln, z¡June t ëzo

ª « * ¬ ~
. · � " · ' * .�
The subject-matter of i/·p/i/sssp/icc/sci·oc·s1rMiis the H·cs1rMi
the concept of right and its actualizaton.

Philosophy has to do with Ideas and therefore not with what
are commonly described as ¬·r·csocwis. On the contary, it
shows that the latter are one-sided and lacking i tuth, and
that it is the csocwialone (not what is so ofen called by that
name, but which is merely an abstact determinaton of the
�ding) �,and i such a way that it
gives actualit to itself. Everg other than(tiisacflit
(wllCSite-d-brncept Itsel is tansitory oi·oc·
|Dcs·ioJ , exteral contngency, opinion, appearance without
essence, untuth, decepton, etc. The s/cp·which the concept
assumes i its actualizaton, and which is essental for cogni­
ton of the csocwiitself, is different fom its 1no of being
purely as coIicept, and is the other essental moment of the
÷1iiiso0.The concept and its exstence [Eistt'lz] are two aspects [of
te same thing], separate and united, like soul and body. The body is the
same life as the soul, and yet the two can be said to lie outside one
another. A soul without a body would not be a living thing, and vice versa.
Thus the exstence 'Dcs·ioJof the concept is its body, just as te latter
so�Iroduced it. The buds have the tee witin m and
it entre stengt, altough they are not yet the tee itself. The
tee corresponds entrely to the simple image of te bud. If te body does
�B+jsri; ܺ ºº.t. tet� buluOU8H88· �

Philosophy ojRight
notcorrcspond to thc souI, it is awrctchcd thingindccd. �f ¯
cxstcncc'Dcs·|··}andthcconccpt, ofbod andsouI,isthcIdca. Itisnot '
iust a armony, �Mothing Iivcswhich is �
notinsomc way Idca. �m�htis fr�dom, andin ordcrto bc

uuIy apprchcndcd, it must bc rccognizabIc in its conccpt and in thc
conccpt'scxstcncc 'Dcs·i··}.
Jhc scicncc ofríçhtiscpcrief p/i/sssp/,.Ithasthcrcforctodcvclop
thcH·c,whichisthcrcasonwithínanobicct 'C·g···sic··éJ,outofthc
conccpt,orwhat · cstothcsamcmnç,¯mustobscrvcthcpropcr
ofwhatpr·c·é·éit, andwhatprcccdcditis thc so-callcdprss1ofthat
rcsult. Hcncc thc conccpt ofriçht, so far as it cs¬i··gi··is /·i··gis
conccmcd,faUs outsidc thc scicncc ofriçht,its dcducuonisprcsup-
poscd hcrc and is tobc takcnasgic···. '
÷ééiiis·· (C). PhiIosophy forms a circIc.´ Ithas aninidaI orimmcdiatc
point- foritmustbcgnsomcwhcrc- apointwhichisnotdcmonsuatcd
and is not a rcsuIt. But thc stardng point ofphiIosophyis immcdiatcIy
rcIadvc,foritmustappcaratanothcrcnd-pointas arcsuIt.PhiIosophyis
ascqucnccwhichisnotsuspcndcdinmid-air,itdocs notbcginimmcdi-
atcIy,butis roundcdo|IwithinitscI|.
According to thc formal, non-phílosophícal mcthod ofthc
scicnccs, thc hrstthínçwhíchissought and rcquírcd,atlcast
for thc sakc ofcxtcmalscicnuncform, is thc
howcvcr, sincc its chícfaím is to statc _�ml
'R·c/i···sJ, i.c. what thc parucular lcçal dctcrminauons arc.
� Jhís is thc rcason for thc wamng. 'omis dcnníuo ín iurc
. civ¡lípcrículosa.'ª'Andinfact,thcmorcincohcrcntandíntcr-
nally conuadictory thc dctcrmínauons ofa |systcm oñ ríçht
�s¢c,whatisuniust 'éos |··r·a·|/|cl··J-
"Trnslator's I/Ote: 'In civil law all defnitons are hazardous.'
§§ 1-2
visiblc inallits nakcdncss. Jhus, in Romanlaw'écsreoisd··
R·c/iJ,for cxamplc, no dchn¡uon ofa /ooc··/·i··gwouldbc
possiblc, for thc slavc couÍd not bc subsumcd undcr ),
indccd, thc status 'Sico J ofthc slavc docs violcncc to that
conccpt. Jhc dchniuons of'propcrn' and 'proprictor' would
sccm cqually hazardousinmanysituauons.- But thc dcduc-
uon ofthc dch:iiuon maypcrhaps bc rcachcd by mcans of
cnmology, orch¡cflybyabsnacuon fromparucu�
�ulum�tcIy basc¯on thc ��sni·/
/oogJ ofhuman bcings. Jhc corrccmcss ofthc dchniuon is
thcn madc to dcpcnd on its agrccmcnt\vith prcvailingidcas
' |srsi·//·t··g·oJ . Jhis mcthod lcavcs out of account what is
alonc csscnualtoscicncc-withrcgardtocontcnt,thco·c·ssii,
s1i/·i/iog'Scc/:·Jinandforitsclf|inthiscasc, ofright),and
withrcgard to form,thcnaturcofthcconccpt.Înphilosophi-
cal cogn¡uon, on thc othcr hand, thc chicf conccm is thc

andthcroutcbywhichithasbccomc a
ncccssary1riis·/,thc sccond stcp is to look aroundforwhat
corrcsponds to it in our idcas ' |sni·//·t··g·oJ and languagc.
Butthis conccptasitis foritsclfin its imi/maynotonlybc
dif!crcnt from our rwr·s···iciiss ' |sni·//·t··gJ of it: thc two
must also diffcr in thcir form and shapc. Îf, howcvcr, thc
wcll bc shown to bc containcd in it and prcscnt in csscncc
withinit,thatis,thcrcprcscntauonma bcraiscdtothcform
ofthc conccpt. But it is so far hom bcmgthc mcasurc and
` �
critcrion ofthc conccptwhichisncccssaryandnuc foritsclf
that it must rathcr dcrivc its nuth hom thc conccpt, and
on thc othcr hand, thc formcr manncr of cogniuon with its
formal dchniuons, infcrcnccs, proofs, and thc likc has now
virtuallydisappcarcd,thc othcr modc whichhasrcplaccditis
abadsubsututc: thatis,Îdcas ingcncral, andhcncc alsothc
Îdca ofrightandits mrthcrdctcrminauons, arc takcnupand
*¯ ¯ ¯¯ ¯¯¯� -·¬�¯`�¯¬ -~ ¬.
natural or intcnsihcd fcclings, oursa·:/·crtand ·oi/osicso,
· ��c thc sourcc ofright.' Îfthis is thc mostconvcnicnt
mcthodofall,itisalsothclcastphilosophical nottomcnuon
Philosophy ofRight
hcrc othcr aspccts of this vicw, which has immcdiatc
rc|cvancc '8czic/:t··gJ to acuon and not just to cogniuon.
Whcrcas thc mst- adnuttcd|yforma|- mcthod docs at|cast
rcquircthc!nu ofthcconccptinitsdchniuonsandthc!nt
of ··cccssc¬ cogniuon in its proofs, thc modc ofimmcdiatc
consciousncss and fcc|ing makcs thc subjccuvin, con-
famIIiarinwith thc naturc ofscicnuhc proccdurc in phi|o-
sophy, as cxpoundcd in phi|osophica| |ogic, is hcrc

Kightis in gcncra

a |parucu|ar] statc, and this�is thc princip|c which
undcr|Icsknow|cdgc 'Kc·nioisJ ofright,i.c.i/cpssiiivcscic··ccs1rig/i.
1) In tcrms ofcsocsi, this right acquircs a posiuvc c|cmcnt (c)

icttal dtara-mop|c,itsstagcofkisisri-
ca/ dcvc|opmcnt, and thc who|c contcxt of rc|auons govcmcd by
··ciorc/ occcssin, '(�) through thc ncccssitywhcrcbya systcm of|cga|
right must contain thc cpp/|cciiso ofthc univcrsa| conccpt to thc
parucu|arandcxicmc/hgivcncharactcrisucsofobjccts 'Ccgw siëoéeJ
andinstanccs- an app|icauonwhichisno |ongcr|amattcrot] spccu-
uon by thc undcrstanding, |v) through thc !ttal dctcm auons
rcquircd for¬ckiogécasisosinactua|in.
·¯¯ ¯ . .. `¬¬ ��·¬..
If thc fcc|ings of thc hcart, |pcrsona|] inc|inauons, and
arbiuarincss arc sct up in opposiuon to posiuvc right and
|aws, phi|osophy at |cast cannot rccognizc such authoriucs.
Ïatcr in this work ( ; ; z r r-zr +), it wl bc shown atwhat
��ustbccomc posiuvc. Jhc dctcm auo�
wlbcdiscusscd in thatcontcxtarc mcnuoncd hcrc on|yin
ordcrtoindicatcthc|in:its'Crw zcJofphiIosophica|rightand
atthcsamcumctoru|coutanypossib|cidca' |srsic//o··gJ,|ct
risctoaposiuvccodc of|aws suchasisrcquircdbyan actua|

statc. - Þatural law or philosophical right is diffcrcnt hom
posiuvc right, but it would bc a gravc misundcrstanding to
distort this diffcrcncc into an opposiuon or antagomsm, on
thc connary, thcirrclauonisl¡kc thatbctwccnÎnsututcsand
Fandccts.´- With rcgardtothc historicalclcmcntinposiuvc
right ¬strcfcrrcd to in ;3 abovc), Montcsquicu statcd thc
nuc historical vicw, thc cnuincL��hica�vic

tl:at lcgislauon in gcncral and its paruculartcauons
¯ ·�¯ ¯¬ �¯¯¯�
shouldnotbcconsidcrcdinisolauonandinthc absnact,but
rathcrasadcpcndcntmomcntwithins···totaliw, inthccon-
tcxt of all thc othcr dctcrminauons which consututc thc
������ !º�

§§ 2-3
thcir gcnuinc sihcancc, andhcncc alsothcirjusuhcauon.'
�����d da-
uons ofrightcsi/ccpp·crioii¬·|�sk._
Jhis task, likc that ofrccognizingthc logical consistcncy of
inglcgal rclauons, is mcritorious and praiscworthywith¡nits
own sphcrc, and b

approach- unlcss,thatis to say, dcvclopmcnthomhistorical
�isconmscdwithdcvclo �
mc signihcancc ofhistorical c��anaua d�hcauon is
��it!m��uo4ich |. -.s1»¬
�which isvcryimportantand shouldbc
m ybomcinmnd,isatmcsamcumcavcryobviousonc,a
and cs··sisi·oi¬ii/thcprcvai!ingcirco¬sicoc·sand oiioglcgal
insutuuons, yct it may bc connary to right '·ur·a·i/ic/J and
irrauonal in and for itsclf, likc numcrous dctcrm¡nauons of
· �
hom such insutuuons as Roman patcmal authorin and
ri+nal,itisoncthingto dcmonsnatcthatthisis
so - and this cannot nuly bc donc cxccpt by mcans ofthc
conccpt - and anothcr to dcpict thcir historical cmcrgcncc
and thc circumstanccs, cvcntualiucs, nccds, and incidcnts
wmch lcd to thcir innoducuon. Jhiskind ofdcmonsnauon
and |pragmauc) cogniuon in tcrms ofproxmatc or rcmotc
historical causcs is ohcn callcd 'cxplanauon', or cvcn morc
Philosophy ofRight
commonly 'comprehension', in the belef 'M·i··oogJ that this
kind of historical demonstaton is all - or rather, the one
essental thing - that needs to be done in order to cs¬p··/···é
the law or a legal insttuton, whereas in fact the tuly essental
issue, the concept of the thing 'Scc/·J, has not even been
mentoned. - Similarly, we ofen hear talk of Roman or Ger­
manic 'csocwis s1ng/t', or of such 'csocwis of right' as are
defined in this or that legal code, although these codes contain
no reference to concepts, but only to general é·i·m·i··ciis··ss1
·ig/i,propositons of the understanding, principles, laws, and
the like. - By disregarding the diference in queston, it
becomes possible to shif te point of view and to tum the
request for a tue justfcaton into a justfcaton by circum­
stances, a logical deducton from premises which may in
themselves !·sid·Jbe as valueless as the conclusions derived
fom them, etc. ; in short, te relatve is put in place of the
absolute, and th�in place of the nature of
the thing 'Scd· itelf When a historical justfcaton con­
fses an origin in exteral factors with an ori 'n in the con­
cept, it unconsciously achieves the opposite of what it intends.
1 can be shown tat the origin of an insttuton was entel

xedient and necessary under the specifc circumstances of
the tme, e reqUements of the storical vie oint are
t.But 's is sup osed to amou�t-
or since the original circumstances are no lon
insttuton has thereb lost its me.�.
Thus if for example, the ¬socsi·n·sare justfed by an appeal
to their services in cultvatng and populatng areas of wilder­
ness and in preserving scholarship through instucton, copy­
ing of manuscripts, etc., and these services are regarded as the
reason 'Cnué and purpose '8·siio·o··ugJ of their contnued
exstence, what in fact follows fom these past services is that,
since the circumstances have now changed completely, the
monasteries have, at least in this respect, become

and inappropriate. - Since it has now been shown that the
historical significance of origins, along with their historical
demonstaton and exositon, belongs to a different sphere
fom the philosophical view of the same origins and of the

conccpt oI thc ming, thc two approachcs can to that cxtcnt
�o onc anothcr. But sincc thcv do not
a|wavs maintain such pcaccm| rc|auons, cvcn in scicnmc
tact which appcars in Hcrr [Gustav] Hugo's Ioi/ssls1i/·
Hisis¬ s1Rs¬co Lc¬ |L·/r/oc/ é·rC·s.l·ic/i· és re¬isc/w
R·c/is,1~oo],and whichwl a|somrthcrc|ucidatcthcir sup-
poscd modc oI opposiuon.` Hcrr Hug- out in thc
passagc in qucsuon (hñh cdiuon [1818], §çj) 'that Ciccro
praiscsthcJwc|vcJab|cs, whi|c/ssliogolcoc·atthcphi|o-
right'.I thcsamccontcxt,HcrrHugorcp|icsonccandIoræ
undcrstoodposiuvcright'.- AstothccorrccuonoIthcphi|o-
sophcr Favorinus bv thc jurist Scxtus Cacci|ius in [Au|us]
Gc||ius'Asci·s÷iiicc·,x,i , itisprimari|vastatcmcntoIthc
oI anvthing whosc ìmpact is mcrc|v posiuvc.´ 'ìon ignoras',
savsCaccìliusvcrvapt|vtoFavorinus, '|cgumsppsriooiici·sct
mcdc|as pro i·¬psm¬ moribus ct pro rcrum pub|icarum
g·o·n/os, ac pro uulitatum prc·s·oiio¬ rauonibus, proquc
viiism¬, quibus mcdcndum cst,1··vsn/os, ¬oicri ac1·cii,
o·oo· oos sicio csosisi·r·, quin, ut Iacics coc|i ct maris, ita
r·m¬atquc1riooc·tcmpcstaubus vcn···ior. Quid sa|ubrius
visum cst rogauonc il|a Sto|onis . . . quid uu|ius p|cbiscito
Yoconio. . . quidtamncccssariumcxsumatumcst. . . quam
|cx Licinia .. . ? Omnia ic¬·ohacc s//|i·rcic ct sp·ric sunt
civitaus opu|cnua . . + Jhcsc |aws arc posiuvc in so Iar as
�ir simcancc and appropriatcncss arc cira¬sicoiic/and
"Translalor's nole: 'You know very well that the advantages and remedies afforded by the
laws change and vary m accordance with the customs of the age and tpes of consttu­
ton, with consideratons of present advantage and of defciencies to be remedied, and
that they do not persist m a constant state. On the contary, they are changed by te
storms of chance and circumstance, just as storms change the face of the' sea and sky.
What could be more salutary than the legal proposal ofStolo8 . . . , what more useful than
the popular decree ofVoconius,9 . . . , and what has been deemed as necessary . . . as the
Licinian law = = . ? And yet they have all been obliterated and obscured by the opulence of
the present stateIO • • .
Philosophy ofRight
commonly 'comprehension', in the belief |M·i··sogJ that this
kind of historical demonstaton is all - or rather, the one
essental thing - that needs to be done in order to cs¬pr·/·oé
the law or a legal insttuton, whereas in fact the tuly essental
issue, the concept of the thing |Scc/·J, has not even been
mentoned. - Similarly, we ofen hear talk of Roman or Ger­
manic 'csocwis s1rig/(', or of such 'csocwis of right' as are
defined in this or that legal code, although these codes contain
no reference to concepts, but only to general é·i·miociisoss1
ng/i,propositons of the understanding, principles, laws, and
the like. - By disregarding the difference in queston, it
becomes possible to shif the point of view and to tum the
request for a tue justcaton into a justfcaton by circum­
stances, a logical deducton from premises which may in
themselves |ûìrsid·Jbe as valueless as the conclusions derived
fom tem, etc.; in short, the relatve is put in place of the
absolute, and th�in place of the nature of
the thing |Scc/·J itelf. When a historical justficaton con­
fses an origi in exteral factors with an ori ·n in the con­
ceRt, it unconsciously achieves the opposite of what it intends.
Bit can be shown that the origin of an insttuton was entrel
�xedient and necessary under e specifc circumstances of
the tme, e requIrements of the storical vie oint are
fl e . But ·s is sup osed to amou�t-
or since the original circumstances are no lon��
insttuton has thereby lost its me+�.
Thus if, for example, the ¬socsi·ri·sare justed by an appeal
to their services in cultvatng and populatng areas of wilder-
ness and in preserving scholarship through instucton, copy­
ing of manuscripts, etc., and these services are regarded as the
reason |Cmoé and purpose |Baii¬¬oogJ of their contnued
exstence, what in fact follows fom these past services is that,
since the circumstances have now changed completely, the
monasteries have, at least in m respect, become

and inappropriate. - Since it has now been shown that the
hstorical signcance of origins, along with their historical
demonstaton and expositon, belongs to a different sphere
fom the philosophical view of the same origins and of the
�`¯¯¯ --�·�

concept of the thing, the two approaches can to that extent

to one another. But since they do not
always maintain such peacefl relatons, even in scientc
matters, I shall quote something relatng to their mutual con­
tact which appears in Herr [Gustav] Hugo's Ioi/ssls1i/·
Hisis¬ s1Rs¬co Lc¬ 'L·/·/oc/ é··C·scl·ic/i· ées ·e¬isa··o
R·c/is, 1
90], and whch wlalso frther elucidate their sup­
posed mode of oppositon.s Herr Hug- out in the
passage in queston (ff editon [1 81 8], ;¡¸)'that Cicero
praises the Twelve Tables, while /ssliogolcoc·at the philo­
whereas 'the philosopher Favorinus teat them just
as many a great philosopher has subsequendy teated positve
right'. In the same context, Herr Hugo replies once and for æ
to such teatent with the explanaton that 'Favorinus ooé·-
sisséthe Twelve Tables ;osio/|ii/·as the philosophers have
understood positve right'. ¯Ato the correcton of the philo­
sopher Favorinus by the jurist Sextus Caecilius in [Aulus]
Gellius' Asct·s÷iticc·,x,i , it is primarily a statement of the
tue and lastng principle which must underlie the justcaton
of anything whose impact is merely positve.7 'Non ignoras',
says Caecilius ver apdy to Favorinus, 'legum sppsnooiici·set
medelas pro i·¬psm¬ moribus et pro rerum publicarum
g·o·n/os, ac pro utlitatum p·c·s·oiio¬ ratonibus, proque
viiism¬, quibus medendum est, 1··vsn/os, ¬oic·i ac f·cti,
o·oo· oos sicio csosisi···, quin, ut facies co eli et maris, ita
··m¬ atque 1nooc· tempestatbus vcn·oio·. Quid salubrius
visum est rogatone ilia Stolonis . . . quid utlius plebiscito
Voconio . . . quid tam necessarium exstmatum est . . . quam
lex Licinia . . . ? Omnia ic¬·o haec s//|i··cic et sp·nc sunt
civitats opulenta « « « These laws are positve in so far as
�ir sigcance and appropriateness are ci·co¬sicoiic/and
"Translalor's nole: 'You know ver well that the advantages and remedies afforded by the
laws change and vary m accordance wit the customs of te age and tpes of consttu­
ton, wit consideratons of present advantage and of defciencies to be remedied, and
that they do not persist m a constant state. On the contary, they are changed by te
stors of chance and circumstance, just as storms change the face of the' sea and sky.
What could be more salutar than the legal proposal ofStol08 • , ., what more useful than
the popular decree ofVoconius,9 . , . , and what has been deemed as necessary , . . as the
Licinian law , , , ? And yet they have all been obliterated and obscured by the opulence of
the present stateJO • = .
¸ 1
Philosophy ofRight
. their value is therefore entrely historical; they are accordin I
.�he . �and
goverents have done for te circumstances of their tme
and laid down for the conditons under which they lived is a
distnct issue |mJwhich should be assessed by
htory, wh�se recogniton of it wlbe all the more profound u
such an assessment is supported by philosophical insights. I
shall, however, cite an example of Caecilius' frther attempt
to justf the Twelve Tables against Favorinus, because in so
doing, he employs the eterally deceptve method of the
understanding and its mode of ratocinaton, namely by sop-
pli··gogssér·ose··|Cmo1ro/oéi/iog Soid
that the latter has thereby een justed. He mentons the

w which, afer,�.� l had elapsed,
gave the creditor the right to Lthe deptor or to sell Hinto
slavery, or even, if there were several creditors, �
··ésso ·/:to· �t,á oo,so·/oJcoisfiss
(a clause which would have benefted Shakespeare's Shylock
in Ik·M·rc/oois1|·oic·and which he would most grateflly
have accepted).1l I support of this law, Caecilius puts
forward the gssor·ossothat it provided an additonal guaran­
tee of good faitand-that, given the abominable nature of the
law, it wir intended that it should be enforcedY In his
thoughtlessness, he not only fails to refect that ths latter
provision |8·sii¬¬o··gJ fustates the former intenton, namely
that the law should guarantee good faith, but also overlooks
te fact that he h slt example immediately afer­
wards of how the law on false witess was rendered ineffec­
tual by its excessive severit. - But it is not clear what Herr
Hugo means whei e says that Favorinus did not ooéosiooé
the law; any schoolboy is capable of understanding it, and
Shylock would have understood better than anyone else the
clause in queston, which would have been of so much advan­
tage to h,by 'ooée·siooéiog, Herr Hugo must have meant
only that degree |8i/é·ugJ of understanding which is satsfied
aTranslalor's 1ole: The text in the Suhrkamp editon of Hegel's Werke Y|| reads Rechlsan­
lei! ('legal share'). This is clearly an error for Redllsnadlleil, the correct reading as in
Ing's editon (PR ||. 102).

if a gssér·cssocan be found for such a law. - Incidentally, a
frther misunderstanding of which Caecilius convicts
Favorinus in the same context is one to which a philosopher
may readily confess without blushing - namely his failure to
realize that io¬·oio¬, which the law specifed, 'as distnct
fom crc·rc',as the only mode of tansport to be provided to
bring a sick man as witess to the court, should be understood
to signif not only a horse but also a coach or wagonP Cae­
cilius was able to derve fom tis legal determinaton a fr­
ther proof of the excellence and precision of the old laws, for
in determining how a sick witess was to be summoned to
testf in court, they even went so far as to distnguish not just
between a horse and a wagon, but even between diferent
kinds of wagon - between a covered and upholstered wagon,
as Caecilius explains, and a less comfortable one. We would
thus be lef with a choice between the severit of the original
law and the tivialit of such determinatons; but to descrbe
such things, let alone leared eXpositons of them, as 'tivial',
would be among the greatest possible afont to scholarship
of this and other kinds.
But in the textbook cited above, Herr Hugo also has occa­
sion to speak of rciisoc/|nin connecton with Roman law, and
I was partcularly stuck by the following points. In his teat­
ment of i/·p·nsé1s¬i/·sngios1i/·sici·isi/·I¬·/v·Ic//a
(§§ 38 and 39), he says that 'people (in Rome) had many
needs and were obliged to work, requiring the cssisicoc· of
draught animals and beasts of burden soc/ a ¬·son·/v·s
possess, that the territory of Rome consisted of alterate hills
and valleys, that the city stood on a hill, etc. - allusions which
. �
were perhaps meant to flf the intentons of Montesquieu,
but which wlscarcely be found to have captured the latter's
spirit. He then points out (§
0) 'that the positon with regard¸
to rig/iwas stll very far fom satsfing the /ig/·sidemands o '
r·csso'. (This is quite correct; Roman family law
|Fc¬ih·or·c/iJ, slavery, etc. do not satsf even the most
modest demands of reason.) But in dealing with later periods,
Herr Hugo forgets to tell us in which of them, if any, Roman
law sciisf·é i/·/ig/·si é¬coéss1r·csso. In § 289, however,
Herr Hugo says of the classical jurists in the period s1i/·
Philosophy of Right
/ig/·siéw·/sp¬·oi,os/i/é·ugJs1Rs¬co /c¬cscsci·oc·'thatit
has long sincc bccn nouccd that thc classical iurists had a
thcmanycdiuons ofHcrrHugo'stcxtbookhavccnsurcdthat
morcpcoplcarcnowawarc) 'thatnocatcgoryofwritcrsisso
to thc mathcmaucians in rcspcct of logical dcducuon hom
hrstprinciplcsortothcncwfoundcrof mctaphysicsinrcspcct
ofthc smgly disuncuvc way inwhich thcy dcvclop thcir
conccpts - thc lattcrbcing conhrmcd bythc r·o·crlc//·fact
iuristsandinKant'.- JhatlogicalconsistcncywhichLcibniz
right,asofmathcmaucsandcvcryothcrscicnccof thcundcr-
nothingto dowiththcsausfacuonofthcdcmandsofrcason
and withphilosophical scicncc.''Aparthom this, howcvcr,

bc rcgardcd as onc ofthcir grcatcst virtucs, for it cnablcd
thcm to ��� blc
¤¬bal disuncuons on thc �, |as whcn thcy callcd
/s··sm¬ `om what ncvcrth·lcss amountcd to an
inhcritancc)'' and cvcnsillycxcuscs |and sillincssis cqually
was a son' |scc 0. G.J Hcincccius,÷oiiooiicio¬Rs¬c··cnt···
. . . /i/·rI µrankmrt, 1 77 rJ , ut. II, § z
).'º- Butitisludicrous
ofa fcw iric/sis¬sos divisions - parucularly thosc citcd in
Notc5 toHcrrHugo'srcmarks- andtosccthiskindofthing
callcd 'dcvclopmcntofconccpts'.
"Translator's note: Hegel uses here the Latn adverb callide.
Translator's note: Hegel uses the Latn and Greek ters fctio and mo×ototç.
(Translator's note: Hegel uses the Latn terms flia and flils.
Jhe basis |BséeoJ of right is the r·c/¬ s1spirii in general and its
precise locauon and¡ointofdepartureisthe¬ä , me wlis1··, so
that beedom consututes its substance and desuny |B·sii¬¬oogJ and
the system ofri ht is the realm ofactualized beedom, theworld of
spiritproduced fromwt itselfasa secondnature.
÷ééiiies d,C). The freedom of the wdl can best be explained by
reference to physical nature. For heedom is |ust as much a basic
determinauonofthewillasweightis abasic determinauon ofbodies. If
conungent,butthisisnotso, fornothinginmatterisweightless. onthe
thewill.Wilwithoutheedomisanemp word,|ustasheedomisactual
onlyasworassub|ect.8utasfor theconnecuonbetweenthewilland
andthehumanbeingis disunguishedhommeanimalbythought 8utit
must notbeimagined |sic/ csni·//·»J thatahumanbeingt onthe
one handandwillsontheother,andthathehas thoughtinonepocket
and voliuon in the other, for this would be an empt representauon
||s·si·//:ægJ. The disuncuon between thought and will is simply that
betweentheo�caland racucalamtudes.8uttheyarenottwosq
faculues,ontheconuary thewillisa arucularwayofthinking÷tg
uanslaungitselfintoexstence| cs·isJ, tgas edrivetogiveitself
exstence.This disuncuonbetweenthoughtandw|llcanbeexpressedas
follows.WhenIthinkofanob|ect|C·gosics1,Imake itintoathought
and �

, �

e. Forit isonlywhenI thinkthatI am
with myself |·i ¬ir and it is only by com rehendin it that I can
peneuate anob|ect, itthen�oongerstanusUµ osedto me and Ihave
epriveditofmat ualityofitsownwhichithadforitselfinop osiuonto
me. ustasAdamsaystoEve.'Youareûeshofmyûeshandbone ofmy
bone'/ sodoesspiritsay. 'Thisisspiritofmyspirit, anditsaliencharacter
has disappeared.' £��entauon [|sni·//:oæis a Pmzau,
andthis is inherentinthought. Togeneralize somethin meanstothink
it. 'I' is thoughtandl�se the�y.¹
àccount eve aruculari such as my character, temperamen ow-
edge Ksiss·J, and age. 'I' is t� ty+��t -

yetacuve U m s

beore� itandinthis[theoreucal]atutudeIovercome
Philosophy ofRight
'c:a:·/·} its oppositon and make its content my own. 'I' is at home
in the world when it knows it, and even more so when it has compre­
hended it. So much for the theoretcal atttude. The practcal atttude, on
the other hand, begins with thought, with the I itself, and seems at fst
to be opposed [to the world] because it immediately sets up a separaton.
In so far as I am practcal or actve, Le�
myself, and to determine myself means redsel to osit a diference. But
these diferences whic I posit are nevertheless also mine, the determina­
tons apply to me, and the ends to which I am impelled belong to me. Now
even ifI let go of these determinatons and differences, Le. ifI posit them
in the so-called exteral world, they stll remain mine: they are what I
have done or made, and they bear the imprint of my mind 'C·isi}.This,
then, is the distncton between theoretcal and practcal atttudes; the
relatonship between them must now be described. De teoretca!s
essentally contained wthin the practcal; te idea '|s·si·/·og} that the
two are separate must be reJecte , or one cannot have a wl witout
intelligence. On the contary, .. the��
�The wldetermines itelf�d tis determinaton is primarily of an
inward nature, for what I will I represent to myself as my object 'C·g·o-
sics1.The animal acts by instnct, it is �d by something inward and
is therefore also practcal; but it has no wl, because it does not represent
to itself what it desires. It is equally impossible to adopt a theoretcal
atttude or to think without a wl, for in tg we are necessarily actve.
The content of what is thought certainly takes on the form of being; but
this being is something mediated, something posited by our actvit.
These distnct atttudes are therefore inseparable: they are one and the
same thing, and both moments can be found in every actvit, of thinking
and willing alike.
With regard to the feedom of the will, we may recollect the
older method of cogniton. It simply presupposed the rwr·s·o-
iciiso||s·si·h·ugJ of the ,vland attempted to set up a defni­
ton of the will by extactng it fom this representaton; then,
in the manner of the older empirical psychology, the so-called
prss1of the will's feedom was derived from the various feel­
ings and phenomena |£¬p1oé·ug·o ·oé £·sc/·io·ugJ of
ordinary consciousness, such as remorse, guilt, and the like,
which could allegedly be ¬/cio·éonly in terms of a 1··,vl.
But it is more convenient simply to adhere to the noton that
feedom is gic·o as a 1ciof consciousness in whch we must
simply /·/iw·.
The deducton i/cithe will is free and of ¬/ci
the will and feedom are - as already remarked in § 2 above -

is possiblc only within thc contcxt of thc wholc [of philo-
sophy]. Jhc basic fca¬atspi·ii is
iniuallyioi·hig·oc·andthatthc dctcnninauonsthroughwhIch
itprocccdsinits dcvclopmcnt,(�l
i/ioliog||sm·//·oJ to i/so bi arc thcwaybywhich itprod-
uccsitscl ascw- w
proxmatc uuth ofintclligcncc. I havc givcn an account of
thcsc mattcrs inmy £oo./spc·éic s1i/·P/i/sssp/icc/Sci·oc·s
(Hcidclbcrg, 1 81 7), §§ 363-3
, andhopctodcalwith thcm
in grcatcr dctaü on a mturc occasion.' It is all thc morc
bc amorcthoroughcognIuonofthc naturcofspirit,bccausc,
asIpointcd outInthc£oodspc·éic (RcmarLs to § 367), itL
hard to imaginc that anyphilosophIcalscicncc can bcin so ö
usually callcd 'psychology'.' - And as for thosc clcmcnts
|Ms¬·oi·J ofthc conccptofthcwIllwhIcharc mcnuoncd in
thIs and thc following paragraphs ofthc Inuoducuon and
to form an idca ||s·si·//·oJ ofthcm by consulung thc sclf-
discovcrinhimsclfanabilittoabsuacthoman what-
socvcr, andliLcw¡sctodctcrminchimsclf,topositanycontcnt
plcsofthc mrthcrdctcnninauons [ofthcwill]wIthinhissclf-
§ 5
Jhcwillcontains(c)thc clcmcnto�orofthc '!''s
purc rcüccuoninto itsclf, in which cvcrylimitauon, cvc¬ contcnt,
this is thc limitlcss inhnit ofc/ss/oi·c/si·cciiso or ·oic·ncí , m
purc thinLingL oncscl .
` �-�
Jhoscwhorcgard thinLingasaparucularanddisunct/caln,
divorccdfromthcwi!lasancquallydisunct/mlt,, andwhoin

Philosophy ofRight
cspccìa||ythcgoodwì|| showfromthcvcryoutsctthatthcy
arc tota||y ìgnorantofthc naturc ofthc wI|I (a rcmark whìch
wc sha|| oftcnhavcoccasìontomakconthìssamcsubjcct).'-
' On|yso·cs·:iofthcwì||ìs dchncdhcrc-namc|ythìsc/ss/oi·
�������� �����
sssi:Ii L c/sircciiohom cvcry dctcrmmauon ìn whìch I
nndmysc|forwhIchIhavcposìtcd±msc|, thct|Ighthom
� �±
�a| thought |éi· |s·si·//oogJ con-
sìdcrstmsas cctìnìtsc|f ·irsi:/Jas frccdomandho|ds fast
to ìt,·tliìs ìs o·gci:c· rccdom r thc frccdom ofthc undcr-
�c andpassìon. f ìtrcmaìnspurc|
` =
ucìsm ofpurccontcmp|auon,´but ìfìt tums to ac


c rca|moì5�nau-
cìsm of dcsuucuon, dcmo|ìshìng thc whoc csung socìa|
vvcnord� �aunganyorganìzauonwhìchattcmp!
to rìsc up ancw.' On|y ìn dcsumg somrthIng docs thìs
¬|I5avc a fcc|Ing ofìts own cxstcncc |Dcs·ioJ . It
�wc|| bc|ì

that ìt wì||s sposìuvc condìuon, for
ìnstancc thc��
| cua|I �
ous|ìfc,butìtdocsnotìnfact posìuvcactua|Inof


aparucu|arìzauonboth ofìnsutuuons and¯Ïìndìvìdua|s, but

��uc- auon mat �ìo�ìs
ncgauvc frccdou arìscs. Jhus, whatcvcr such frccdom
bc|Icvcs |o·ioiJ thatìtvvì||s canìnìtsc|f|ûrsi:/Jbcnomorc
uon can on|ybcthc fury ofdcsuucuon.
÷ééiiiso(,G). Itìsìnhcrcntìnthìs c|cmcntofthcvvI||thatIamab|cto
ncc mysc|fnom cvcrying, to �, and to absnact from
cvcryìhìng.' Thc human bcìng a|onc ìs ab|c to abandon a|| UH, cvcn
hìsown|ìfc.�.Thcanìma| cannot dothis,ìta|ways
rcmaìns onlyncmuvc,ìnadctcrmìnauonwhìchìsa|ìcntoìtand towhìch
ìt mcrc|y grows accustomcd.Thc human bcìngìs purc thìnkìngofhìm-

,ìs,to cxguìsh all parucu|arity, a|| dctcrmìnacy. Thìs ncgauvc frccdom
or�is onc-sidcd, but tbis onc-sidcdncss
alwayscontainswitbin itsclIancsscnualdctcrminauonandsbouldtbcrc-
Iorc notbc dismisscd, buttbcdcIcctoItbcundcrstandin istbatitncats
a onc-sidc
aon as uniquc and clcvatcs itto su rcmc status. · ¯
Jbis Iorm oI Irccdom occurs hcqucn y U istory. Jbc Hindus, Ior
onc'ssimplcidcnunwitboncsclI, onrcmainingwitbintbiscmpnspacc
oI onc's inwardncss likc colourlcss ligbt in purc intuiuon, and on
rcnouncing cvcry acuvity oI liIc, cvcry cnd, and cvcry rcprcscntauon
longcr any disuncuon bctwccn tbc hnitc buman bcing and Brabman;
instcad, cvcrdifIcrcncc |Um cnzj bas disappcarcd in tbis univcrsal
Jbis Iorm [oIhccdomj appcars morc concrctclyin tbc acuvc Ianaucism
oIbotb poliucal and rcligiousliIc.A cxamplc oItbiswas tbc Rcign oI
Jcrrorintbc !rcncb Rcvoluuon, duringwbicb all diIIcrcnccs oItalcnu
andautboritywcrcsupposcdtobc canccllcdout'c·:f·ls/·o}.Jbiswasa
umc oI ncmbling and quaking and oIintolcrancc�
parucular. !or Ianaucism wills only wbat is absnact, not wbat is aru-
otbatwbcncvcrdihcrcnccscmcrgc, ithndstbcmincompaublc
vvitbitsownin ctc acyan canccls cm'l· is:·c:H. bisiswbytbc
pcoplc, urmgtbc !rcnc cvo uuon, dcsnoycd oncc morc tbc insutu-
uons tbcybad tbcmsclvcs crcatcd, bccausc all insutuuons arc incompat-
iblcwitbtbc absnactsclI-consciousncss oIcqualin.
(�) I thc samc way, 'Í' is thc uansiuon hom unditÏcrcnuatcd
índctcrmínacy to éár
iiciiso, éi·m·iociiso, and c ss·ing oIa
ctcrmínacyas a contcnt and obicct. - Jbís contcntmay hrthcrbc
cnbynaturc, orgcncratcd bythc conccptoIspirít. Jhrougb thís
posiung oI itsclI as somcthíng é·i·m·ioci·, 'I' stc s into xstcncc
'Dcs·io} ín gcncral - thc absolutc momcnt oIthc oiioé· orpc·¡ .
alcrizciiso oIthc Íu
JbissccondmomcntoI é·i·m·iociisoisiustasmucbo·gciicin
andcanccIIauon [ttütcbcuj as thc hrst- Ior it is thc canccIIa-

uonoIthchrstabsuactnc auvíw.- ]ustasthcparucularisi n
zcncral contaíncdwíthín thc unívcrsal, soínconscqucncci s
mís sccondmomcntaIrcadycontaíncdwítbín thc hrstandi s
´ .
mcrcly apssiiiooIwbatthc hrstaIrc:(y·s Jbc hrst

tsclI- notnucinhníw
Philosohy ofRight
orthccsoo·i·un¡vcrsaliwoIthc conccpt,butonlysomcthing
éei·m·iooi·andonc-sidcd. IorsinccitisabsuacbonIromall
dctcrminacy, itisitsclInot¬ii/soidctcrminacy, and thc Iact
thatitis absuactand onc-sidcd consbtutcs its dctcrminacy,
dchcicncy,andhnitudc.- Jhcdi!Icrcnbabonanddctcrm¡na-
n oIthc two momcnts rc crrc to Ìb to c oun M c
p� lucwiscinthato!Kantctc.,cxccpt
�� tabon - '1',
as thc unboundcd (mthc mst proposibon oIhis H··s¬ s1
K··s¬/·ég· |Uisswsc/ofs/·/r·J),is takcnpurcly and simply as
thcundcrstanding). onscucntly, thisabsuact'I'fr iis·

and li�
gcncral,whcthcras agivcncxtcmallimitor as anacbviwoI
thc '!'itsclI-isthcrcIorcsomcthingmwd|oit(mthcsccond
proposibon). ¯ Jhc mrthcr stcp which spcculabvc philc-
sophy had to takc was to apprchcnd thc o·goiivii,which is
stcp thc nccd Iorwhichis notpcrccivcdbythoscwho Iailto
apprchcnd thc éoo/is¬ oI io1oii, and1oiioé·, cvcn m that
m ancntand absuact Iorm mwhich Iichtc undcrstood it.
consututcthcwholcoIhccdom.Thc'!'hcrccmcr cshomundifIcrcn `-
atcdindctcrminacytobccomcdi crcnuatcd,topositsomc
natc as its contcntan objcct cgontoo .�o notmcrçlywilI -�!will
�Awllwhich,as dcscribcd inthcprcviousparagraph,wiIlsonIy
th�l,wlsosi/iogandi thcrcIorcnotawillatall.Thc
�thing whic��
to bc a , �.¯ct that thc will wills
�climitorncgauonT arucularLauoniswhatas arulc
is caBcd �oughtusualIyrcgards thc st momcnt
i:amclythcindctcrmmatc, as mc a soutc an ghcrmomcnt, an con-
vcrs¢l cgardsûcmdas amcrcncgauonoIthisindctcrminacy. But
thisindctcrminacyisitsclImcrclyancgauonwmrcgardto thcdctcrmi-
natcwl is to th�·ich cxsts in mcrc
§§ 6-7
|»|s ||s:land crcb rcstorcd to :u|o:·sc/|+ It is |»1|o|1sc/|n
'£|»z://:||},thcs:/1:|:oo|»c||s··ofthc '!',inthatitpositsitsclfasth�
ncgauvc ofitsclf, thatis, as 1e|:¬|·:c|:and /:o||eJand at thc samc
umc rcmæ swithitsclf'/:|s|:l},thatis, inits|1o|||,c||/||s:/and
univcrsalit, and in this dctcnninauon, it joins togcthcr with itsclf
alonc. - 'I' dctcnnincs itsclfin so far as it is thc sclf-rcfcrcncc of
ncgauvit. A this ·:;·:··:: |s ||s:/ it is liLcwisc indiffcrcnt to this
dctcnninacy, it Lnows thc lattcr as its own and as |1ec/,�
�itposits itsclfin it. - Jhis is thc1r::1o ofthc wl, which
consututcsthcconccptorsubstanualitofthcwl, its gravit, justas
gravit consututcs thc substanualitofabody.
vcry sclf-consciousncss Lnows itsclf as univcrsal, as thc

� atc,andas
parucular, with a dctcnninatc objcct '6:e:os|c»}, contcnt,
concrctc and uuc (and cvcrg uuc is concrctc) �
univcrsalitwhichhas mcparucular as its oppositc, butthis
�ugh its rcüccuon into itsclf, has bccn
rcconcilcd ��c univcrsaI. ¯bis unit L
|»1|o|1sc/:|,,bm \ts imncdiacyasasmgcu:ut- asin
�idca ' |sn|:l/:ue} ofindividualit- butrathcrin
::s,`1 1 2-1 1
1ndividualitisinfactnoncothcrthanthcconccot iuHf. Jhc
h:sttwomomcnts- thatthcwlcanabsuactfromcvcrg
arccasyto acccptandgrasp,bscùcy�¯cm�
't|:·s|:l},momcnuofthcundcrstandingand dcvoid ofuuth.
But it is thc third momcnt, thc mc and spcculauvc (and
cvcrg mc, in so far as it is comprchcndcd, can bc
thought of only spcculauvcly), which thc undcrstanding
undcrstanding a¡ways dcscnbcs as incomprchcnsiblc. Jhc
taskoÏprovmganð cxp|ammgm morc dctail this inncnnost
insight of spcculauon - that is, inhnit as sclf-rcfcrring
Philosophy ofRight
ncçauvín, � ulumatc sourcc ofall acuvlifc, and coti-
sciousncss _bclonçstolo¿i+�¡urclyspcculauvcphilosoph¸.
wc say that il·¬|//|sunivcrsal and that il·¬il/dctcrmincs
itsclf, wc spcak as ifthc wl wcrc alrcady assumcd to bc a
� so/;·ci¸ o/sirciw··.Butthcwlisnotcomplctcandunivcrsal
unul itis dctcrmíncd, and unul thís dctcrniinauon is supcr-
scdcd and idcalizcd, it docs notbcccmc vvíll unul it is this
sclf-mcdiaunçacuvínand thís rctumintoitsclf
` ¯`·��
÷éé|i|s··0.Yatispropcrlycallcd thcwlcontainsboththcprcccdinç
momcnts. 'I'assuchisprimarilypurcacdviw,thcunivcrsalwhichisvvith
itsclf'/·|s|d:J;butthisunivcrsaldctcrmincsitsclf,andto thatcxtcnti no
lonçcrvvithitsclfbutposits itsclfas an othcrandccascstobcthcunivcr-
¯cr, as itdctcrm:cs itsclf, itnc�tsclfand
docs not ccasc to hold fastto thc univcrsal. This, thcn, is thc concrctc
conccptoffrccdom,whcrcasthctwoprcviousmomcntshavcbccn found
to bc thorouçhly absuact and onc-sidcd. But wc alrcady posscss Uis
frccdom in thc form offcclinç '£op]sé·æ gJ, for cxamplc in hicndshi

and lovc.´ �nc-sidcdly within oursclvcs�
�clvcswith rcfcrcncctoan oUcr,cvcnwhilcknowinçoursclvcs
in this limitadon as oursclvcs. In this dctcrminacy, thc human bcinç
shouldnotfccldctcrmincd,onthcconuary,hc �s his sclf-awarcn�s
only by rcçardinç thc oUcr as othcr. Thu, frccdom lics ncithcr in
md¢Ieimm �u is both at oncc. Thc vvill which
limits itsclf cxclusivcly to a i/|s is thc vvill ofthc stubbom pcrson who
considcrs himsclfunhcc unlcsshchasi/|swill. Butthcwillisnotdcdto
somcthinçlimitcd,onthcconuary, itmustprocccdmrthcr,forthcnaturc
ofthc vvill is not Uis onc-sidcdncss and rcsmcdon. ±
�rcto thc univcrsal.
Jhc mrthcr dctcrmínauon ofpcrt|co/cnzci|so |scc § 6 abovc) con-
sututcsthc diffcrcnccbctwccn mc forms ofthc vvíll. |a)inso far as
dctcrminacy is thc1m·c/dnu+cnthcso/;·ci|v·
on thc onc hand and thc s/;·ci|v· as cxtcmal immcdiatc cxstcncc
Introduction § § 7
'£xisi···zJ on the other, this is the1ntal [ntalc]° will as sell-con-
sciousness,which1oés anextenalworldoutsideitself. Aindiv¡du-



� determinacyintoitsell,itis�s


»��isäbsolutely uue and iis s¬o (see
£oo./spc·éic, § 363)/ the relauon of consciousness consututes no
more than i/·csp·a s1the will's cpp·cm··c·. Jhis aspectwill notbe
separately [ir sic/J considered anymrther here.
nomeans onlyin the senseofcontent,butalsoin thesenseofform. Its
determinacywlthregardtoformisitsendandthe accomplishmentofiu
become e/]cuivc and throwoffthe dehciency ofmere sub|ecuvit. One
atthe same umestandaboveitsdehciency, theniu dehciencydoes not
exstforit.Forusananimalisdehcient,butnotforitself. Insofar asan
endissulIonlyours,iti forus adehciency,for tous,freedomandwl
uonbutonlyits realiauon.
aTranslator's tote: The distncton between the adjectve fm/al and the precediogfnnell
appears to carr no partcular sigoifcance. On subsequent occasions m the Rechts­
philosophie (for example, § 123 and Hegel's Remarks to §§ 13, IS, I 1S, 135, 1 39, 261,
etc.), Hegel uses only fnl/ell.
(o) In so far as the will's determinauons are iis 00B ¯ that is, its
im cntal/y reflected parucularizauon in general ¯ �
`scontent, asthecontentL mevv,isitsendinaccordancewith
theformspecihedunder(a)above eitheritsinnerorsub|ecuveend
as represented in the act ofwilling, or its end as actual¡zed and
accomplishedthroughthe mediauon ofitsacuvityasituanslatesthe
sub|ecuve into ob|ecuviw.
Philosophy of Right
§ I
This content, or the distnct detenninaton of the will, is primarily
i¬¬·éici·.Thus, the will is 1··only ioiis·/or orH¡ or it is in general
the will in iis csoc i. Only when the will has itel�
·g·osicoéis it 1riis·/what it is i··iis·h¸
Finitude, according to this detenninaton, consists in the fact
that what something is ioiis·/or in accordance with it con­
cept Ldiferent in its exstence 'Fmi·ozJor appearance fom
what it is 1riis·l thus, for example, �t
mutual exteralit of nature L space, but 1r·/it is tme.
Two points should be noted in this connecton: first that,
because the tue is simply the Idea, we do not yet possess an
object or detenninaton in its tuth if we grasp it only as it is io
iis·/ or in its concept; and secondly, that something cscsocwi
or io iis·/likewise exst, and this exstence |£xisi·ozJ is a
shape proper to the object (as wit space in the above exam­
ple). The separaton which is present in the fnite world
between being-in-itself and beig-for-itself at the same tme
consttutes the finite world's mere oisi·oc· |Dcs·ioJ or

cpp·crcoc· (immediate examples of this will arise in connec-
ton with the natural will and then with formal right, etc.). The
understanding stops at mere /·i··g-io-iis·/and therefore calls
freedom in accordance . with this being-in-itself a co
||·m·ag···J , since it is indeed in this case�
|Meg/|c/k·iiJ. But the understanding regards this detennina­
ton as absolute and perennial, and takes the relatonship
|Bei·/s··gJ of freedom to what it wills, or in general to it
realit, merely as its cpp/icciiso to a given material, an appli­
caton which does not belong to the essence of feedom itself.
In this way, the understanding has to do with the abstact
alone, not with the Idea and tuth of freedom.1
÷ééiiiso(G). The will which is a will only i accordance with its concept is
fee i itself but at the same tme unfee, for it would be tuly fee only as
a tly determinate content; i the latter case, it is free for itself, has
feedom as its object, and isfeedom. Whatever is stll only in accordance
with its concept, whatever is merely in itself, is only immediate, only
natural. We are also familiar with this in representatonal thought 'i:·d

|sni·//:ug}.ahC ChìÌd ì8 u:|·s·hum8nUCìn ,+����|�|o|·s~

!Cn � 8 t ´Ol tC8

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WÎ!!.¹hC dC!CtmÎu8UOn8 Ol!hC dÎÍÏCtCnCCWhÎCh Î8pO8Î!CdWÎ!hÎn !hC
WÎ!! UV!hC 8C!Í-dC!CD2COnCCp!8ppC8tWÎ!hÎu !hC ÎmmCdÎ8!CWÎ!!
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iodiociisosUV WhÎCh !hC WÎ!! hnd8 Î!8C!ln8!ut8!!V dC!CDd. ¹hÎ8
COn!Cn!, 8!On2 WÎ!h !hC dC!CtmÎn8UOn8 dCVC!OpCd WÎ!hÎu Î!, dOC8
ÎudCCd Ot:2Îu8!CÎn!hCWÎ!Í´8t8UOn8!ÎD8Dd¯Î!ISÚu8 t8UOn8! ÎuÎ!8C!Í,
Uu!CXptC88CdÎu8OÎDmCdÎ8!C8 ÍOtm, Î!dOC8nO!VC!h8VC!hCÍOtmOÍ
t8UOn8!ÎP.' Fsr¬·,!hÎ8 COn!Cn! 18 8dmÎ!!Cd!V CnUtC!V ¬io·,Uu! !h:8

ÍOtm 8nd !h8!COn!Cn!8tC 8U!!dÎHCtCn!, 8O !h8!!hCWÍ!Í Î8c1oii·WÎ!Í
¬ii/io iis·/.
Lmp:tÎC8! p8VChO!O2V tC!8!C8 8nd dC8CtÎUC8 !hC8C dtÎVC8 8nd
ÎnC!Îu8UOn8 8nd!hCnCCd8 dCtÎVCd ÜOm!hCm88Î!CnCOun!Ct8
!hCm, Ot UC!ÎCVC8 Î! CnCOun!Ct8 !hCm, În CXpCtÎCnCC, 8nd
8!!Cmp!8 !O C!888Îl m 2ÎVCn m8!CtÎ8! Îu !hC u8u8! W8V. YC
8h8!! dÎ8Cu88 UC!OW Wh8! !hC s/;·ciic·C!CmCn! OÍ!hC8C dtÎVC8
Î8, Wh8! 8h8pC t C!CmCn! 888umC8 În Î!8 Uu!h IWÎmOu! !hC
ÍOtmOÍÎtt8UOn8!ÎPWhÎChÎ!pO88C88C888dtÎVC), 8nd 8!8OWh8!
8h8pC Î! 888umC8 În Î!8 CX8!CnCC |£xisi·ozJ .
÷1|i|so 0.¯hC 8nÎHt8Ì, !OO,h88 dtíVC8,dC8ìtC8,8nd ìnCÌìn8uOn8,Uu!Î!
h88 nOwl8ndmu8!OUCVÎI8 dtìVCÎlnOIhìn2CX!CC8Ì ptCVCnU ì!. Üu! mC
hum8n UCÎn2, 88 WhOÌÌV ÎndC!Ctmìn8!C, 8!8nd8 8UOVC hì8 dtÎVC8 8nd C8n
dC!CtmÎnC 8nd pO8ì! !hCm 88 hì8 OWn. ¯hC dtÎVC i D8t! Oln8!utC, Uu! !O
pO8Î!ì!ìD Ihì8 `Ï
dCDCnd8uDOn mVwl, WhÎCh !hCtClOtC C8nnO! 8ppC8Ì !O
'l8C! Ih8! !hC dtìVC ì8 2tOundCd În n8IutC.
Philosophy of Right
I 2
Jhcsystcm oIthis contcntasitisc/··cá,p··swiin its immcdiacyin
thcwl cxsts only as a mulbtudc oIvaricd drivcs, cach oIwhich is
mc iogw··c/along �mc bmc somcthing
un¡vcrsal and indctcrm¡natc which has all k¡nds oIobiccts 'C·gw-
stëoé·]andcanbcsabsncdinallkindsoIways. !nasmuchasthcwl,
in t doublc indctcrminacy, givcs itsclI thc Iorm oI iséiciéoc/ii,
'£isz·//·iiJ(scc§ 7), itisarcsolvingwill,andonlyisoIarasitmakcs
any rcsolubons atallis itan actualw¡ll.
� Jo rcsolvc on somcthing '·i¬cs /·sd·/iowJ· is to canccl
is inibally no morc than a possibilin. But our languagc also
contains thc altcmabvc cxprcssion sid· wi�d·/|·1w 'to
dccidc'],ªwhich indicatcs that thc indctcrminacy oIthc wl
itsclI, as somcthingncuualyctmtcly uiml, thc origial
sccdoIallcxstcncc'Dcs·ioJ, containsitsdctcrmiabonsand
cndswithinitsclI, andmcrclybringsthcmIorth Iromw¡thin.
"Trallslalor's nOle: Literally, 'to close someting'.
Trallslalor's nOle: Literally, 'to unclose oneself.
Byrcsolv¡ng, thc wl posits itsclIas thc wl oIa spccihc indiv¡dual
andasawlwhichdisbnguishcsi�IIromc�crh¡g� c.Butapart
o �ss�cdiatc will,
bccauscoIthcdiIIcrcnccbctwccnitsIormanditscontcnt(scc§ ii),
ispurcly1c/,its onlyappropriatcmncbonisthatoIc/si·cct··ss/o-
I soIarasintclligcnccisai/iokiogpowcr,itsobicct 'C·gw-
sicoéJ and contcntrcmainooic·nc/and th�I
bchavcs as a univcrsal acbvin. !n thc will, thc univcrsal also
�ch is m¡nc', as ioéiciéoc/|n
'£ioz·/k·iiJ, and i thc immcdiatc, i.c. Iormalwl, itsignincs
absuact individualin which is not yct mcd with its Ircc
univcrsaI¡n. !t is thcrcIorc inthcw¡ll thatthcp·sp··'·igw·J
1oiioée oIintclligcncc bcgins, and it is only by raisig itsclI

unIversa|ity upon its ends that me wl cance|s 'co1·/iJ the
difference ofform and content and makes itse|f obIecuve,
mtewl. Thusthosewhobe|ievethatthehumanbeingis
mte in the rea|mofthewl ingenera|,butthathe÷ or
reason itse|f÷ is |imited intherea|m ofthought, have |itt|e
understandingofthenatureofmgandw g.1 I sofar
as mg andw gare su|| disunct, it is ratherthe con-
versewhich is nue, and mgreason, aswl, is |reason]
deciding'si.l· ·oisc//i·1·oJ onitsown1oiioé·.
§§ 1 2-14
÷ééiiiso 0. A wlwhichreso|ves on nothingi notanactua|wl ; úe
suchindecision may a|so|ie in an over-rehned sensibi|itwhich knows
|imitonitse|fandre|inquishing ±yetitdoesnotwishtorenounce
aspirauon is to be beauum|.' 'Whoever aspires to great things', says
Goethe,'mustbe ab|e to |imithimse|f.'On|ybymakingreso|uuonscan
inenawou er emerge om that inwar roodinginwhic it

Thewlwhich is sure ofitse|fdoes not theree|osiuL |I¯]atu
"Translator's note: As T. M. Knox (Knox, p. 230, note) sunnises, the de of the original
must surely read d. Gans, who compiled the 'Additons', has simply taken this error
over from Hotho's tanscripton of Hegel's lectures (cf. VPR ttt, 1 31).
§ I
The hnitewl, pure|ywith regard to its form, is the se|f-ret|ecung
io1oii·'/' whichiswithitse|f |/cisic/s·l/siJ(see§�
` �
c1¬· its content, i.e. its various drIves, and a|so above the mrther
individua| ways in which these are actua|ized and saushed. Atthe
sameume, sinceitison|yforma||yinhnite,itisii·étothiscontentas
to the determinauons ofitsnature and ofit extema|actua|it(see
§ §6 andi i);butsinceitisindeterminate,itisnotresnictedtothisor
ib|eone forthere6ecuonofthe 'I
intoitse|f, itmay ormaynotbe
mine, and 'I
is the psssi/i/in ofdetermining myse|fto this or to
Philosophy of Right
mustinthis rcspcctrcgard ascxtcmal.·
§ 1
Jhcfrccdomofthcwl , accordingtothisdctcrminauon,isor/|tror·-
osss,inwhichthcfollowingtwo factorsarccontaincd. frccrcüccuon,
whichabsuactshom cvcrg, and dcpcndcncconaninwardly or
�givcn contcnt and matcrial. Sincc this contcnt, which is
ncccssary�thc samc umc dctcrmincd as a
possiblc contcnt in opposiuon to hcc rcüccuon, it follows that
arbiuarincss is:s··t|ogs··¬inthc shapc ofwl.
Jhccommoncstidca '|s·stshsog} wc havcoffrccdomis that
ofor/|tror·osss* thc mcanposiuon ofrcüccuon bctwccn thc
willas dctcrmincdsolclybynaturaldrivcsandthcwlwhich
ishccinandfor itsclf. Whcnwchcaritsaidthathccdomin
gcncralconsistsint,such an idca
' |sntsll·mg} canonlybctaLcn toindicatc a complctclacLof
intcl!cctual culturc 'B|N·mgéss Csóo··ls··s} , for itshows not
and for itsclf, or right, or cthics, ctc. Rcüccuon, thc1m·ol

univcrsaliw and unity of sclf-consciousncss, is thc will's
o/stroaccrtamw ofits rcc om, butit is notyct thc tmtl of
this frccdom,bccausc itdocs notyct�

atthc subjccuvc sidc is sull somcthing othcr


�o. * Inthcconuo«�
thc umc ofWolñ's mctaphysics as to whcthcr thc wl is
actually hcc or whcthcr our Lnowlcdgc of its frccdom is
mcrcly a dclusion, it was arbiuarincsswhich pcoplc had in
mind. Jo thc ccrtainw ofthis absuact sclf-dctcrminauon,
���� ���which, as somcthing
s··:ssotsr, is not containcd in that ccrtainw and thcrcforc
:s¬ssts|t1ìs¬ssts|és* although'outsidc' hcrc dcnotcsdrivc
. from its own self-deterg actvit as such. Accordingly,
' s��Oee self-determinaton is
immanent witn arbitariness, whereas the other element is
something given to it, arbitariness may indeed be called a
delusion if it is supposed to be equivalent to feedom. I all
�as in that of Kant and subsequently in
Fries's utterly superficial revsion of it, feedom is nothing
oter than this formal self-actvit.2

aóó|t|sou.Since I have the possibilit of deterg myself in U or
that directon - that is, since I am able to choose - I possess an arbitary
will, and this is what Ua ler �The choie which I have
lies in te Universalit of the will, whereby I can make this or that [thing]
mine. This [thing] which is mine is a partcular content and is therefore
incompatble with me; thus it is separate from me and is only potentally
mine, just as I am only the potentalit of unitg with it. The choice
therefore lies in the indeterminacy of the `Í´ and the determinacy of the
content. Bcts content, the �
agh it has in itself the aspect of infinit in a fonnal sense. None of
these contents is�eping with it, and it does not tly have itelf in any
of them. It is inherent in arbitariness that the content i not determined
Ü mine by the nature of my will, but by :sot:soc, thus I am also
dependent on this content, and this is the contadicton which underlies·.
@biariness. The common man thinks that he is fee when he is allowed
to act arbitarily, but this ver arbitariness implies that he is not fee.
When I will what is ratonal, I act not as a partcular 'oon|ulorss}
individual, but in accordance with the concepts of ethics in general: in an
etical act, I vindicate not myself but the thing [die Sache]. But a person
who does so�perverse gives the greatest prominence to his par­
tcularit 'Pori|ulo

eratonal is the high road which everone
follows and where no one stands out from the rest. When great artst
complete a work, we can say that it lcóto be so; that i, the artst's
partcularit has completely disappeared and no ¬o·æsns¬is apparent in
it. Phidias has no mannerisms; the shape itself lives and stands out. But
�poorer �artst is,!. e more we see of himself, of his partcularit and
arbitariness.3 If we stop our enquiry at arbitariness, at the human
being's abilit to will this or that, this does indeed consttute his feedom;
but if we bear fmly in mind that the content of what he wills i a given
one, it follows tat he is determined by it and is in this very respect no
longer fee.
Philosophy of Right
§ I ó
Whateve:thew has aeciaeate cheese (see § 1
), itcaali|ewise
:eliaeuish (see §
). 8utwith this tessibiliu eit:eceeaiaciatum
beveaa aavethe: ceateatwhich it mav subsutute ie: thet:evieus
eve:vsuchceateatisaii!e:eati:emtheie:m'eithew ] aaathe:e-
ie:eüaite,aaatheettesiteeiaete:miaacv aamelviaaete:miaacv,
iaaecisiea, e: absuacuea - is ealv the ethe:, eeuallv eae-siaea
That ceauaaicueawhich is the a:biua:vw (see § i
) ma|es its
ooocoroo:casaé|olca|:eia:ives aaaiacliaaueaswhchceaüictwith
the:eie:e has ae va:asuc| withia itselí this aete:miaauea thatit
sheulabe sube:aiaatea e:sac:iücea is the ceauaceataecisieaei
a:biua:iaess - whethe: the lat(e:is cuiaea bv calculaueas eithe
aóó|t|so0.D:ivese:iacliaaaeasa:et:ima:ilvaceateateimewl, aaa
ealv :e1ecaea staaas abeve (hem,but(hese a:ives 'Inc/c} themselves
e(he:,aaa¯ i(hemvishtebesaasäea. li,(hea,ltutalltheethe:s
ce:(aiaa:ives'tee(he:sl- (heceu:seeiacaeatewhich(heuaae:s(aaa-
iac usuallv :ese:(s - because ae va:asac| bvwhich (hev micht be
ie:eusuallveaasiateaieustlaa(uaes. '
I 8
With:eca:atethe;ségco coteia:ivestheattea:aaceeitheaialecuc


1 6-19
the immediate will are gssé,thus ¬ooi s said to be /, ootsrsgssé.But
in so far as they are éstsno|oot|s··ssJootsrs,opposed to freedom and
to the concept of the spirit in general and therefore osgot|vs,they must
be �eé,thus ¬oois said to be /,ootoe|l.I
is situaton, the
decision in favour of one asserton or te other likewise depends on
subjectve arbitariness. ·
aéé|t|so0.The Christan doctine that man is by nature evil is superior
to the other according to which he is good. Interpreted philosophically,
this doctine should be understood as. follows. Í spirit, man is a fee
being 'Ussw} who is in a positon not to let himself be determined by
natural drives. When he exsts in an immediate and uncivilized
'::··gs/|usts··} conditon, he is terefore in a situaton in which he ought
not to be, and fom which he must liberate himself. This is the meaning
of �e
doctine of original sin, without which Christanit would not be
te religion of freedom.
I 9
Underlying the demand for the osn;cot|sos1tlsénvssis the general
idea ' |s·stsl/sog} that they should be feed fom the ¬¬. of their
immediate natural determinacy and from the subjectvit and con­
tngency of their cso/sot, and restored to their substantal essence.
The tuth behind this indeterminate demand is that the drives should
become the ratonal system of the will's determinaton; to grasp them
thus in terms of the concept is the content of the science of right.
The content of this science can be expounded, with reference
to all its individual moments sU: h as right, propert, moralit,
family, the state, etc., in the following form: man losby nature
a drive towards right, ooéolssa drive towards propert and
morality, ooéolssa drive towards sexual love, a drive towards
sociabilit, etc. · If one prefers to accord the dignit of a
philosophical shape to this form of empirical psychology, then
this, in the light of what has passed in recent tmes for philo­
sophy (as was earlier noted) and contnues to pass for it, can
be achieved otls¬csst simply by declaring that man finds
within hmself, as a 1as1l|scsosc|sssosss,that he wills right,
propert, the state, etc. This same content, which appears
here in the shape of drives, will recur later in another form,
namely that of ést|ss.

Philosophy of Right
§ 20
\cn rcBccbon appÍìcs ìtscÍ! to tbc drìvcs, rcprcscnbnµ tbcm,
csbma cm,andco p Ï cmwì oncanotbcrandtbcnwìtb
tbcmcanstbcycmpÍoy,tbcìrconscqucnccsctc. ,andwìtba sumtotaÍ
o!sabs!acbon- ì.c.wìtblooo·ocss

t matcrìaÍandpurìHcsìt, ìntb:s cxtcmaÍWannc1ìts crudìÞ and
���nìvcrsaÍ:Þ o! tbouµt ìs tbc

� c § �
aóó·t·s·· 0. Ïn bappìncss, tbouµbt aÍrcady bas somc powcr ovcr tbc
naturaÍ !orcc o!mc drívcs, !orìtìsnotcontcntwìtbmcìnstantancous,but
rcquìrcs awboÍc o!bappíncss. Åbìs ìs conncctcd wítb cducauon to tbc
cxtcnt that cducauon Íìkcwìsc ìmpÍcmcnts aunìvcrsaÍ. Üut two momcnts
arc prcscnt ín thc ìdcaÍ o!bappìncss. thc Hrst ìs a unìvcrsaÍ wbìcb ìs
supcríor to aÍÍ pamcuÍaríucs; but sccondÍy, síncc mc contcnt o! thìs
unìvcrsaÍ ìs ìn tum mcrcÍy unìvcrsaÍ pÍcasurc, thc índìvìduaÍ and parucu-
Íar, ì.c. a hnìtc quanuD, rcappcars atmìspoìnt, andwc arc compcÍÍcdto
rctum to thc drívc. bíncc thc contcnto!bappìncss Íìcs ìn mc sub¡ccuvíty
§ 2 1
Åbc uutb, bowcvcr, o!tbìs !ormaÍ unìvcrsaÍìÞ, wbìcb ìs ìndctcrmì-
natc !or ìtscÍ!and cncountcrs ìts dctcrmìnacyìnmc matcrìaÍ aÍrcady
mcnboncd, ìs: m lcwil , sr¬ccós¬. Ybcn
tbcw basunÎvcrsaÍìÞ,orìucÍ!asìnHnìtc!orm,asìucontcnt,ob¡cct
tbc Ídca ìn ìts uutb.'
` �
¯bc scÍ!-conscìousncss o! tbc wìÍÍ, as dcsìrc and drìvc, ìs
�'`¬ �´¯:� `·´��
scosssss, ¡ust as tbc rcaÌm o! tbc scnscs ìn µcncraÍ dcnotcs
- �
cxtcmaÍìÞand bcncc tbat condìbon ìnwbìcb scÍ!-conscìous-

n�maÍto ìtscÍ!. Åbc c:/·vcwìÍ�-
¯^ �� tbc
w wbìcb los/c·og···ooé1r·tschbas as ìts ob¡cct tbc w
ìucÍ!as sucb, and bcncc ìtscÍ!i ìts purc unìvcrsaÍìÞ. Åbìs
umvcrsaÍìÞ ìs sucb tbat tbc ·¬¬cé·oco!tbc naturaÍ and tbc
oor/·olonn 'Por/·lslontöt} wìtb wbìcb mc naturaÍ ìs Íìkcwìsc


ínvcstcd whcn ít ís prcduccd by rcfIccbcn arc supcrscdcd
wíthín ít. But thís prcccss whcrcby thc parbcuIar ís suocr-
scdcd and raíscdtc thc unívcrsaI íswhatís caIIcdthc acbv¡t
·Itlssdt. Jhc scII-ccnscícusncss whích puríhcs and raíscs
íts cbjcct, ccntcnt, and cnd tc thís unívcrsaI¡w dccs sc as
tlssgltosssn|og|tsshín thc w. Hcrc ís thcos|otot¬l|:l|t
/s:s¬ssclsorthat ít ís cnIyas tl|ol|ogíntcIIígcnccthatthcw
ís uuIyítscIIand hcc. Jhc sIavc dccs nctLncwhís csscncc,
hís ínhn¡w and hccdcm, hc dccs nct Lncw hímscII as an
csscncc- hcdccsnctLncwmmscIIassuch, Icrhcdccsnct
tl|ol hímscII. Jhís scII-ccnscícusncss whích ccmprchcnds
ttscIfas csscnc�gh thcughtandthcrcbydívcstsítscIIcI
!c ccnmgcnt and thc unuuc ccnsbtutcs thc oríncíoIc cI
nght, cI mcraIí], and cI aII cth¡cs. Jhcsc whc spcaL
phíIcscphícaIIy cIríght, mcraIíty, andcthícsand atthc samc
bmc sccL tc cxcIudc thcught, appcaIíng ínstcad tc IccIíng,
hcart, cmcbcn, and ínspírabcn, bcar wímcss tcthc prcIcund
ccntcmpt íntc whích thcught and scícncc havc IaIIcn, Icr ín
thcír casc, scícncc ítscII, havíng sunL íntc dcspaír and tctaI
Iassítudc, cvcn adcpts barbar¡sm and mcughtIcssncss as íts
pr¡ncípIc and dccs cvcrythíng ít can tc rcb manLínd cI aII
uuth, wcrth, and dígníw.
§§ 2022
´� .~``·-`¯ ~��·
aéé|t|s··(H).Jruthi phíIcscphymcanstharthcccnccptccrrcspcndstc __
~¬�A bcdy, IcrcxampIc, ís rcaIíw, and mc scuI ís thc ccnccpt. But
Ü cxstcncc '£ists:·z},but nc Icngcr a uc cnc, Icr ít ís a ccnccptIcss
�'Doss|··} . thatíswhythc dcadbcd

uuth ís suchthat what ít wíIIs, í.c.íts ccntcnt, ís ídcnbcaI wíth thc wl
ítscII, scthatIrccdcm ís wíIIcd by hccdcm.

ín and IcrítscIIís tm/r|o;o|ts,bccauscíts
asssrcrasal|¬|totson thc ccnuary,
� � tc
bcn, cr:ooo:|n ¡sts··t|o),butue:am|ts|o oosol|n(|·mo|ts¬o:ts),
.-· `��·-�
bccausc thc ccnccpt's cxstcncc 'Doss|o}cr cbjccbvc ;sgs··stëoé/:ls}
cxtcmaIíwís ínwardncss ítscII.
Philosophy oj Right
!Icnc thcrcIcrc spcaLs cnIycIthc IrccwíIIas such, wthcut
spccíh¡ngthatítísthcw¡IIwhíchís Irccínand!cr|tss/,cncís
spcaLíng cnly cIthcorsé|soss|t|s·: tcwards Irccdcm cr cIthc
naturaIandhnítcw¡II|scc; i i),andthcrcIcrcnct-whatcvcr
cncmaysayandbcI¡cvc- cIthcIrccwíII.- Whcnthcundcr-
standíng rcgards mc ínhmtc mcrcIy as scmcthíng ncgabvc
and hcncc as /csoé|tssolsrs, ít bcIícvcs that ítís dcíngthc
ínhn¡tc aII thc mcrc hcncur by pushíng ít cvcr mrthcr away
anddístancíngítasscmcthíngaIícn.!nthc Irccw¡II, thcuuIy
ínhnítchas actuaIíwand prcscncc- thcw¡IIítscIIís thc ídca
whíchís prcscntw¡th¡n ítscII
a1|t|es 0).!nhníwhas ríghtly bccn rcprcscntcd by �
círcIc,bccauscasuaíghtIíncrunscníndchi¡ítcl anddcnctcsthatmcrcl
bvc and asc ínhnítywhíc ,unlíLc uucínhníw,dccsnctrctumíntc
� IS uly ínhnítc, cr ít ís nct just a DUSSI íw and
�cncnthcccnuary,ítsrxtcma cxstcnccISILM ardncss, íts
cwn scI �

OnIy ín thís hccdcm ís thc wíII ccmpIctcIy ¬|tl |tssh'/s|s|d·I
bccausc ít has rcIcrcncc tc ncthíngbutítscII, sc thatcvcryrcIabcn-
- !tístms,crramcrítístmtlítscII,bccauscítsdctcrmínabcnccnsísts
ínbcíng¡níts sx|stso:s'Doss|o}~ í.c.asscmcthíngcppcscdtcítscII-
whatítísíníts ccnccpt, thatís,thcpurcccnccpthasthc¡ntuíbcncI
ítscIIasítscnd and rcaIíty.
!t |thcwíII] ís·t··|vs·sol,bccauscaII l¡tnítabcnand parbcuIaríndív¡du-
aI¡w '£|··zslls|t} arc supcrscdcd w¡th¡n ít.�
díñcrcnccbctwccnthcccnccptandíts cbjcct'Csgsosto··écrccntcnt,
cr, cxprcsscd ín ancthcr Icrm, M c díf!crcncc bctwccn c wílI`s
subjccbvc bcíng-Icr-ítscII and íts bcíng-ín-ítscII, cr bctwccn íts
odss|vsandrcscIvíngíndíviduaI¡w |cn thc cnchand] and íts unívcr-
saIíwítscII|cnmc cthcr] .
Jhc var¡cus dctcrmínabcns cI·m|vs·sol|narc gívcnínIcgíc
|scc £oc:/soosé|o s1tlsPl|lsssol|:olSoso:ss, ; ; i i ê~i zê).
The frst thing which the expression 'universalit' suggests to
representatonal thought 'é¬ |s·stsllw} is an abstact and
exteral universalit; but in the case of that universalit which
has being in and for itself, as defined here, we should m
neither of the universalit of reflecton - i.e. :s¬¬sool|nor
tstol|n- nor of that o/stroctuniversalit which stands outside
and in oppositon to the individual - i.e. the abstact identt
of the understanding (see Remarks to § 6). The universalit in
queston is :soostswithin itself and consequently has being
for itself, and it is the substance of the self-consciousness, its
immanent generic character 'Cottsog} or immanent idea; it is
the concept of the free will as the so|vs·sol¬l|:lotsoós/csoó
its object, which osmsotss |ts ósts·v|oot|so and is identcal
§§ 22-26
with itself in this determinaton. - The universal which haS
bein in and for itself is in eneral �
and it can be understood only in this speculatve way.
The ss/;sa|vs, as far as te will in general is concered, denotes the
�'E|ozslls|t} (see § 7) a
st|o:i rs¬its conce t which has bein |·· |tsshThe subjectvit of
the will therefore denotes (o)osrs]m·, the o/sslstsso|nof the self-
consciousness with itself, in which the self-consciousness, as�,
is totally inward and o/stro:i/rdependent upon itself - i.e. the pure

:srto|onof itself, as distnct fom tuth; (�) the oo|:slo�of the will
as arbitariness and as the co tngent con�
, will may pursue; (y) one-sided form in general (see § 8), in so far as
�wiled, whatever its content, is stll only a content
belonging to the self-consciousness, an unaccomplished end.
(a) The will, in so far as it has itself as its determinaton and is thus in
�t and tuly itself, is the tstol/rs/sa|v ¬|I,
(�) but the s/;s:t|vswill, inasmuch as it locL tls|s o|ts1m of self- �
consciousness, is the willrmerse in its ob' ect or conditon,
whatever the content �atter may be - it is th�,
the ethical will/ or the will of the slave,�rsttous will, etc.; )

´¯ � .`´�` ·¯
Philosohy of Right
(y) finally, s/;s:t·v·nis te one-sided form opposed to the subjectve
determinaton of the will, and is thus the immediacy of exstence
'Doss··:} as ool exstence 'x·stso}

s/;s:i·vs�untl its end
These logical determinatons of subjectvit and objectvit
have been listed here in order that we may expressly note in
relaton to them - since they will ofen be employed in what
follows - that, like other distnctons and antthetcal
determinatons of reflecton, they pass over into their
opposites on account of their fitude and hence of their
dialectcal nature. Other such antthetcal determinatons,
however, � a fied signifcance for representatonal
thought ' |s·stsllsog}and for the understanding, because their
identt is stll only of an ·o¬orékind. In the will, on the other
hand, such anttheses -which are supposed to be abstact, yet
at the same tme determinatons s1 tls ¬·l/which can be
known- ony ostls:soosts- lead by themselves to their own
identt and to a confsion of their meanings, a confsion into
which the understanding quite unwitngly falls. - Thus the
will, as feedom ¬·tl·o¬oré/s·og,is subjectvit itself; subject­
ivit is accordingly te will's concept and hence its objectvit;
but its subjectvit, as opposed to objectvit, Lfinitude; yet in
this very oppositon, the will is not with itself but involved with
te object, and its fnitude consists just as much in the fact
that it is not subjectve, etc. - Thus, the significance to be
attached in what follows to the subjectve or objectve aspects
of the will should in each case be apparent from the context,
which defnes their positon with reference to the totalit.
aóé·t·so0. It is usually believed that te subjectve and objectve are
fnl opposed to one anoter. But this is not te case; they in fact pass
over into one anoter, for tey are not abstact determinatons like posi­
tve and negatve, but already have a more concrete signifcance. If we
frst consider te term 'subjectve'" tis may denote an end peculiar to a
specifc subject. In tis sense, a very b�rk �
its purpose 'Sc:/s} i purely subjectve. But the same term may also be
applied to te content of the wl, and it i ten roughly synonyous wit
��t��to the subject.
Thus bad actons, for exam Ie, are merely subjectve. - �n,
wmaYso describe a�
'1' ��f
Ü its object '6cgcsstc·u and which possesses the power to abstact from
aI content. Thus, subjectvity may have a wholly partcular
'ocri|ls/crc} signifcance, or it may mean something eminently justfed,
since everying which I am u recognize also has the task of becoming
mine and gaining its validit in me. Such is the infnite greed of subject­
ivit, which collects and consumes everg

pure 'I'. he objectve may te un erstoo in no ess varied ways.
iM erstand by it everg which we make our object |sos
gcgcsst«oé/|d·},whether such objects are actual exstences 'L|stcszcs} or
§§ 2628
are mere thoughts which we set up in oppositon to ourselves. But we also
comprehend [under objectvit] the immediacy of exstence [Dasehz] in
which the end is to be realized: even if the end is itself wholly partcular
'oc·t|ls/cr} and subjectve, we nevertheless call it objectve as soon as it
makes it appearance. But the objectve will is also that in which tuth is
present. Thus the wlof God, the ethical wl , is objectve. Finally, we
may also aes
'be as objectve the wlwhich i

completely immersed in
object 'O/;clt},such as te vof te child, which is founded on tust and
ubjectve feedom, and the wl of the slave, which does not yet
know itself Ü free and is consequently a will with no will ofits own. In this
sense, eve wl hose actons are ided by an alien authori and which ¯
Theabso|ute determInauonor,uoneprefers, the abso|utedrive, of
thefreespirit(see§ 21) istomakeitsfreedomintoitsobIect'Ccgco-
stco}¯ to make it obIecuve both in the sense that it becomes the
rauona| system ofthe spirititse|f, and in the sense thatthis system
becomesimmediate actua|it(see § 26). Thisenab|esthespirittobe
foritse|f,asIdea,whatthewl isinitse|f.Theabsnactconceptofthe
Ideaofthew is in genera| tlc1ìcc¬|ll¬l|:l ¬|l/tlc1ìcc¬|l

The acuvituf the w consists in cance||ing 'c·uslc/co} the con-
nadicuon between subæ d ob]ecuvity and in nans¡amg its
_ sfromtheirsubIccuve determnauonintoanobjecuve one,wme
at the same umeremainin
¬|tl |tschinthisobIecuvit (Apartûom
the forma| mode ofconsciou¤ess (see § 8) inw¡ich obIecuvit is
presenton|yasimmediateactua|it,this acuvitisthecsscot|cléclso-
om·tofthesubstanua|contentof theIdea(see § 2i adeve|opment
Philosophy of Right
ín whích thc ccnccpt dctcrmíncs thc I1so, whích ís |tsshat hrst
�= -~
o/stro:/, tc |prcducc] thc tctaIíw cIíts systcm. Jhís tctaIíw, as mc
substannaI cIcmcnt, ís índcpcndcnt cI thc cppcsíncn bctwccn a
mcrcIy subjccnvc cnd and íts rcamancn, and ís tlsso¬sín bcth cI
thcsc Icrms.
Rtís any cxstcncc 'Doss|o} ín gcncraIwh¡chís thc o|stso:scIthc

1ss¬|h.·Kíght ís thcrcIcrc ín gcncraI Irccdcm, as !dca.
· ×
!n thc Kannan dchníncn 'Bsst|¬¬·mg} cI ríght |scc thc
ínucducncn tc Kant's Ilssrs1R|glt'Mstool,s|s:ls÷a-
¬io·és ésr Rso·tslslrs, ¡ }o}]), whích ís aIsc mcrc wídcIy
acccptcd, thc csscnnaI cIcmcnt 'Ms¬so/} ís 'thc /·¬|tot|so cI
my Irccdcmcror/|tror¬|l/ínsuchawaythatítmaycccxst
wíth thc arbíuary w cIcvcrycnc cIsc ín acccrdanccwíth a
unívcrsaI Iaw'.´Onthccnchand,th¡sdchníncnccntaínscnIy
aos¿ot|vsdctcrm¡nancn- that cII¡mít�ncn, and cn thc cthcr
hand, thcpcsínvc |cIcmcnt] - thc unívcrsaIIawcrsc-caIIcd
'Iaw cIrcascn',thc ccnscnancc cIthc arbíuary w¡II cIcnc
índív¡duaI wíth that cIthc cthcr - amcunu símpIy tc thc
ncn. Jhc dchníncn cIr¡ght ín qucsncn cmbcdícs thc vícw,
cspccíaIIy prcvaIcnt síncc Kcusscau, acccrdíng tc whích thc
substannaIbasísand prímat¸ Iactcrís suppcscdtcbc nct thc
wíII as rancnaI w¡II whích has bcíng ín and Icr ítscII cr thc
spírít as tms spírít, but w and spír¡t as thc oon|:slor
índív¡duaI,asthcw¡IIcIthc ��� d¡s
dísnncnvc arbíuaríncss.º Oncc thís príncípIc ís acccptcd, thc
rancnaI can cI ccursc appcar cnIy as a Iímítancn cn thc
Irccdcm¡n qucsncn, and nct as anímmancntrancnaI¡w, but
cnIyasancxtcmaI and IcrmaI um¯hís vícw ís dcvcíd
cIanyspccuIanvcmcughtandís rcmtcdbythcphíIcscphícaI
ccnccpt, andhas atthc samcnmc prcduccd phcncmcna 'Lr-
s:ls|mmgo·} ín pccpIc's tn¡ndsandín thc actuaIwcrId whcsc
tcrrímng naturc ís matchcd cnIy by thc shaIIcwncss cIthc
thcughts cnwhích thcyarc bascd.'
Introducion §§ 28-3 1
Right is something sttcr/rso:rcé, for the simple reason that it is the
exstence 'Doscio}of the absolute concept, of self-conscious feedom.
- But the 1m·ol|s¬ of right and also of dut! - arises out of the
diferent stages in te development of the concept of freedom. In
oppositon to the more formal, i.e. ¬src o/stro:t and hence more
limited kind of right, that sphere and stage of the spirit in which the
spirit has determined and actualized within itself the frther moments
contained in its Idea possesses a higher right, for it i the ¬srccsooctc
sphere, richer within itself and more tuly universal.
Each stage in the development of the Idea of freedom has its ,
�t, because it is the exstence of freedom in one
of its own determinatons. When we speak of the oppositon
between moralit or ethics and r|glt, the right in queston is
merely the inital and formal right of abstact personalit.
Moralit, ethics, and the interest of the state - each of these is
a distnct variet of right, because each of them gives deteri­
nate shape and exstence to ¬ccés¬. They can come into
:sll·s|soonly in so far as they are all in equal measure rights; if
the moral point of view of the spirit were not also a right -i.e.
feedom in one of its forms - it could not possibly come into
collision with the right of personalit or with any other right,
because every right embodies the concept of freedom, the
highest d�terminaton of spirit, in relaton to which everg
else is without substance. But a collision also contains this
frther moment: it imposes a limitaton whereby one right is
subordinated to another; only the right of the world spirit is
absolute in an unlimited sense.
The method whereby the concept, in science, develops out of itself
and is merely an |¬¬oocotprogression and producton of its own
determinatons is likewise assumed to be familiar from logic. Its pro­
gress does not depend on the asseron that various circumstances orc
orcscoi or on the subsequent oool|:ot|s·· of the universal to such
material of exaneous origin.
Philosophy of Right

t, ��

the partcularizatons of universal but also produces them,
is w at I call é|ols:t|:.I consequently do not mean that k of
¯di� an object 'Csgs··stooé,propositon, etc.
given to feeling or to the immediate consciousness in general,
and dissolves it, confses it, develops it this way and that, and
is solely concered with deducing its opposite - a negatve
mode which fequently appears even in Plato. ·Such dialectc
may regard as its fnal result the . opposite of a given idea
'|sntsl/sog},or, as in the uncompromising manner of ancient
sceptcism, its contadicton, or, in a lame fashion, an ooorsx-
|¬ot|so to the tuth which is a modem half-mea��e
ligher dialectc of the concept consIsts not mere y M produc­
ing and apprehending the deteminaton as an opposite and
linItng factor, but in producing and apprehending t
•content and result which it co tains; and it is this alone which
. makes it a éeslso¬s··t and immanent pro ession. This
- ialectc, then, is not an otsmo actvit of subjectve thought,
but the ve ssslof the content which puts forth its branches
and fruit organically. This development of the Idea as the
actvit of its own ratonalit is something which thought,
since it is subjectve, merely observes, without for its part
adding anything exta to it. To consider something ratonally
means not to bring reason to bear on the object fom outside
in order to work upon it, for the object is itself ratonal for
itself; it is the spirit in its freedom, the highest apex of self­
conscious reason, which here gives itself actualit and
engenders itself as an exstng world; and the sole business of
science is to make conscious this work which is accomplished
by the reason of the thing 'So:ls} itself. "-
The éstsm·|aot|s··sin the development of the concept are on the one
hand themselves concepts, but on the other hand, sice the concept is
essentally Idea, they have the form of exstence 'Doss|o}, and the
series of concepts which results is there ore at the same tme a series
o�; this is how science should regard them.



In te more speculatve sense, the ¬sóss1sxistso:sof a con­
cept and its óctsm·|oocare one and the same ting. But it
should be noted tat the moments, whose result is a frther­
determined form [of the concept], precede it as determina­
tons of the concept in the scientfc development of the Idea,
but do not come before it as shapes in its temporal develop­
ment. Thus the Idea, in its determinaton as the family,
presupposes those determinatons of the concept fom which,
in a later secton of this work, it [i.e. te Idea] w be shown to
result. But the other side of this development is that these
inner presuppositons should also be present for themselves as
slooss, such as the right of property, contact, moralit, etc.,
and it is only at a more advanced stage of culture 'Bi/é·ugJthat
the moments of development attain this distnctve shape of
§§ 3 1-32
aóó|t|so 0.The Idea must contnually determine itself frther within
itself, for it is initally no more than an abstact concept. But this inital
abstact concept is never abandoned. On the contary, it.erely�s
contnually richer in itself, so that the last determinaton is also the
�ons which previously exsted only in them­
selves thereby attain their fee self-sufciency, but in such a way that the
concept remains the soul which holds everything together and which
arrives at Its own differentaton only through an imanent ¬ocess.-ae
¯ therefore say that the concept arrives at anything new; on the
contar, the last determinaton coincides in unit with the frst. Thus,
even if the concept appears to have become fagented in its exstence,
this is merely a semblance, as is subsequently confrmed when all its
details finally retur in the concept of the universal. In the empirical
sciences, it i customar to analyse what is found in representatonal
thought [Vortelzmg], and when the individual instance has been reduced
to te common qualit, this common quality is then called the concept.
This is not how we proceed, for we merely wish to observe how the
concept determines itself, and we force ourselves not to add anything of
our own thoughts and opinions. What we obtain in this way, however, is a
series of thoughts and another series of exstent shapes, in which it may
happen that the temporal sequence of their actual appearance is to some
extent diferent fom the conceptual sequence. Thus, we cannot say, for
example, that property exsted before te family, although propert is
nevertheless dealt wit first. One might accordingly ask at this point why
¬do not begin with the highest instance, that is, with the concretely tue.
The answer wlbe that we \vish to see the tuth precisely in the form of a
Philosohy of Right
the absuactconceptitse|f. Whatisactaa|,the shapewhichthe concept
assumes, i therefore from our pomtofview ony the subsequent and
fo||owi thatwherebytheabsnactformsrevea|úemse|vesnotasexsung
forthemse|ves,butas unuue.
Inaccordancewiththestagesi nthe deve|opmentoftheIdeaofthe
wlwhichi ûeeinandforitse|fthewlis
A. ·¬¬sé·ots· its - ce ti therefore absa,
anditso·stw:s'Doss·o}isanimmediateextema|thing'Sod·s} , ~
the s hereofo/strouor onoolnI:t·
·vs·:·é·v·ésol:n ···zslls·t} in opposiuontothe so·vs·sol~ the
�� rt|y as
Idea ¬sé·otséon|y tlrssgl socl stlsr, the Idea inits division or
however,los/s·ogon|y····tss0~ tlssolsrsw¬srol·n, 7
C. the so·nandtwtlofthese two absnactmoments÷ the thought
Idea ofthe goodrea|izedintheintema||yrdsas鬷handi me
ot¬·ol¬sr/é,÷ sothatûeedom, asthess/stoo:s,exstsno|essas
oaso/nandos:sss·nthanasss/;s:i·vswl; ÷ theIésoinitsuniver-
sa|exstence'Ex·stwz}in andforitse|f, |thesphere oßstl·:ol lü.
(a) ootsrolspirit,÷ the1¬·h,
(b) initsé·v·s·soandooosoroo:s,~ :·v·lss:·st,,
(c) thestotsas ûeedom, whichisequa|Iyuniversa| and obIecuvein
the ûee se|f-suf6ciency ofthe parucu|ar w , this actua| and
organic spirit (o) ofa peop|e (ß) actua|izes and revea|s itse|f

and in world history as te universal world spirit whose r·gltis
That a thing 'So:/·s} or content which is posited only in
accordance with its :so:wtor as it is ·o·tsshhas the shape of
·¬¬sé·ocor of /e··g, i presupposed fom speculatve logic;
the concept which exst for itself in the fnn s1tls:so:wti
something different, and is no longer immediate. - The
principle which determines the above subdivisions is likewise
presupposed/ The subdivisions may also be regarded as a
l·stsr·:olpreview of the parts [of the book], for the various
stages must generate themselves fom the nature of the con­
tent itself as moments in the development of the Idea.
Philosophical subdivisions are certainly not an exteral classi­
ficaton - i.e. an outward classifcaton of a given material
based on one or more extaneous principles of organizaton -
but the immanent differentaton of the concept itself. -
Msml·n and stl·cs, which are usually regarded as roughly
synonymous, are taken here in essentally distnct senses.2 Yet
even representatonal thought ' |sntsllsog} seems to dis­
tnguish them; Kantan usage prefers the expression ¬srol·n,
as indeed the practcal prnciples of Kant's philosophy are
confned throughout to t concept, even rendering the point
of view of stl·:simpossible and in fact expressly infringing and
destoying it. But even if moralt and ethics were etmologi­
cally synonymous, this would not prevent them, since they are
now different words, fom being used for different concepts.
a1|t|so0.When we speak here of right, we mean not merely civil right,
which is what is usually understood by this term, but also morality, ethics,
and world history. These likewise belong here, because te concept
brings toughts together in teir te relatonship. If it is not to remain
abstact, the fee wlmust frst give itself an exstence 'Doss|o},and the
primary sensuous consttuents of this exstence are tings 'Sca·s·:},i.e.
exteral objects 'D|ogs}.This frst mode of feedom is te one which we
should know as proe, te sphere of formal and abstact right; propert
in its mediated shape as :sotroa,and right in its infngement as :r·¬sand
oso|sl¬sst,are no less a part of this sphere. The feedom which we have
here is what we call te person, tat is, the subject which is fee, and
indeed fee for itself, and which gives itself an exstence 'Doss|o}in te
realm of tings 'ScJ:so} .But this mere imediacy of exstence is not in
§§ 32-33
Philosohy of Right
kccping witb hccdom, and tbc ncgauon of tbis dctcrminauon is tbc
spbcrc ofmorality. ! am tbcn frcc no longcr mcrcly in ths immcdiatc
tbing [Sadie], butalso in a supcrscdcd immcdiacy- tbatis, ! am hcc in
mysclf,intbcsubjccuvcrcalm. !ntbisspbcrc,cvc¬gdcpcndsonmy
insigbt, my intcnuon, and tbc cnd ! pursuc, bccausc cxtcmalin is now
rcgardcd asindifIcrcnt. Buttbc good, wbicb is bcrc tbc univcrsal cnd,
!ortbcsubjccuvcwldcmandstbatwbatisintcmalto it- tbatis,itscnd
- sbould attain an cxtcmal cxstcncc [Dasei11], and bcncc tbattbc good
sbould bcaccomplisbcd incxtcmalcxstcncc [Existe1/z]. Noral¡nandtbc
carlicr momcnt of formal rigbt arc botb absuacuons wbosc uutb is
attaincd on!yinethical li. Jbus, ctbical lifcistbcuni oftbcwlin iu
concct and tbc wl of tbc individual [ds Eirlzelrle11], tbat oftbc
�flovc and fccling [Empf1Idll1lg] - tbc1¬ih;bcrc, tbc individual
[ds lldividl1ll11l] bas ovcrcomc [atifehobell] bis pcrsonal aloomcss and
wc wimcss tbc disappcarancc ofctbical lifc in its propcr scnsc and of
towards cacb otbcr as sclf-sumcicnt individuals, for tbcy arc bcld
togctbcron!ybytbcbond ofmutual nccd. Jbis stagc ofcivil socet bas
ohcnbccn cquatcdwitbtbcstatc.Buttbcstate cmcrgcsonlyattbctbird
stagc,tbatofctbical l¡fcandspirit, atwbicbtbcmomcntousunihcauonof
sclf-sumcicntindividual¡nwitb univcrsal substanualintakcsplacc. Jbc
its most concrctc sbapc, wbicb is subordinatc only to tbc suprcmc
absolutc uutb oftbcworld spirit.
Abstact Rght

The will which is free in and for itself, as it is in its o/stroconcept, is
in the determinate conditon of ·¬¬sé·oc. Accordingly, in contast
with realit, it is its own negatve actualit, whose reference to itself is
purely abstact - the ·olsrsoth ·oé·v·ésol '··:s·d· s·ozslosr} will of a
ss/;sa. In accordance with the moment of oo·¡·:slonnof the will, it
has in additon ,a content consistn!f de.
enninat�s, and as
o:/ss·vs ·oé·v·ésol·t, 'E·ozslls·t}, it simultaneously encounters this
content as an exteral world immediately confontng it.
÷ééi/ieo0.When I say tat the wlwhich is free in and for itself, as it is
in its abstact concept, i in the determinate onditon of ' edia�, this
should be understood as follows. The completed Idea of the wli tat
conditon in which te concept has flly realized itself and in which its
exstence |Dos·ut}is nothing but te concept's own development. Initally,
however� te concept is abstact - that is, although all its determinatons
are conta�e no more than contained in it: tey have
being only in themselves and have not yet developed into a totalit in teir
own �at I am fee, 'I' is stll tis being-witin-itself
|Iosichs·u:}witout any oppositon. In moralit, on the oter hand, there is
already an oi sphere, I am present as an individual
wl, whereas te good is the universal, even though it is within me. Thus, ·
�factors of individualit and univer- ,
salit within itseìf, and is consequently determinate.�n
i�y, for tere is no progression or mediaton at te frst
stage of abstact unit, where the will has te form of immediacy, of
being. The essental insight to be gained here, then, is that this inital
indeterminacy is itself a determinacy. For indete�e
� eing no stncton as yet between te will and its content; but
indeterminacy itself, when opposed to the determinate, takes on the
determinaton of being someting determinate; it i abstact identt
which here consttutes its determinacy; the wl thereby becomes an
individual wl- te ¡·neo.
The ·m·vsnoli_of this will which is free for itself is formal univer-
�i.e. �will's self-cons (ut otherwise contentless) and
s·¬olsreference to itself in its individualit 'E·ozsllut

to t extent,
the subject is a osnso.It is inherent in osnsool·nthat, as tl·sperson, I
Philosophy of Right
amcomplctcly dctcnnincd in all rcspccts (in myinncrarbinaryw ,
drivc, and dcsirc, as wcll as in rclauon to my immcdiatc cxtcmal
cxstcncc 'Dcsc|··}), and that I am hnitc, yct totally purc sclf-
rcfcrcncc, and thus know mysclfinmy hnitudc as |··;··|tc, s··|vc·:cl,
!crsonalinbcginsonly atthat ointwhcrcthcsub`ccthas not
�� ��ncralas concrctc andin

� �
plct!yabsnact '!
inwhich all concrctc

. ~ · ¬ �- ·ª ~.
arc ncgatcd and invalidatcd. I thc pcrsonabn, thcrcforc,
mcrcis! owlcdgc ofthcschas ans/;cct 'Ccgcosto··o,butas
anobjcctraiscdbythoug ttosìutplcm nan cnccpurcly
idcnucalwith 1so far as cy avc notyct arrivcd at
�nd know cd c ofthcmsclvcs
and coplcs do notyct havc a crsonalin. Jhc spiritwhich
�p���n�c, for in thc samc dctcrminauon in whichthc
lattcrisonlyschcs··sosss··css" consciousncsss1|tschbutonly
in accordth�th+natural wau· as yct cxtcmal
opposiuons (scc Pl:c·:s···coslsg s1 So|·it, Bambcrg and
WiIrzburg, r807, pp. rorff and E··cclsoocé|c s1 tlc
andfrcc '!',asitsobjcctandcndandisconscqucntlyaoc·:s··.
aóé|t|s··0).ThcvvIllwhichhasbcingforitsclf,orthcabsnactwl, isthc
in spitc of this, thc simplc absnacuon 'pcrson' has somcthing con-
tcmptuous about it, cvcn as an cxprcssion.¹ Thc pcrson is csscnually
diücrcnt hom thc subicct, for thc subicct is only thc µossibiliwo!cr-
sonalin,sinccanylivingthingwhatcvcrisasuct.A pcrsonisthcrcforc
asubicctwhichis awarc ofthissubiccuvin, foras apcrson,I am com-
plctcly for mysclf. mc pcrson is thc indivIdualin of hccd
�g-for�c| A4pcrs�Ucc�an
a��� cvcrthing, sincc nothing conhonts mc but purc pcr-
sonalin. Andyctastl|spcrsonI amsomcthingwhollydctcrminatc.I am
ofsuch an agc, of such a hcight, in this room, and whatcvcr othcr
parucular things 'Pc·t|ls/cntö } I happcn to bc. !crsonalin is thus at
thcsamc umc thcsublimcandthcwhollyordinary, itcontainsthisunin
ofthcinhnitcandthcuttcrlyhnitc, ofthcdctcrminatcboundaryandthc
complctcly unboundcd. Thc suprcmc achicvcmcnt ofthc pcrson is to
Abstrac Right
supportthísconuadícbon,whíchnothínµínthcnaturaÍ rcaÍmcontaínsor
couÍd cndurc.
I . ÍcrsonaÍìÞ contaìns ìn µcncraÍ mc capacìty !or rìµht and con-
sbtutcs thc conccDt and thc lìtscÍ! absuact) basìs mabsuact and
hcIc 1nool rìt. ¯hc commandmcnt o! rìµht ís tbcrc!orc: /s o

osnsoooérssostl¬a osnsos.'
2. ¯hcoon·olor·no!tbc w ìs ìndccd a momcnt wìtbìn tbc cnbrc
conscìousncss o!tbcw |scc § 34), but ítís notyctcontaìncd ìn tbc
absuactpcrsonaÍìÞas such. ¯hus, ±ìtìs prcscnt¬ as dcsìrc,
¬ cs, conmµcnt prc!crcncc, ctc. ¬ ít ìs sbÍÍ dìÛcrcnt hom
pcrsonaÍìÞ, hom tbc dctcrmìnabon o!hccdom. ¯ I !ormaÍ rìµht,
tbcrc!orc, ìtìs not a qucsbon o!parbcuÍarìntcrcsu, o!myadvantaµc
orwcÍ!arc, and )ustasÍ:ttÍco!tbcparbcuÍarµroundbywhìchmyw
ìs dctcrmìncd, ì.c. o!myìnsìµht and ìntcnbon´
aéé|t|so 0. bíncc parbcuÍaríD, ín thc pcrson, ís not yct prcscnt as
hccdom, cvcrµwhích dcpcnds on parbcuÍaríD ís hcrc a ¬ottsrs1
|oé[ srsocs.Í!somconc ís íntcrcstcd onÍyínhís !ormaÍ ríµht, thís maybc
pom css, such as ís ohcn cncountcrcd ín cmobonaÍÍy Íímítcd
pcopÍc 'o·m·: /ac/:rë·:ltso Hsæso ·oé Coosts}, !or uncuÍmrcd pcopÍc �
ìnsístmostsuonµÍyonthcírríµhu, whcrcasthosco!nobÍcrmíndscckto
díscovcr what othcr aspccu thcrc arc to thc mattcr 'Socls} ín qucsbon.
¯hus absuact ríµht ís íníbaÍÍy a mcrc possíbíÍíD, and m that rcs cct ìs
!ormaÍínc aractcrascomparcdwíthmcwhoÍccxtcnto!thcrcÍabonshíp.
Lonscqucnuy, a dctcrmínabon o!ríµht µívcs mc a watant, but ítís not
absoÍutcÍyncccssawthatÍ shouÍd pursuc my ríµhts, bccausc thís ís onÍy
onc aspccto!thc whoÍc rcÍabonshíp. Íor possíbìÍíD ís bcínµ, whích aÍso
has thc síµníHcancc o!notbcínµ.
Vìtb rc!crcncc to csocrsts acbon and to moraÍ and ctmcaÍ rcÍabons,
absuact rìµht ìs oBÍy a osss·/·l·nas comparcd wìtb tbc rcst o!tbcìr
contcnt, and tbc dctcrmmabon o!rìµhtístbcrc!orc omVa¡sm:os·s·:
or ¬o·zoot

Íotc samc rcason [Gnmd o! íts absuacmcss, tbc
Philosophy of Right
necessity of this right is limited to the negatve osttsv|slotsper­
sonalit and what ensues from-personality. Hence there

e �
�t,and the positve fonn of �oTright
IS, D Its ultmate content, based on prohibiton.2
. The resolving and |¬¬sé|otsindividualit '£|ozslls|t}of the person
relates itself to a nature which it encounters before it. Hence the
personalit of the will stands in oppositon to nature as ss/;sa|vs.But
since personalit within itself is infinite and universal the limitatl
being merely subjectve is in contadicton with it and is o://ooévs|é.
fusonalit is that which acts to overcome 'os1sls/so}this limitaton
and to give itself realit - or, what amounts to the same thing, to posit
that exstence 'Doss|o}as its own.
Right is primarily that immediate exstence 'Doss|o} which freedom
gives itelf in an immediate way,
(a) as ossssss|so,which is orsosn,,freedom is here th�
abstact ��l or, by the same token, �·
�relates onlv t imself. ; . ;.;
() A person, in distn�self from ·imself, relates himglf
to o··etlsr]¬ mand indeed it is only as owners of property that
te two -h-a:; e exstence 'Doss|o}for each other.! Their identt |··
tlw:sslvss acquires exst�!e '£x|stsoz} through the tansference
of the property of the one to the other by common will and with
due respect of the rights of both - that is,j>y :sotro:/.
(c) The will which, as in (a), is differentated within itself in its self­
reference rather than distnguished fom another person as in (b),
is, as a oor/|:slorw , different from and opposed to itself as the
w ¬l|:l los /s|og|o ooé1r|tss/` This consttutes ¬rsogand
The division of right into the right of osnsos ooé tl|ogs
'So:lso}and the right of o:/|sos,lt|s··so},like the many other
divisions of this kind, aims primarily to �
order upon the mass of disorganized material before us. The
�¯¬ ~¬~¯
Abstract Right
chicf charactcrisuc ofthis division is thc conmscd way in
whichitjumblcstogcthcrrightswhichprcsupposc substanual
to absnact pcrsonalin. Kant's division of rights, which h«s
s¡ncctònd¡avourvithothcrs, intothcr|glts1tl|og,thcr|glt
s1os·ssos, and osnsool r|glt s1 o rsol 'é|ogli:l} l|o

is an
andconccptualpovcrtyofthcdivisionintothc r|glts1osnsos
no placc inthis classihcauon), would takcustoo far. Hcrc, it
is clcar atlcastthat,� ��.
and conscqucntly that pcrsonal right is in csscncc a nglts1
tl|ogs- 'thing''So:ls}bcingundcrstoodinitsgcncralscnscas
cvcrgcxtcmal to my frccdom, includingcvcnmybody
� is nght - things is c ng t - osnsoo:t,as
stotss (scc Hcincccius, D¬ssto |sr|s :|v|l|s 'i;zê}, § ;¡),
hcncc in Koman law cvcn pcrsonalin itsclf, as opposcd to
slavcry, �or condiuon [Z×sto

may vrtually bc includcd) and thc condiuon ofr|gltlsssosss

thc contcnt of thc so-callcd right ofpcr-
sonsinKomanlawis conccmcd with1¬|/rrslot|sosl|os.

Kant,morcovcr, familyrclauonshipsbclongtoosnsoolnglts

JhcrightofpcrsonsinKoman lawisthcrcforc
ofthcoon|o lorpcrson,itwlatcrbcshownthatthcsubstan-
ual basis offamily rclauonships is rathcr thc surrcndcr of
pcrsonality.!tmust, thcn,incvitablysccm

thcrigh�ofthcpcrsonitihisoon|o loréstsr¬|oo bcforcthc
um�ht - pcrsonalin. - or Kant,osnsoolr|glts arc
thosc rights which arisc out of a connact whcrcby ! givc
somcthingorpcrfonnascrv¡cc- inKomanlaw, thc|sscÎ
whichariscs out ofan

a �.´Admittcdly, onlyapcrsonis
obligcdto implcmcntthcprovisionsofaconnact,justasitis
tcd. But such a rightcannot thcrcforc bc callcd a pcrsonal
Philosophy of Right
right, rights ofee kind can bclong onIy to a pcrson, and
pcrson, but only ovcr somcthing cxtcmal to thc pcrson or
beiac ia aaa ie: iuelrvet whellv absuact
mav ceasutute the sthe:e eiits i:eeaem,is Hewiseaete:miaeaas
ioo·éie/·lvém ·r·o/aaasuere/l·i:emit.
÷ééi/ioo 0. Ihe:aaeaalastecteit:ete:uistebeieuaaaetiathe
saasiacaeaeiaeeasbutia me sute:seaiaceime:esubiecavi ei e:-
mlsmst:ealiueimvi:eeaemi ia aaextemalthiac|Sech·}aaaisthusa
tee:baa ei:ealiu,m liuiaitsve:vimeaiacvcaa

iaitseli,the extemaliaceae:al- a/hiag|Sec/t·},semethiacuañee,
· * -ª~¯`¬
The we:a '/hirtg |SeJt·}, li|e thewe:a 'ebjecuve', has twe

ea w�sav'/he/ 's/h·
whatisse/s/ea/iel. Uatheethe:haaa,wheaceauasteawith
the o¡¡osi/· o] /h· se/s/e·t/iel. itis thatwhich, bv aeb:iiuea





'sc·ocrBcst········mgos:l},ispurclycxtcmal.- Watiscxtcmal
for thc frcc spirit (which must bc¯ disunguishcd from
mcrcconsciousncss) is cxtcmal in and foritclf, and forthis
rcason, mc dchniuon 'Bcgrt]/cst·o····tmg} of thc conccpt of
ootsrcisthatitis thc ctcmsl·o ·tsc/.

aóé|t|so Sincc a thing 'Ssdc has no subiccuvi, it is cxtcmal not
nl to thc s�paccand ��is
way. As an obicct of thc scnscs, I am mysclf cxtcmal, spaual, and
tcmporal. In so far as I havc scnsuous intuiuons, I havc thcm ofsomc-
thingwhich is cxtcmal toitsclf. Ananimalcanintuit, butmcsoul ofthc
animal docs not havc mc soul, or itsclf, as its obicct '6cgc·:sts··c}, but
somcthing cxtcmal.
A thc

tandhcnccalso |as�al, a
pcrson has �c '£x·stc·:z} partly within himsclfand
partlyassomcthingtowhichhcrclatcsastoancxtcmalworld.- !tis
only thcsc things 'Ssd·c··} in thcir immcdiatc qualin, not thosc
thcwill,whicharcatissuc hcrcinconnccuonvvithpcrsonalin,which
is itsclfsull inits iniual immcdiacy.
!ntcllcctual ,c|st·gc} accomplishmcnts, scicnccs, arts, cvcn
rcligiousobscrvanccs (such asscrmons, masscs, praycrs, and
blcssings at consccrauons), invcnuons, and thc liIc, bccomc
bought and sold, ctc., thcy arc ncatcd as cquivalcnt to
acknowlcdgcd tl·ogs. !t may bc askcd whcthcr thc arust,
scholar, ctc.isinlcgalposscssionofhisart,scicncc,abilinto
prcach a scrmon, hold a mass, ctc. - that is, whcthcr such
objcctsarc tl·og.Wchcsitatcto call such accomplishmcnts,

···to·ssc}, abiliucs, ctc. tl·ogs, for on thc onc
hand,suchposscssionsarcthc objcct

uonsand agrccmcnts,yctonthcothcr,thcyarcofaninward
and spiritual naturc. Conscqucntly, thc undcrstanding may
| tcrmsofthcaltcmauvcthatsomcthingisc·tlcrathingsrnota
� thing ñust as itmustbcc·tlcrinhnitcsrhnitc). 'Knowlcdgc,
Abstract Right
and are intema| rather than extema| to it, but the spirit is
equa||ycapab|e, throughexpressingthem, ofgivingtheman
extema|exstence 'Dcss|o} andé|soss|ogofthem(seebe|ow),
sothattheycomeunderthedehniuon Bsst|¬····mg} oftl|ogs.
hus, they are not primariIy immediate in character, but
become soon|ythrough themediauonofthe spirit, whIch
reducesitsinneratnibutestoimmediacyandextema|iw.÷ In
acnusi u`´¯eíhica|
detenninauonofRoman|aw,chi|drenwere, fromthefather's
point ofview, tl|og. The father was consequent|y in |ega|
great|y weakened by the wrong referred to above). Thus,
therewasinthiscaseaunion÷ a|beitatota|Iyuniustone÷ of

s concemed on| with the person as such,
ahence a|so with the parucu|ar, which be|ongs to the



IS conceme with�eparucu|aronIyinsofarasitisseparab|e
and immediate|y dif6tents
sD snmeãIr¯essennaITOauon, orwhether
itreceivesiton|ybymeansofthesubiecuvewl. Thus,inte|-
|ectca|accomp|ishments, sciences, etc.arere|evanthereon|y
~ ��~ �
wiIInotbe dea|twithhere.
�c- �

� "

" !� *'�, í





discussed on|ywhenwecometomcé|s


��.~-´ `
thereby becomes ¬|:

and acquires my wl as its substanua| en
-ebso|ute ¬·s

things 'Scd·so}.
Philosophy of Right
That so-called philosophy which ascribes realiw - in the
sense ofself-sumciencyand genuinebeing-for-and-in-itself
cannot recoæze uuth orknowwhatthe thiog-io-itsehis
immediately remted by the atutude ofthe hee w towards
these things |Di·:ge}. If so-called ext¬el thiog have a
semblance ofself-sumciencyfor consciousness, forintuiuon
and representauonalthought,the freewill, inconuast,isthe
idealism anduuthofsuchactualiw.
÷Ji/ieo0.Pmngs|Dioge}canbecomethe roperwofhumanbein ,
because thehúman �and, as such, exsts in and for
himself, whereas mat which conhonts m does nothavethis qualiw.

. itint�,o�thin����îot
´` �someth

�. Alivingcreature
|theanimal) isalsoexe�swayand is tomatexten

|Soche}.Thewillaloneisin6nite, o/sels/einrelauonto eering else,
whereas�ther, for its part, is merely rele/ive. Thus to appropriate

somemingmeans basicallyonlyto manifestmesupremacyofmywillin
relauon to mething |Soche} and to demonsuatethatme latter�
occurs through my conferring upon the ming an end other man mat
asoulomermanmatwhichitpreviouslyhad,Igiveitmysoul. Thehee
wlisconsequenuymatidealismwhichdoes�gs |Dioge},
beabsolute,evenifmeyarefound onlyinmeformofbnitude.£venme
animal hasgonebeyond mis realistphilosophy, for itconsumes things
|Di·:ge} and therebyproves that theyare notabsolutelyself-sumcient.`
� Tohave even extemal power over something consutute�,
ofnatural need, drive, and arbiua wis the arucularinterestof


utthe circumstance that I, as freew, am�

Abstrc Right
wíÌl by th¡s mcans consbtutcs thc gcnuínc and ríghml clcmcnt ín
posscssíon, thc dctcrmínabonof¡to¡·n.'
In rclabon to nccds - ífthcsc arc takcn as prímaty - thc
posscssíonofpropcrn appcars as a mcans, butthc uucposí-
bonísthat,fromthcpoíntof vícwofhccdom,propcrn,asthc
hrstmist¬c·|Des·io}ofhccdom,i ancsscnbalcnd forítsclf.
5ínccmyw ,as pcrsonalandhcncc asthcw ofaníndívídual |é·s
Eioz·lo·o}, t� , thc lattcr takcs on thc
charactcr of¡rivet·¡ro¡·n,andcommonpropcrw,whíchmaybyíu
naturcbcom atc índívíduals, takcsonthc dctcrmínabon
ofanioh·r·oth|eosich éissolve/l·commun¡ ínwhích ítís ín ítsclf

mrs|ch]amattcr|Sech·}forthc arbíuarwíÌ!whcthcror notIrctaín
my sharcíntt .
ofbcíng parbcularízcd ín thc form ofprívatc posscssíon. -
Jhc egeneole¬sofKomc cmbodya conüctbctwccn com-
munínandpríva�c owncrshíp ofland, thclattcr,as thc morc
rabonal momcnt, had to rctaín íts suprcmacy, albcít at thc
cxcnsc ofothcrríghts.'- Eoteil·é;oilv¡ro¡·ncontaíns a
momcnt whích ís opposcd to thc ríght ofpcrsonalín and
hcncc ofprívatc ppc�rm¡nabons whích
conccm prívatc propcrn may havc to bc subordínatcd to
aso-caÌlcd corporatc pcrson |oorelisch·P·tsoo}orpropcrnín
ín thc rabonal organísm ofthc statc. - Jhc Idca of!lato's
rcpublíccontaínsas aunívcrsalpríncíplc awrongagaínstthc
pcrson, ínasmuch as thc pcrson ís forbíddcn to own�
_�Jhcídca|/otst·llimg} ofapíousorhícndlyorcvcn
compulsorybrothcrhood ofmcnwíthcoooeoel¡r@·nanda
ban on thc príncíplc ofprívatc propcrn may casíly suggcst
ítsclfto that dísposíbon whích mísjudgcs thc naturc ofthc
Philosophy of Right
freedom of spirit and right and does not comprehend it in its
determinate moments. A for te moral or religious dimen­
sion, when Epicurus' friends planned to establish such an
associaton with communal propert, he prevented them from
doing so for the simple reason |Cm·té] that their plan dis­
played distust, and that those who distust one another are
not friends (iogenes Laertus, I.x.6).
÷Ji/ie·t(H.In propert, my wli personal, but te person is a specifc
entt |·i·: Di·s·s}; tus, propert becomes te personal aspect of this
specifc wl. Since I give my wl exstence |Dos·io} trough propert,
propert must also have the determinaton of being U specic entt, of
being mine. This i te important doctine of te necessit of ¡mo/·
¡w¡·n.Even uexceptons may be made by te state, it is neverteless te
state alone which can make tem; but frequendy, especially in our own
tmes, private propert has been restored by te state. Thus, for example,
many states have righdy dissolved |o·m·he/·o}te monasteries, because a
communit does not ultmately have te same right to propert as a
person does.
´A a person, I am myself an ioo·éio/· iaéiviéeol|Ei·tz·lo·r], in its
frther determnaton, this means in the frst place that I am oliv·in
tis er goaic/eé,,which is my undivided exteral exstence |Dos·ia],
eoiv·tsol in content, the real potentalit of all fer-determined
�person, I at the same tme possess o,lmo·té/eé,,
like other things |Soch··t],only iase1ra Ise¬illi/.
´·`¯·'`¯ '¯`¯ · · > ¯
~ -- *
The fact that, from the point of view that I exst not as the
concept which has being for itself but as the immediate con­
cept, that I am oliv·and have an organic body, depends on the
concept of life and on the concept of the spirit as soul -
moments which are taken over from the philosophy of nature
(Eoccl@o·éio e] /h· Philese¡hicol Sci·oc·s, § § 259ff.; cf
§§ 1 61 , 1 6
, and 298) and fom antopology (i/id. , §
1 8). 1
I have these limbs and my life only i·tse 1rosIse¬illi/,the
animal cannot mutlate or destoy itself, but the human being
÷éái/ieo(G).Animals are indeed in possession of temselves: teir soul is

Abstrac Right
mposscssionofmcirbody.Butthcyhavc noriçhttothcirlifc, bccausc
¯�¯¯¯¯¯ ¯ ¯¯ `¬�
I sofarasthcbodyísímmcdíatccxstcncc'Doss·o}ítísnotcommcn-
suratcwíththcspírít, bcforcít can bcthc s írít`swç orçan and
soul-ínspírcd ínsmcn ít must hrst bc tolw ossssss·so 0 H
`spmt scc§ ¶
). - But]rstlsn,! am csscnuallyahcc cnunwí+..
mybodywhílc! amínímmcdíatcposscssíon ofít.
!tís only bccausc ! am alívc as a hcc cnunwímínmybody
that m lívínç cxstcncc 'Doss·o} may notbc mísuscd as a
bcastofburdcn. !nsofaras!amalívc,mysoul(thcconccpt
and, ona híçhcrlcvcl, thc hcc cnun) andmybodyarc not
fccldouçhít. !tísthcrcforconly a sophísucalundcrstand-
thc tl: -·o-·tssh'D·ogoos·cl},thc soul, ís ncíthcr touchcd
thc pcrsonís subjcctcd to thcpowcrofanothcr.'Icanwíth-

��cc 'Ex·stwz}

nd makc i
cxtcmaltomc- !cankccpparucularfcclínçsou�0
�d bchcccvníf!amínchaíns.Butthísís¬,wl; 1rstl¬,

!am ínmybody. !am1ìss]sstlsronl¶ínsofaras! am
hcc ín my o·stsoc.

} . m ís an ídc¬osíuon

(sccmySc·wcss1Lsg:c,Vol.I [hrstcdíuon, i êiz} , pp.a
Víolcnccdonc to ¬, /sé,byothcrsísvíolcnccdonctomc.
Bccausc!fccl,contactwíthorvíolcncctomybodytouchcs ´
mc ímmcdíatcly as oc/sol and orsswt. Jhís consututcs mc
díl!crcncc bctwccn pcrsonal ínjury and mçcmcnt ofmy
cxtcmalpropcrn, forínthclattcr,mywl docsnothavc m
ímmcdíatcprcscncc and actualín.
I rclauon to cxtcmal thínçs, !c rot·sool asocct ísmat ! posscss
( , �e »or/·:slor asocctho��vcr, íncludcs subj�cuv�nds,
nccds,arb¡uaríncss,talcnts,cxtcmalcírcmnstanccs,ctc.(scc§ a¶).!t
- ..~-~~¬~~¬¬¬:"¯¯¯
- ~¬-¬---�¬~¬~
Philosophy of Right
is onthcscthatmcrc posscssion assuch dcpcnds, butthisparucular
aspcct, in this sphcrc ofabsuact pcrsonalin, is not yct positcd�s

idcnucal with frcc�! oosscss is thcrcforc

rclyconmgcnt as farasrizhtis conccmcd.
!fwcmay spcakhcrcof¬srstloosospcrsonwhcrcnosuch
disuncuon hasyctbccn madc, wcmaysaythat, in tcrms of
pcrsonality,thcscpcrsonsarccqual.Butt isancmpnand
tautolozical proposiuon, for thc pcrson, as an absuacuon, is
prcciscly that which has not yct bccn parucularizcd and
positcd inadctcrminatc disuncuon.¯ �
¡o rü�cncc to mcdiocrin ofspirit in
�sacrossthcrclauon'Be·slsog} ofunin
toadihcrcncc.Îqualin,intmscasc,canonlybc thccqualin
ofabsuactpcrsons as such,whichthus oc�
dowithposscssions,this /os·ss1·os

- Jhcdcmandis

forc¬ muuonoflandorcvcn
naturc, but also thc wholc cxtcnt ofspiritual naturc in its
mtc parucularin and dihcrcnuauonand inits orzanically
dcvclopcdrcason.- Onc cannot spcak ofan·o;sst·css1ootsrs
in thcuncqual disuibuuon ofposscssions and rcsourccs, for
� naturc is not frcc and is thcrcforc ncithcr just nor un`ust.
Jhatallhumanbcinzsshouldhavc thcirlivclihood 'Assls¬-
oso} to mcct thcirnccdsis,on thc onchand, a moral ¬·sl,
and whcn it is cxprcsscd in this indctcrminatcmanncr,itis
intcnuoncd, ithas no objccuvc bcinz. On thc othcr hand, a
livclihood is somcthinz othcr thanossssss·so and bclonzs to
anothcrsphcrc, that ofcivilsocicn.
aéé·t·so0. Thccqualitywhichoncmizhtwishtoinuoducc, forcxam-
plc, with rcfcrcncc to mc disuibuuon ofzoods would in any casc bc

ainwithinashort umc, bccausc all rcsourccsarc dcpcndcnt
on il

pracucc cIhcr. For whilc human bcinzs arc ccrtamy cqual, thcy ar�
�in rclauon to thc sourcc oÏthcir posscs-
Abstrat Right
sions. Accordingly, everyone ought to have propert.2 If we therefore wish
to speak of equalt, It IS ts equalit which we sh�uld consider. But this
equality is distnct fom the determinaton of partcularit, fom the ques­
ton of how much I possess. In this context, it is false to maintain that
justce requires everyone�prO ½be equal; for It requIres oIl y tat
everone should have prope!. Partcularit, in fact, is the very conditon
to which inequalit is appropriate and in which equalit would be cont! ¬ �' `
to right. It is perfectly correct that human beings ofen covet the goods of
others; but this is precisely what is contary to right, for right is that which
remains indiferent to partcularit.
That a thing 'Soclc}belongs to the person who looocosts/ctlc fntto
take possession of itl is an immediately self-evident and superfluous
determinaton, because a second part cannot take possession of what
is already the propert of someone else.
÷1|t|so0).The above determinatons have chiefly concered the prop­
ositon that the personalit must have exstence 'Dosc|··}in propert. That
the ft person who takes possession of something is also its owner is,
then, a consequence of what has been said. The first is not the rightl
owner because he is the first, but because he is a fee will, for it is only the
fact that another comes afer him which makes him the fst.
My ·oocridea ' |sntch·tog} and w that something should be ¬·ocis
not enough to consttute propert, which is the ostcocc 'Dosc·o} of
personalit; on the contary, this requires that !should tolcossscss·so
of it. The o|stcoccwhich my willing thereby attains includes its abilit
to be recognized by others. - That a thing of which ! can take
possession �hould be s¬ocrlcss is (see §
0) a self-evident negatve
conditon; o�o the antcipated relaton to others.

÷1|t|so 0,G). The concept of propert requires that a person should
place hiS will in a thing 'So:lc}, and the next stage is precisely the
realizaton of this concept. My inner act of will which says that something
is mine must also become recognizable by others. In make a thing mine, I
give it this prcate which must appear in it in an exteral form, and must
not simply remain in my inner wl. It ofen happens that children
emphasize their prior voliton when they oppose the appropriaton of

Philosohy of Right
something by others; but for adults, this voliton is not sufcient, for the
form of subjectvit must be removed and must work its way out to
Taking possession of a thing 'Socls} makes it ¬ottsrmy propert,
�atter in itse1!rs·:l] does not own itelf.
Matter ofers resistance to me (and it consists solely in ofer­
ing resistance to me). That is it shows its abstact bein -for­
�tself to me onl in my ualit as abstact spiit, namel as
ssosssss spirit. (Sensuous representaton ' |s·:tshso} wrongly
�nsuous being of the spirit as concrete and its
ratonal being as abstact.) But in relaton 'Be·slsog} to the
w and to propert, this being-for-itself of matter has no
tuth. Taking possession of something, as an otsmolo·v·n
whereby the universal right to appropriate natural objects
'Notsré·ogs} is actualized, falls under the conditons of h si-
����¯ a of ose means whereby
we a

�physical ownership of things. Given the �e
differences�ere are itely' varied
senses in which one can take contol and poss�ssion of them,
and doing so i subject to equally varied kinds of limitaton
and contngency. In any case, the generic and elemental
aspects of something are not as such the s/;sa'Csgsostooés1
·� ¡�'E·ozslls·t},�
; object and be taken possession of, they must first be individu-
. ed (e.g. as a breat - air or a mof water). With regard
l impossibilit of taking possession of an exteral genus
as such, or of the elemental, the ultmate consideraton is not
the exteral physical impossibilit of doing so, but the fact that
the person, as w , determines himself as an individual
'E·ozslls·t} and, as a person, is at the same _�imm�ate
individualit; hence he i also related, as a person, to the
eXeral world as to individual things 'E·ozslls·tso} (see my
Remarks to § 13; also § 43). ¯ The contol and exteral pos­
session [of things] thus becomes, in infnite ways, more or less
indeterminate and incomplete. Matter, however, is never
without an essental form, and it is only by virtue of tis form

Abstrct Right
that it is something. The more I appropriate tis form, the
more I come into oasolpossession of the thing 'Socls} . The
consumpton of foodstuffs is a penetaton and alteraton of
their qualitatve nature by virtue of which they were what they
were before they were consumed. The taining ,ss/·lém:g}of
my organic body in various skills, like the educaton of my
spirit, is likewise a more or less complete penetaton and
taking possession thereof; the spirit is what I can appropriate
most completely. But this octsol·ns1tol·ogossssss·so is dif­
ferent fom propert as such, which is completed by the fee
will. In face of the fee will, the ting does not retain any
distnct propert for itself" even if possession, as an exteral
relatonship, stll retains an exteral aspect. The empt
abstacton .of a matter without attibutes which, in te case of
propert, is supposed to remain exteral to me and the prop­
ert of the thing itself, is something which thought must get
the 'better of.
aóá·t·so (G).Fichte has raised te queston of whether te matter also
belongs to me ifI give it form.I From what he says, it follows tat, uI have
made a cup out of gold, anyone else is at libert to take the gold provided
tat he does not thereby damage my handiwork. However separable the
two may be in terms of representaton ' |s·ststl·og},tis distncton is in
fact an empt piece of hair-splitng; for if I take possession of a feld and
cultvate it, not only the furrow is my propert, but te rest as well, te
eart which belongs to it. For I wish to take possession of tis matter as a
whole: it terefore does not remain ownerless or its own propert. For
even if te mater remains exteral to te form which I have given to the
object '6sgcosto·u,the form itself is a sign tat the ting is to be mine;
te ting therefore does not remain exteral to my will or outide what I
have willed. Thus, there is noting there which could be taken possession
of by someone else.
§ 5
�erminatons of propert are to be found in the
will's relatonship to

SocI·s} This relatonship is (o)in an
�im e a te sen s e��ί�o s¯ s s �Î�, in so far as the will has its exstence
'Doss·o}in the thing as somethirig��(�) in so far as the thing is
negatve in relaton to the will, has its exstence in it as i
�go be negated �the refecto��fom the
Philosophy of Right
thing bacL into itsclf ~ ol·soot·so, ~ oss·t·vs, osgot·vs, and ·o;o·ts
;sásotsofthc will upon thc thIng.'
A. Taking Possession
Jakingposscssionconsistspartlyi nmcimmcdiatcolys·colss·zsrsof
. .
aóó·t·e·t (G).Jhcsc modcs oftakingposscssion contain thc progrcssion
from thc dctcrminauon ofindividuali'·ozs//s·t}tothatofunivcrsaliw.


whcrcasthcdcsigauonofow¬crshipmcans gposscssionintcrmsof
rcprcscntauonal thought '|snts//·og} . In ú cr casc, I havc a

��ing and considcr that thc thing in its totaliwl
�andnotmcrclythc partofwhichIcantaLc ¯osscssionphysically.
(o) !rom thcpointof vIcw of�cs,ol,s·colss·zsrsis�
complctc modc of taLing posscssion, bccausc ! am immcdiatcly
thIsmodc in gcncral is mcrclysubjccuvc, tcmpora¬, and cxucmcly
' limitcd in scopc, as wcll as by�
�Jhc scopc ofthismodc canbcsomcwhat cxtcndcd
��m chi¯ncstablIshbctw+ n
somcthingandthings 'Soclso}whichothcrwiscbclongtomc,orbya
connccuonwhichmaycomc aboutbychancc.
Mcchamcal forccs, wcapons, and insuumcnts cxtcnd thc
rangc ofmy powcr. Connccuons bctwccn my ¬
«uts uponitmaymaLcitmorccasilyosss-
·/lsformcthan for anothcrowcr, orcvcncxclusivclysofor
mc, to taLcposscssion ofsomcmngortomaLc usc ofit, or
thcaddiuon to mypropcr maybcrcgardcd as a non-sclf-
sufhcicnt occ·ócot s1 tls tl·og to which it has bccn addcd.'

Abstract Right
thc sca or a rívcr, that my nxcd propcrn bordcrs on land
mincral rcsourccs undcrlíc my hclds, that thcrc may bc
ucasurcínorundcrthclandwhích!own,andsoon, orthc
connccuons may arísc only ín thc coursc ofumc and as a
rcsult ofchancc, as wíth somc so-callcd natural acccssíons,
suchasalluvíal dcposítsandthclíkcorítcmswashcdashorc.
(Jhcprocrcauonofanímals 'fst:tro}ísíndccd alsoan acccs-
síon to myrcsourccs, butas ítís anorçanícrclauonshíp,no
cxtcmalthínçís addcd to anothcrthínçwhích!alrcadypos-
ofuníonísncíthcrthcconccptnoralívínçforcc'Ls/soé·gls·t} .
!tí sthcrcforc thc task ofthc undcrstandínç to adducc and
wcíçh thc rcasons for and açaínst thcm, and of posíuvc
lcss csscnualoríncsscnual.
aéá·t·s·· (G).Takinçposscssíonís alwaysincomplctcíncharactcr. !takc
posscssíon of no morc than I can touch with my body, but ít follows
�lythatcxtcmal~ccts 'D···gs¡cx|cnd mrthcrman!cançrasp.
Thus,whcn!havc aspccí6cminçinmy posscssíon, somcminçclscwl
bc conncctcd wíth ít. I takc posscssíonofthínçs vvím myhand,butíts
rcach can bc cxtcndcd. Thc hand ís a çrcat orçan which no animal
posscsscs,andwhat!çraspwith ítcaníuclfbccomcamcansofrcachinç
outmcr.Wcn!posscss somcthínç, thcundcrstandinçatoncc con-
cludcsthatínj íatclythatís mc, butaIso
¯what ís conncctcd wíth ít. crc, posíuvc ríçht must pronouncc judçc-
mcnt fornotmnçmrmcrcanbcdcduccd hom thc conccpt.
§ 5
|0) Whcn!g|vs1m·tosomcmnç,íts dctcrmínatc charactcrasmínc
rcccívcs oo ·oéwsoéoth }rs·cl}o·st·og'/ssts/o·és} cxtcmalínand
ccascstobclímítcdtomyprcscnccíntl·sumc andspaccandtomy
prcscnt knowlcdçc andvolíuon.
Joçívc form to somcthínçís thc modc oftakínçposscssíon
mostín kccpínçwíth thc !dca , inasmuch as ít combíncs thc

Othcrwísc, ít varícs inhnítcly

Philosophy of Right
aaa the va:ietv eisubiecuve eaas. - We mustalse iacluae
he:ethe civiaceiie:mte the e:caaic. The eiiectswhichl
have ea the latte: ae aet :emaia me:elv extemal, but a:e
assimilateabvit,asiathen ceitheseil,theculuvaueaei
tlaats, aaathe aemesucauea, ieeaiac, aaacease:«auea ei
aaimals; u:the: examtles a:e themeasu:es we emtlev ia
aéé·t·so (m. laemti:icalceatexts,thisciviaceiie:mmavassumetle
ia:as tle iae:caaic :ealm is ceacemea, l ae aet alwavs cive itie:m
ai:ectlv.li, ie:examtle,lbuilaaviaamill,llaveaetciveaie:mtethe
beta!¬awavãemme ;ustbecausellaveaetmvseliie:meait'ìe.the
æ}. Lvea tle iacttlat l cease:ve came mavbe:eca:aea as awav ei
imta:uacie:m, ie:itis ameae eiceaauct calculatea te t:esere the
eiciviactlemie:m,aaaltlav ac:eate::eleiatlis t:ecess.



sshcsososssossscs¬ re/·s··é·o¸·tsshos1ss, thatheta|estessessieaei
seli aaabecemeshisevat:ete:uasaisñemthateiethe:s.
¹ tetutI1meethe:wav:euaa, thistabactessessiea

ceacett(asosss·/·l·n,cataciu' |sm·egso} , e:t:eaistesiuea).8vthis

meaas, t eaeisiaceacettistesitea ie:the b:stumeaseae's
eva, aaa al�aa ebiect 'Csgsostoo



aaaitth e: e bvec¯·e me�s c a tabeeitak¡iceathe 1m·s1
tlstl·og'Socls} (ci. kema:|sH §
the saviac aaa t:ese:vauea eiliie, susteaaace, eaucauea
'E-·slsog}, acts ei beaeveleace, the slave's ewa

Abstract Right
acquiescence, etc.), aswe||astheìusuhcauonofthe ¬ostsr's
the richt ofs|avery and |ordship, depend on recardinc the
human beinc simp|y as a ootsml/s·og 'Notsmssso} whose
� thcam rw isa|soapart)is

s|avery is abso|ute|y conuary to richt is hrm|y ued to the
ssomethinchee·o·tss -
conceptassuchinits immediacy, notthe !dea,astheuuth. }

JhIsoot·os¬,, |ike a|| anunomies, isbasedon forma|think-
�!dea.' Jhe hee spirit consists
precise|y in nothavincits beinc�onceptor·o ·tss0
|see § z¡),butinovercominc'osfs/m}thisfonsem
incivincitse|fanexstencewhichispure|yitsownand hee.
Jhat side of the anunomy which asserts the concept of
freedomthushastheadvantace thatitcontainstheabso|ute
ston·ogos·ot- thouchon|ythestaruncpoint- onthewayto
uuth, whereas the other·�,which coes no mrther than
concepUess exstence||does notcontain the poIntofviewof

ona a�richtata||.Jhepointofviewoftheheew ,
thicntcdänd the science ofricht becin, is a|ready
beinc exsts as a natura| beinc and�
beinon|yD iue andis thereforecapab|e ofens|avement.
�seappearance²'Encls·osog} isassociated
sl·oandssm·tsés|seePlsos¬soslsgs1So·nt,pp. ¡ ¡¶ñ. and
Eocclsoosé·os1tlsPl·lsssol·colScss, §§(z¶ñ.).ºButthat
theobìecuvespirit,the contentofri hì,shou|dno |oncerbe
apprehended mere|y in its subìecuve concept, and conse-
quenUythatthe ine|imEi|ityo£mc¹ ninc in and for
Philosohy of Right
hìmscIIIor sIavcry shouId no Iongcrbc apprchcndcd mcrcIy
as somcthìng whìch ssglt to bc 'o/s···//s1ss Ssl/w},ìs an
ìnsìghtwhìchcomcson!ywhcnwcrccognìzc thatthcìdcaoI
hccdomìs uu!yprcscnton!yastlsstots.
aóó·t·so0.ìIwchoIdhnnIytothcvìcwthatthc humanbcìngìnandIor
own wl ìs rcsponsìbIc, just as monsìbìIìw Iìcs wìth thc wìII oIa
pcopIcìIthatpcopIcìssubjugatcd.JhusthcwrongoIsIavcryìsthc IauIt
notonIyoIthoscwho cnsIavc orsubjugatcpcopIc, but oIthcsIavcsand
thc subjugatcd thcmscIvcs. �a� �urs ìn thc uansìuonaI phasc
bctwccnna aIhumancxstcandcm�s
_ ìnaworIdwhcrc awrongìssuII rìght. !crc, thcwrong·svo/ió,sothatthc
posìuon ìt occupìcs ìs ancccssary onc.
|v) Àhat modc oItakìng posscssììch ìs notactuaIìnìtsc!!but
mcrcIyrwrsswtsmyw occurswhcnìmar�as·go
to ìndìcatc that ì havc pIaccd my wì!I ìn ìt. Àhìs modc oI takìng
posscssìon ìs hìgh!y ìndctcrmìnatc ìn ìts objccuvc ¡sgwstëoó/i:/·w}
scopc and sìgnìhcancc.
aóó·t·so 0. Jakìng posscssìon by dcsìgnauon ìs thc most com Ictc
othcrwaysoItakìngposscssìon, too. ìIì scìzc ng r gìvc Ionn to ìt,
thc uIumatcsìgnìhcanccìsIìkcwìscasìgn, asìgngìvcn to othcrs ìnordcr
to cxcIudc thcmandtoshowuatìhavc pIaccd mywìII ìn thcthìnç_
what ìtìs mcant to sìgnìh. A cocka c, or cxam c, sìgnìhcs cìuzcnshìp
rcprcscnts not ìtscIIbutthc nauon. ìt ìs prccìscIythrough thc abìIìty to
makc asìgnandbyso doìngtoacquìrcthìngs 'I···gs} thathumanbcìngs
dìspIaythcìr mastcrovcr thc Iaucr.
B. Use of the Thing {Sache]
Àhrough my takìng posscssìon oIìt, thc thìng 'So:ls} acquìrcs thc
prcdìcatc oIbcìng¬·os,and thcwìIIhas

oss·t·vs�cIauo�shíp 'Be·s-

Abstract Right §§ 57-
lsog} toit.With|nthisidenut,thethincis equa||ypositedasme-

tmy���d,as �p�mcu|an�»��is
theposiuve factorwhichh:idssausfacuon,andthethinc, asnecauve
initse|fexstson|y .·¬,asséandssrcssit.- 0ssistherea|izauonof
myneedthrouch the a|terauon, desuucuon, orconsumpuonofthe
thinc,whose se|f|essnature istherebyrevea|edandwhichthusm|h|s¸
its desuny 'Bct·¬¬:mg} .
Jhatuseis the rsolaspectand actualitofpropertis what
representauona| thoucht '|sntsl/·mg} has in mind when it
recardsdisusedpro ertasdeadand owner|ess,andìusuhes
didnotuseit.- Butthewi||oftheowner,inaccordancewith
which athincis h, isthe primary substanua|basis ofprop-
ert, and the mrther determinauon ofuse is mere|y the
[outward] appearance and parucu|ar mode ofthis universa|
basistowhichitis subordinate.
wayby desicnaunc it as mine, its use embodies an even more universal
ne�tedbyme. The thincis reduced to ameans ofsausñincmyneed.
Wen I and the thinc come tocether, one ofthe two must |ose iu
|d|sunct] qua|it|norderdatwemaybecomeidenuca|.ButIama|ive,a
w|||inc and uu|y amrmauve acent; the thinc, on the other hand, is a
natura| enut.° It must accord|nc|y petish, and I survive, which is in
cenera| the pterocauve and rauona|e ||enimm] ofthe orcanic.
"Translator' note: ist mNatiirliche; in Griesheim's notes, from which Gans derived this
sentence, the phrase reads ist da Negative ('is the negatve'): see VP R W¡ 214.
§ 60
renewa| - these and other circumstances tum that immediate and
individua| seizure into a su to incatniversa oftakin¿¡
possession, and hencethat�possession of the e|ementa| or
^ =
Philosophy of Right
arc subjcct.
§ 61
5ínccthc substanccof thcthíng 'Socls} forítsclf,whíchísmyprop-
crn,i itscxtcmalín, í.c.itsnon-substanbalín-�,
2) - andsínccthísrcalucdcxtcmalín
sssor cmploymcnt ofítís tlstl·og·o·tssot·rst,. Jhus, ífI havc thc
its usc, noth¡ngrcmaíns ofthc thíngwhích could bc mc propcrn of
somconc clsc.
a1·t·so (G). Jhc rclabon ofusc to propcrw is thc samc as that of
cxstsonl i sofarasítmanífcstsítsclf,thchcldi ahcldonlyi sofaras
wholc,and iti an cmpw absuacbonto rccognizcanyh:rthcrpropcrtyin
thc objcct '6sgsostos itscl|´
§ 62
¡on·olor ts¬¡sror¡ssssss·so ofít |a posscssíon ín thc shapc ofthc
parbal or tcmporary ¡sss·/·l·t, of usíng ít) ís thcrcforc to bc é·s-
t·og·slséhom thc s¬osnl·¡ofthc thíng 'Sod·s}ítsclf. Ifthc wholc
cxtcnt ofthc usc ofa thíng wcrc mínc, but thc absuact owncrshíp
wcrc supposcd to bc somconc clsc's, thc thíng as mínc would bc
whollypcncuatcd bymywíll |scc thc prcvíousparagraphand §
wh¡lc itwouldatthcsamcbmc contaín somcthíngímpcncuablc by
mc, i.c.thcw ,ín factthccmpn,vl, ofsomconcclsc. As posíbvc
w , I would thus bc atthc samc bmc objccbvc and not objccbvc to
mysclfínthcthíng-arclabonof absolutcconuadícbon.- Owncrshíp
ís thcrcforc csscnbally1ssooécs¬¡lstsowncrshíp.·

ofa thíng and o/stroct s¬osnl·¡ ís a product ofthc cmpty
undcrstandíng, for whích thc Idca - hcrc as mc unín of
owncrshíp, or cvcn of thc pcrsonal w in gcncral and its



rscl·t, isnottheuth,butforwhichthesetwomomentsin
theirseparauon from one anothercountas somethinc uue.
Jhisdisuncuon, therefore, as anactua|re|auon,isoneofan
empt proprietorship which micht be ca||ed a madness of
personalit |ifthe term 'madness' were used not ìust ofa
ìecuve idea ' |sntsll«·g} and hisactua|it), becausethe term
my exc|usiveindividua|w andanotherexc|usive individua|
w , with no mediauon between them.² " I the Iost·tstss,
Book ii, Chapter 4, we are to|d. 'Ususfructus est ius cl|so·s
rebusutendihuendisa|va rerumss/stcot·c.'Anditis mrther
stated. 'ne tamen in universum ·ost·lss essent proprietates
ssoosrabscendente usufructu,olccs·t, cerus modis exuncui
usumhuctum et ad proprietatem reveru.'ª 'Jhe |aw lcs
ésc·ésé'" asifaniniua|preferenceordecisionwereneededto
make sense ofthat empt disuncuon by a determinauon of
mkindl A propertwhichsuffered'theosm·cos··tcessauon
withinpropertitse|f, suchas thosebetweenrss ¬cooo·and
os: ¬cooo·, és¬·o·s¬ D·r·tcns¬ and Bso·tcris¬, and the
|ike, since they are unconnected with any conceptua|
determinauon ofpropert and are mere|y historica| niceues
associatedwiththis [deparment oß richt.' But on the one
uons of és¬·o·s¬ é·rsc/s¬ and és¬·o·s¬ st·ls, in the
payments, feuda|uibutes, etc.ina||theirvariousdetermina-
is associated with burdens as a resu|t ofwhIch és¬·o·s¬
é·rsc/so becomes atthe same ume a és¬·o·so st·ls. !fsuch
°Trallslator's lIote: 'Usufruct is the right to use and enjoy the fruits of allother' propert
provided that its substallce is consered . . . But m order that propertes should not
become useless through the pemlalletll cessaton of usufruct, the law has decided that,
under certain circumstances, the right of usufuct should be annulled and the use should
revert to the proprietor. '
Philosophy of Right
íts suíct absuacdon, thcy wouId ín Iact ímpIy not two lsrés
(óo¬·m),butane¬·:sron thc onchandandalsréovcrnothing
onthcothcr.butonaccountoIthcburdcns [onmcpropcrnj,
thcIcss, thcír rcIadonshíp ís not onc oIcs¬¬s·: owncrshíp,
a!though thc uansídonûom ítto commonowncrshípísvcry
casyto makc. Jhísuansídonhas aIrcadybcgunwhcn,undcr
óo¬·o·s¬é·rsas¬,thcyícId oIthc propcrníscaIcuIatcdand
ucatcd as ítsssss··t·olososc/, sothatthc íncaIcuIabIc aspcct oI
propríctorshíp, whích has pcrhaps bccn thought to Icnd ít
casc ís thc radonaI cIcmcnt.
ÏtmustbcncarIyonc andahaIImíIIcnníasínccthc1ìssé¬
a unívcrsaIpríncípIc Ior part- íIonIya smaI! part- oIthc
human racc.`but ít ís onIy síncc ycstcrday, so to spcak, that
thc1sséo¬s1 orsosrnhasbccnrccognízcdhcrcand thcrc asa
príncípIc - an cxampIc ûom worId hístory oIthc Icngth oI
dmcwhíchthcspírítrcquírcsín ordcrtoprogrcssín ítsscII-
conscíousncss, and a caudon agaínst thc ímpadcncc oI

thíng'Sodis} ín uscís an índívíduaIthíng, dctcrmíncdínquand
�to a spcc¡ c nccd. butíts spccíhc ud!ít, as
ooo··t·tot·vsl dctcrmíncd, ís at thc samc �

s wíth othcr

¿� thcsamcudIí

thc samc dmc osse·o c··srol and thus Iíkcwísc comparabIc ín íts
pardcuIarín\ví|thcr nccds. ConscqucntIy, thc thíngís aIso com-
. �
parabIcwíth míngswhíchscrvc othcrnccds.Jhís vsnol· whosc
���� anscs out oI c

slo·itt}ínsuc�athatít¡s atthcsamcdmc absuactcdIrom
¯¯¯ ¯ �
thìsspccih� �Iín,ís thc thíng`svoss,ínwhíchíts uucsubstandaIín


� ��c¬
thc h:IIowncroIthcthíng,Ïamthc owncrbothoIítsvolssandoIíts

Abstraa Right
The propert of te feudal tenant is distnguished by the fact�
that the tenant is the owner only of the thing's ssc,not of its
aóó|t|so0.The qualitatve disappears here in the form of the quanttat­
ive. For if! speak of 'need', this is a term which can encompass the most
diverse things 'I|ogc},and it is their common qualit which makes them
commensurable. ' Thus, the progression of thought here is fom the
specific qualit of the thing 'Ssclc} to a stage at which this determinate
quality is indifferent, i.e. that of quantt. A similar situaton arises in
mathematcs. If, for example, I defne a circle, an ellipse, or a parabola, it
can be seen that they are specifically different. Nevertheless, the distnc­
ton between these diferent curves is defned purely quantttvely, that
is, in such a way that the only relevant factor is a quanttatve distcton
which relates to their coefcients alone, to their purely empirical dimen­
sions. In the case of prope the quanttatve determinaton which
emerges �the qualitatve is colsc.Here e ualitatve su ies the
quantum for e q antt, and is, as suc , both reserved and superseded.
�cept of value, the thing 'Ssclc} itself is regarded
merely as a sign, and�ot as itelf but as what it is worth. A bill of
exchanexample, does not represent its quality as paper, but is
merely a sign representng another universal, namely value. The value of
a thing can var greatly in relaton 'Be|cl··t··g}to need; but if one wishes to
express not the specifc nature of its value but its value in the abstact, this
is expressed as ¬eoe. Money can represent anything 'sl/cI|··gc}, but
since it doespt the need itelf but is only a sign in place of it, it is
itself govered in tum by the specifc value which it merely expresses in
the abstact It is indeed possible to be the owner of a thing 'Soclc}
without at the same tme being the owner of its value. A family which
cannot sell or mortgage it estate is not the proprietor of its value. But
since this form of propert is out of keeping with the concept of propert,
such limitatons [of ownership] (feudal tenancies and entails) are now for
the most part disappearing.

§ 6
Without the subjectve presence - the w ,which alone consttutes
their signifcance and value, the form given to propert and the sign
which denotes it are �eE�mere exterals. This presence,
however, which is use, employment, or some other expression of the
w , �located m t|¬c,in respect of which th�
cso|oso··ccof this expression. Without this, the thing 'Soc/c}becomes
� �¯�
Philosophy of Right
` ucntÌ\, I Can µaÎn Ot ÌO8c ptOpctÞO\Dtc8Ct:puOn.'
Ïtc8CtÎpuOn, thctc!Otc, ha8 nOt Occn ÎnuOduCcd ÎntO tεht
mctcÌ\ OcCau8c O!an cXtcHaÌ COn8ÎdctauOn at VatÎanCc WÎth
tεht În Ît8 8uÎCt 8cn8c ¬ that Î8, În Otdct tO tctmÎnatc mc
thc 8cCutÎÞ O!ptOpctÞ, ctC. Ln thc COnuat\, ptc8CtÎpuOn Î8
Oa8cd On thc dctctmÎnauOn O!thc rsol·n O!ptOpctÞ, O!thc
WÎÌÌ´8 nccd tO cXptc88 Ît8cÌÍÎn Otdct tO pO88c88 8OmcthÎnµ. ¬
Ps/l·c¬w·s·iolsatcnauOnaÌptOpctÞ,OtmOtcptcCÎ8cÌ\¬ ÌÎkc
WOtk8 O!attÎnµcnctaÌWÎthOuttcµatd tO thcÎt sss'Bsos/z·mg}
¬ Ît Î8 thcÎtÎndWcÌÌÎnµ8OuÌO!tcmcmOtanCcandhOnOutWhÎCh
µÎVc8thcm thcÎtVaÌ:dÎÞa8Ì:V:nµand 8cÌ!-8uÜCÎcnt cnd8, Out
i t 8OuÌ aOandOn8 thcm, thc\ atc thcn În thÎ8 tc8pcCt
¬Î8 COnCcHcd and OcCOmc COn-
unµcnt ptÎVatc pO88c88ÎOn8, a8, !Ot cXampÌc, thC Ltcck and
µ\puanWOtk8O!attÎn²utkc\.¬ ²hc ·igl/s1onvo/sorsosn,
hÎ8 ptOduCuOn8 Î8 8uOjcCt tO
ptc8Ct:puOn!Ot 8ÎmÎÌat tca8On8, thc\OcCOmCOWnctÌc88Înthc
8cn8c that, ÌÎkc puOÌÎC mOnuDcnt8 |Out În an OppO8Îtc Wa\),
thc\OcCOmcunÎVct8aÌptOpctÞand, aCCOtdÎnµtO mc patuCu-

Ìat u8c that Î8 madc O! thc thÎnµ În quc8uOn,�
¸DtÎVatc pO88c88ÎOn8. ¬ Nctc looé, COn8cCtatcd a8 a pÌaCc O!
� �
OutÎaÌOtcVcn dcdÎCatcdÎnÎt8 OWntεht'ûrs·cl}tOpctpctuaÌ
é·ssss,cmOOdÎc8ancmpÞaI1d aO8cntatOÎuat\WÎÌÌ. PÎnjut\
)s/zsog} tOthÎ8WÎÌÌÎ8 nOtan Înjut\tO an\thÎnµaCtuaÌ, and
Ît CannOt thctc!Otc Oc µuatantccd that ÎtWÎÌÌ Oc tc8pcCtcd.
÷éái/io·: 0.Ïtc8CtìpbOn ì8Oa8cdOn mc a88umpbOn ma�¹
O! m\ wl Î8 tcquìtcd, and� �c

[Gebrucz] Ot
�crabOn O1Uc Uìnµ ìn q

c8bOn. ¬ Åh


c WhìCh puOÌÎC
`�a\ 8uHctWa8OUcn dcmOn8uatcd atthc bmc O!mc Kc!Otm-
abOn Înthc Ca8c O!cndOWcd Na88c8.Åhc8pìtìtO!mc OÌd !aìth, mat i, O!
thc cndOWcd Na8�tcd, and thc\ COuÌd COn8cqucnt!\

takcn pO88c88ÎOn O!a8 ptOpctÞ.°

Abstraa Right
C The Alienationa of Property
§ 65
as I embcdy mywih¯Thus, I may bandcn (drrrliuquirrr) as
cwnerless an

g belcnging tc me cr make it cver tc the will cf
scmecneelseashispcssessicn÷butcnly mscfarasthething[òarhrj
is c!mal iu ua!urr.
.< =
Hdi!ieu 0. While prescnpucn is an alienaucn cfprcperuwithcut a
_irectdeclaraucncnúeuæcfúewl, uealienaucnisadeclaraucnby

teTewedi suchawayúatalienaucnisregardedasauemcde
cftakingpcssessicn.Thenstmcmenti prcperuistctakepcssessicncf
úeúrdmcmenti úeuniucfúensttwc,namelytakingpcssessicncf
§ 66
Jhosc µoods, or rathcr substandaI dctcrmínadons, whIch consdtutc
my cwn dísmct pcrsonaIín and thc unIversal csscncc cfmy sch-
�+!iblr. They include�



heedcm c�e,andreligicn.
` ´¯�.. --·-¬
iu i!srhshculd alsc have enstence [Oasriuj and being-fcr-
itself(and hence that itshculd be a perscn, be capable cf
cwnIngprcpert,andhaveanethicallifeandreligicn)÷ this
IdeaLitselftheccnceptcfspirit. (A rausa sui, i.e.asahee
"Translator's note: Hegel's tenn Entilljenmg and its synonym Verilljenmg ('disposal' or
'alienaton') are impossible to tanslate satsfactorily, as are the related forms verilje
and sich entillje ('to dispose of or 'to alienate'), verilljebar ('disposable' or 'alienable')
and Inverilljerlicl ('inalienable'). For the basic and original meanin of entiuje is 'to
�',and Hegel, throughout the following secton 65-71), repeated y exploit
mmeaning by associatng the terms in queston with etmologicaliy related words such
as iujerlicl ('exteral') and Aiierung ('expression' or 'utterance'). It is, of course,
impossible to reproduce the resultng network of elmological associatons in tanslaton.
Since the contelt is one oflega! tansactons, I have wherever possible used the English
legal expression 'alienaton' and its derivatves.
Philosophy of Right
� cause, sput is that 'cuius natara ncn pctest ccncipi nisi
enstens'ª÷ Spincza,E/l·o,t,i). 1 Inthisveryccnceptcfspirit
asthatwhichiswhatitisso/rtlrss ·/ssh andas·oo·tsrstsm
·ots·/shhcm the natu��f� liesthe
�tfan cppcsincn, inthatwhatthe spiritiscnIy·o
·tsshmay differ hcm what itis1r·tssh(see § ç
), crccn-
versely,whatitiscnly 1r·tssh÷ aswithevilinthecasecfthe
w ÷ may differ frcm what it is ht ·tssh Herein lies the
osss·/·l·t, s1 /ls ol·soot·so s1osns··o/n and its substannal
eing, e er sa enancntakespaceinanunccnscicuscr
aneulicitmanner.÷ Exam lescfthealienancncf �

ccnscnf���m m e�p,· c.Jhealienancn
enccuntered�n, when pcwer and authcritare
granted tc cthers tc determine andprescribewhatacncns Î
shculd perfcrm (as when scmecne enters intc an express
agreement tc ccmmit rcbbery, murder, etc. cr incurs the
�m tesonc�r�

pcssessicn cf my perscnalit and substannal essence and
make myself a respcnsible being with mcral and religicus
values and capable cf hclding righu remcves these
determinancns frcm thatvery extemalitwhich alcne made
them capable cfbeccmingthe pcssessicns cfscmecne else

When their extemalit is superseded in this way, the
determinancn cfnme and all cther reascns 'CrŽc} which
canbederivedhcmmyprevicus ccnsentcr acceptancelcse
theirvalidit. Jhisretamcnmypartintcmysel|wherebyÎ
make myselfenstent as Idea, as a perscn with righu and
which I and the cther part have dcne tc my ccncept and
it tc be sc neated. ÷ Jhis retam intc myselfreveals the
ccnnadicncn inherentinhandingcvertc cthersmycapacity
"Translalor's /lOle: 'whose nature cannot be conceived other than 3 exstng'.

Abstra Right
for right, my ethical life and religiosit; for I did not myself
possess these things, and as soon as I do possess them, they
exst essentally only as mine, and not as something exteral.
a1·t·so 0. It is in the nature of te case 'Sccls} that the slave has an
absolute right to fee himself, and tat, usomeone has agreed to devote
his ethical life to robber and murder, U is null and void in and for
itelf, and anyone is enttled to revoke such a contact. The same applies
if I put my religiosit �f a priest who is my confessor, for a
human being must decide such inward matters entrely witin himself.A.
religiosit which is in part contolled by someone else is not a genuine
. religio�i!, or t:e spin ..- V U�¯mw
'UCaon of being-in-and-for-itself is something which ought to belong
to ¬s.
I can ol·soots·oé·c·ésolproducts of ¬,oor/·cslorol,s·colooé¬sotol
;s·st·gso}sl·l/and actve capabilites to someone else" and allow h
tsssstls¬1rol·¬·tséosnsé, because, provided they are sy.c
this limitaton, they acquire an exteral relatonship to my tsto/·nand
l·n. By alienatng the ¬lslsof my tme, as made concrete
�rk, and the totalit of my producton, I would be making
the substantal qualit of the latter, i.e. my so·csnolactvit and actu­
alit or my personalit itself, into someone else's propert.
It is the same relaton as that discussed above |§óI)between
the substance of te tl·og'Socls}and its sss'Bsostzo·:g},just
as use is distnct fom substance only in so far as it is limited,
so too does the use 'Cs/roscl} of my powers difer fom the
powers themselves - and hence also fom me - only in so far
as it is quanttatvely limited; a power is the tstol·t, of its
manifestatons, just as substance is the totalit of its accidents
and the universal the totalit of its partcularizatons.
a1·t·so0.The distcton discussed here is tat between a slave and a
moder servant or hired labourer. The Athenian slave perhaps had easier
tasks and more intellectual ;s·st·gsrs}work to perform tan our serants
"Translators note. I have chosen the reading 'an einen ander' ('msomeone else'), as in
IItng's main text (VPR tt, 278), in preference to 'von einem anderen' ('of someone
else), as in the ft editon and the Suhrkamp editon (Werke vtt, 144).
Philosophy of Right
normally do, but he was neverteless a slave, because the entre scope of
his actvit had been alienated to his master.
§ 68
The distnctve" qualit of intellectual ,s·st·gs··} producton may, by
virtue of the way in which it is expressed, be immediately tansformed
into the exteral qualit of a thing 'Socls},which may then in tum be
produced by others. In acquiring it, the new owner may thus
appropriate the thoughts which it communicates or the technical
inventon which it embodies, and it is this possibilit which at tmes
(as with literary works) consttutes the sole purpose 'Bct·¬¬sog} of
such things and their value as acquisitons; in additon, the new owner
at the same tme comes into possession of the so·vsnol¬o,sooé¬soos
of so expressing himself and of producing a multplicit of such
In the case of works of art, the form which tangibly represents
the thought in an exteral medium is, as an object 'D·og},so
distnctve a product of the individual artst that any copy of it
is essentally the product of the intellectual ,s·st·gso} and
technical skll of the copyist. I the case of a literary work, te
form which makes it an exteral thing 'Sodts} , as with the
inventon of a technical devce, is s1o¬scloo·coll·oé.For with
a literary work, the thought is represented not in concrete
depicton but only by a series of discrete and abstact saos,
and with a technical device, the thought has a completely
mechanical content; and the ways and means of producing
such things 'Soc/·so}, oso things, belong to the category of
ordinary skills. - Between the extemes of the work of art and
the product of manual craftsmanship there are also tansi­
tonal stages which share the character of one or other
exteme to a greater or lesser extent.
"Translator' note. Hegel uses the adjectve eigentiimlich ('distnctve', 'peculiar'), elloit­
ing it close relatonship with the noun Eigetlln ('propert', 'ownership') as on several
other occasions in his discussion of property (§§ 41-71). It is not possible to preserve
mfonnal associaton in English, since the only words which would adequately refect it
(the adjectves 'proper' and 'own') are rarely suitable as tanslatons of eigentimlich.
Abstrc Right
§ 6
9 �
Since the person who acquires such a product possesses its entre use
and value if he owns a s·oglscopy of it, he is the complete and fee
owner of it as an individual item. But the author of te book or the
inventor of the technical device remains the owner of the so·vsnol
ways and means of reproducing such produ�
û e has not imediately alienated these uni¬and means
as such but may reserve them for himself as his distnctve mode of
The substance of an autor's or inventor's right does not
priarily consist in his arbitarily imposing the csoé·t·so,on
alienatng a single copy of his work, tat the power which the
other person thereby acquires to manufacture such products
on h own account as things should not become the other's
propert, but should remain that of the inventor. The first
queston is whether such a separaton between the ownership
of the thing and the power which this confers to produce such
things in tur i an admissible part of the concept, or whether
it does not cancel 'o·ms/t}fll and free ownership (see § 62) -
so that it depends solely on the arbitary w of the intellectual
;s·st·gw} originator whether he retains the power to
reproduce the things in queston, or alienates this power as
something of value, or places no value on it for his own part
and relinquishes it along with the individual thing. For this
power has the peculiar character of being that aspect of a
thing which makes it not merely a possession but a rcssrcs
(see below, § § 1 70ff.), so that the latter qualit lies in the
partcular kind of exteral use to which the thing is put, and is
distnct and separable from the use to which the thing was
immediately destned. (The use in queston is not what is
known as an occsss·s ootsrol·s like the procreaton of animals

Since, then, this distncton arises \vithin that
which is by nature divisible (that is, within exteral use), to
retain one part of the use while alienatng the other part is not
to reserve a proprietorship without utlit 's·ls}.- The purely
negatve, but most basic, means of frthering the sciences and
arts is to protect those who work in them against tloand to
Philosophy of Right
provide them ,vit securit for their propert, just as the
earliest and most important means of frthering commerce
and indust was to protect them against highway robbery. -
Besides, the destny 'Bsst·¬¬sog} of a product of the intellect
'Cs·stssorséslt}is to be apprehended by other individuals and
appropriated by their representatonal tg, memory,
thought, etc. Hence the mode of expression whereby these
individuals in tum make ¬lottlclovslsomsé(for learg
means not just memorizing or learg words by heart - the
thoughts of others can be apprehended only by tg, and
this retg is also a kind oflearg) into an ol·soo/lstl·og
w always tend to have some distnctve frm, so that they can
regard the resources which fow fom it as their propert, and
may assert their right to reproduce it. The propagaton of the
sciences in general, and the specifc business of teachng in
partcular, in accordance wit its determinaton and the dut
associated ,vith it (most specifcally in the case of the positve
sciences, Church doctine, jurisprudence, etc.), consist in the
rwst·t·so of established thoughts, æ of which have already

been expressed and acquired fom exteral sources; the same
is tue of writngs designed for teaching purposes and for the
propagaton and disseminaton of the sciences. As for the
extent to which the exstng store of knowledge, and in par­
tcular the thoughts of other people who retain exteral
ownership of their intellectual products, become, by virtue of
the new fnn which they acquire through repeated expression,
a special intellectual ;s·st·gss} propert of the individual who
reproduces them and thereby give h(or fail to give h)the
right to make them his exteral propert in tum -the extent to
which this is so cannot be precisely determined, nor therefore
defned in terms of right and the law. The same is tue of the
extent to which such repetton in a written publicaton con­
sttutes olog|or|s¬.Plagiarism ought therefore to be a matter
'Socls} of lsossr,and honour should deter people fom com­
mittng it. -Thus laws against /rsocls1c@,ngltdo attain their
end of protectng the propert rights of authors and publishers
to the (albeit very limited) extent specifed.2 The ease with
which one can deliberately alter the form of something or
invent an insignifcant modificaton to a major science or to a
1 00
Abstrat Right
ccmprehensive thecry which scmecne else has created, cr
authcrwhenexpcundingwhatcnehasleamed~ ncttcmen-
ncntheparncularendswhichnecessitatesuchrepenncn~ in
itself}rs·cl} inncducesthatendless mulnplicit cfalter-
ancns which mve the prcpert cf cthers the mcre cr less
dreds upcn hundreds cfccmpendia, excerpts, anthclcgies,
etc., arimencbccks, gecmenies, devcncnalwrinngs, etc.,
shcwhcwevennewidea 'E·o1ll whichappearsin crincal
|cumals, pceu aImanacs, encyclcpaedias, etc. can alsc be
immediatelyrepcrted under the same cradiûerentntle,yet
the eûect that the prcnt which the authcr cr invennve
ennepreneur euected hcmhiswcrkcrnewidea is elimin-
ated, reduced fcrbcthparnes, crruinedfcreverycne.°~ But
asfcrthed as1lsossrinprevennngplagiarism,itisremark-
is nc lcnger tc be heard these days. Jhis may be because
hcncur has had its effect in suppressing plagiarism, cr
becauseplagiarismhas ceased tc be dishcncurable andthe
revulsicnagainstithas disappeared, crbecauseaninsignin-
cant new idea and a change in cutward fcrm are rated sc
highly as criginalit and as the prcduct cf independent
"Translator's note. The SUhkamp editon (Werke vtt, 149) here reads allein ('alone'),
which uundoubtedly an error. The correct reading uallen ('for everone'), 3 in VPR tt,
288 and other editons.
Jhe dispcsal'Eotës1cmog} crsacrincecflifeis, cntheccnnan,the
cppcsitecftheenstence 'Dosc·o} cftl·sperscnalit.I have therefcre
cr·gltwhatscevertc dis csecfm life,andcnly.
scme mgmw icht ·s·¬¬cé·otc/rindividualperscnalitinitselfhas
1 01
Philosophy of Right
sucharìght. Jhus, ¡ustashIc assuchìs|¬¬cé|otc,soaIsoìsdcath at
thcsamcumcìts|¬¬cé|otcncgauvw, dcathmustconscqucntIycomc
� .
thc Ídca, bythc hand oIan outstdcr 'vso1ìc¬écrHooé.
a subordìnatc cnuty who must dcdìcatc hìmscII u thc cthìcaI whoIc.
LonscqucntIy, ìIthc statc dcmands hìs IìIc, thc ìndìvìduaI 'Ioé|v|éss¬}
must surrcndcr ìt. Uutmaya human bcìng takc hìs own IìIcr Ònc may
rcgard suìcìdc ìn thc hrst ìnstancc as an act oIbravcry, aIbcìtanínIcríor
bravcryoItaìIorsandmaìdscrvants. Ònthcothcrhand,ìtcanaIsobcsccn
as a mìsIortunc, sìncc ìt ìs thc product oIìnncrdcr��nt. Uut thc
maín qucsuon ìs: havc I a rìght to commìt suìcìdcr Jhc answcr wlbc
that,as tl|sìndìvìduaI, I am notmastcroImyIìIc, Iorthc comprchcnsìvc
totaIítyoIacuvíw, ì.c.��Iìw,whìch
ìsìtscIIìnuncdìatcIyt·:s.Jhus, ìtìsaconadìcuontospcakoIaocrson's
rìght ovcr hìs IìIc, Ior thìs wo�Id¯ at a pcrson na rìght ovcr
¹mcII. Uuthc 1nosuchríght,IorhcdocsnotstandabovchìmscIIand
cannot pass ¡udgcmcnt on hìmscII Yhcn !crcuIcs bumcd hìmscIIto
dcath orUrutusIcII onhìssword,thìswasahcro'sbchavìourín rcIauon
to hìs own pcrsonaIìw, but ìIìt ìs a qucsuon oI a sìmpIc ríght to kìII
oncscII, such arìght may bc dcnìcd cvcn to hcrocs.·
Íxstcncc 'JsDosc|o},as dctcrmìnatc bcìng, ìs csscnuaIIybcìng Ior
anothcr |scc abovc, Kcmarks to § a8). Iropcrw, ìn vìcw oI ìts
cxstcncc as ancxtcmaIth¡ng 'Soclc},cxsts IoroucrcxtcmaI thìngs
and wt thc contcxt oIthcìr ncccss�c
cxstcnccoIthcwil , ìtscxstcnccIoranothcrcanonIybc1rtlcwiloI
anothcrpcrson. Jhìs rcIauon 'Bcz|cl·mg} oIw to wìII ìs thc uuc
dìsuncuvcgroundmwhìchIrccdomhas ìts o|stcocc.Jhìs mcdìauon
whcrcbyI noIongcrownpropcrwmcrcIybymcansoIathìngandmy
sub¡ccuvc w , butaIsoby mcans oIanothcr w , and hcnccwt
thc contcxtoIa commonw ,consututcs thc sphcrccf�
�` �
Kcason makcs ìt ¡ust as ncccssarythat human bcìngs shouId
cntcrìntoconuactuaIrcIauonshìps- gìvìng,cxchangìng,uad-
I D2

Abstract Right
íng, ctc.- asthatthcyshould posscss propcrn|sccKcmarks
to §aç).As farasthcírown conscíousncssísconccmcd,ítís
nccdíngcncral -bcncvolcncc,ublíty,ctc.-whíchlcadsthcm
to makc conuacts, but ímplícíuy |eo s·dt}, thcy arc lcd by
rcason, thatís,�dca ofthc rcal cxstcncc offrccpcr-
sonalín |'rcal' ín thc scnsc of'prcscnt onlywíthínthc w1.
Conuact prcsupposcs that thc conuacbng parbcs rscsg·zs
cachothcraspcrsonsand ownc¡sofpropcrn,anðsmccítísa
�ns!ip o!o5jccuvc spmt, thc momcntofrccobonís
alrcady contaíncd and prcsupposcd wíthín ít |c § (ç and
÷cmarks to § ç
÷Ji/ieo0. !naconuact,+��c� for
ít ís thc íntcrcst ofrcason at thc sub|ccuv wlshould bccomc morc
� an r `sc ítsc fto thís acmalízauon. Jhus, my rctams its
dctcrmínauon as tl·swíllín a conuact, utmcommuníwwíth anothcr
wl. Jhcunívcrsalwíll,onthcothcrhand,appcarshcrcasyctonlyínthc
form and shapc ofcommuníty.
I o(
That [ind of propert of which the os sct of exstence 'Doss·o} or
�is no longer merely a thing ' ocls}but contains the m

-Ja will (and hence the will of another person) comes

csotroc/.This is the process in which the following contadic­
ton is �resented and mediated: I o¬ and n¬o·o Ü owner of
propert, having being for myself and excluding the wll of another,
only in so far as, in identfing my will with that of another, I csosto
be an owner of propert.
It is not only osss·/lsfor me to JHljJose of an item of propert as an
exteral thing 'Socls}(see § 65) -I

llséby the concept to
dispose of it as propert in order that ¬,will, as o·stsot,may become
objectve ;sgsostëoél·cl} to me. But according to this moment, my
will, as exteralized: is at the same tme o··etlsrwill. Hence this
moment, in which ths necessit of the concept is real, is tlso·:·nof
diferent wills, which therefore relinquish their difference and dis­
tnctveness. Yet it is also implicit (at this stage) in this identt of
different wthat each of them is and remains a will distnctve for
itself and ost·ésot·colwith the other.
'Trans/alar' nole. The tenn Hegel uses is elliuje ('disposed or or 'alienated'). Here,
it original meaning of 'exteralized' seems more appropriate (cf. tanslator's note to
p. 95 above).
1 04
Abstract Riglt
§§ 72-
This relatonship is therefore the mediaton of an identcal will within
the absolute distncton between owners of om who have being
for themselves. It contains th
implicaton tha
each part, in

his own and the other part's w , csosss to be an
owner of propert, n¬o·osone, and /scs¬ssone. This is the mediaton
of the w to give up a propert (an individual propert) and the w to
accept such a propert (and hence the propert of someone else). The
context of this mediaton is one of iden!!, in that the one voliton
comes to a decision only in so far as the other voliton is present.

. ~ ,....
-¸, ~ .�.
Since the two contactng partes relate to each other as ·¬¬sé·ots
self-suffcient persons, it follows tat (o)the contact is the product of
the or/·tron ¬·ll, (�) !e identcal w which comes into exstence
'Doss·o} through the contact is only o ¬·hoss·tsé W tlscs··troct·og
oo·¡·ss,hence only a cs¬¬sowill/ not a ,vlwhich is universal in and
for ts�too of the contact is an ·oé·v·ésol
otsmolthing 'Socls}, for only things of this kind are subject to the
purely arbitary will c!contactngpartes to alienate them (se

· ¬· ¬¬¯-�¯¯¯�-�
§ 6
Mornogscannot therefore be subsumed under the concept of
contact; this subsumpton - which can only be describ

disgracefl - is proposed in Kant's Mstool,s·colE/¬sotss1tls
Dssn s1R·glt[Mstool,s·scls÷o1oggnìoés écr Rscltslslrs},
pp. I06f.2 ~The nature of the stotshas just as little to do with
the relatonship of contact, whether it is assumed that the
state is a contact of all with all, or a contact of all with the
soveregn and the goveren!
ntusion of this rela­
tonship, and of relatonships concerg private propert in
general, into poltcal relatonships has created the greatest
confsion in consttutonal law 'Stootsrsclt} and in actualit.
Just as in earlier tmes politcal rights and dutes were
regarded as, and declared to be, the immediate private prop­
ert of partcular individuals in oppositon to the right of the
sovereign and the state, so also in more recent tmes have the
1 05
Philosophy of Right
rights cIthc scvcrcign and thc statcbccnrcgardcd asobiccL
oIconuactandbascdona conuact, as thcrcsultmcrclyoIa
t0IllIll0Il wil! and procccding Ircm thc arbiuawi!l oIthosc
common. thcyhavc uansIcrrcd thc dctcrminauons oIprivatc
prcpcrn tc a sphcrc oIa total!y diIIcrcntand highcr naturc.
(5cc bclow, 'ÍthicalLiIc`and 'Jhc 5tatc`.)
÷ééi/ieo 0. !n rcccntnmcs, ithasbcccmcvcry pcpular tc rcgard thc
statcas accnuactcIallw¡thall. Ivcrycnc,wc arctcld, makcsaccnuact
cIsupcrhcial mng, �hich cnvisagcs cnly a siogl· unín cIdif!crcnt
wills. But in a ccnuact,��c


pcrscns andwishtc rcmamcwncrscIprcpcrn, tlicccnuactacccrdingly
.criginatcs inthc arbiuaryw¡llcIthc pcrscn- ancriginwhichmarriagc
sc has in ccmmcnwith ccnuact.' But in thc casc cIthc statc, this is

uccutsct, IcrthcarbiuarywlcIindivíduals |Ioéiviée·o}
�`snct ina csiu!b¯akawa cmthcstatc,bccauscthcm widualis
¬¨ �
����������!tis thc rancnal dcsnny |B·s/i¬·mmg} cI
humanbcingstc livc within astatc, and cvcn iInc statcis yctprcscnt,
sicn Icr individuals |Eioz·l·t·} tc cntcr cr lcavc it, sc that this dccs nct
dcpcnd cn thc arbiuarywillcIthcindividualsccnccmcd, ccnscqucnuy,
thc statc is �ctbascdcnccnuact, which p:ccscsanarbiuarwill. !t
isIalsc tcsay thatthcarbiuarywlcIcvcrycnciscapablc cIIcundinga
statc:cnthcccnuary,itis absclutclyncccssa¬Icrcachindividualtclivc
withinthcstatc. Jhc grcat advancc madc bythcstatcinmcdcmnmcs is
thatit rcmains an cnd in and IcritsclI, and that cach individual maync
lcngcr basc his rclancnship |B·zi·himg} tc it cnhis cwn privatc snpula-
ncn, as was thc casc in thc Middlc Agcs.
A conuact is1w·o/in sc Iar as thc two acts oIconscntwhcrcb\Úr
�n wi!! comcsintobcing �uvc� thc alicna-
pcronncds�ctwoconuacungparucs.thisisa ceo/mc/e]
¬¸- Buta ccnuactmaybc cal!cd r·o/in so Iar

conuacung wills is thc tctality oI thcsc mc� and
�··~` .
1 06

Abstract Right § § 75-77
tbcrcbybotbbccomcsandrcmaíns anowncro!propcrDínconcÍud-
ìnµít: tbìs ís a csotroas1ocloogs.

a1·t·so 0.A conuact rcquírcs mo acts o!conscntín rcÍauonto two
tbìnµs: !or ì scck botb to acquírc propcrD and to rcÍínquísb ít. Åbc
conuact ís rcaÍ wbcn cacb parD pcr!orms tbc cnurc acuon, botb
rcÍmquísbínµ and acquírìnµpropcrDandrcmamµanowncro!propcn
wbíÍc rcÍínquísbínµ ít; and ít ís !omaÍ wbcn onÍy onc parD acquìrcs
propcrty or rcÍínquísbcs ít.
bìncc cacb parÞ, ín a rcaÍ conuact, rctaìns tlsso¬spropcrÞ wtb
wbícb bc cntcrs tbc conuact and wbìcb bc sìmuÍtancousÍy
rcÍìnquísbcs, tbatpropcrDwbícb rcmaìns ·ésot·colas bavìnµbcìnµ ·o
·tsshwítbìn tbc conuact ís dísbnct !rom tbc cxtcmaÍ tbìnµs 'Sod·so}
wbìcb cbanµc owncrs ìn tbc coursc o!tbc uansacbon. ¯bc !ormcrís
tbc volss, ìn rcspcct o!wbìcb tbc ob¡ccts o!tbc conuact ' |sr/rog-
gsgsostëoés} arc sosolto cacbotbcr, wbatcvcr quaÍìtabvc cxtcmaÍ dì!-
!crcnccs tb� tbc tbìnµs cxcbanµcd, ít ís tbcìr
so·vs·:olaspcct |scc § 63).
¯bc dctcrmìnabon tbat loss·s sosm··s·' canccÍs 'o:¢s/s} tbc
conuactuaÍ obÍíµauon conscqucntÍybas íts sourcc íntbc conccpt
ínµparD, by aÍícnaunµ bís propcrD, ·c¬o·osoos¬osrs1¡rxsn
and, morc prccíscÍy, rcmaíns quanutauvcÍy tbc samc as bc was
bc!orc. Üut tbc damaµcís not¡ustcxccssívc (asítísconsídcrcdto
bc í!ít cxcccds onc lolo!tbc vaÍuc) but ·o;o·ts,í!a conuact or
supuÍauon o!any kínd bas bccn cntcrcd ínto to aÍícnatc ···ol·s··-
o/lsµoods(scc § 66). Íurtbcrmorc, ast·¡::lot·s·

dílÏcrs !roma
ormomcnto!tbcwboÍcconuact,andsccondÍy, sìncc ítístbc
1r¬olscttÍcmcnt o!tbc conuact |o!wbìcbmorc w bc saíd
Íatcr).` I rcspccto!íts contcnt, tbc sbpuÍabon contaìns onÍy
tbc !ormaÍ dctcrmìnabon o!tbc conuact, tbc conscnt o!onc
party to dcÍìvcr somctbìnµ and tbc constnt o!tbcoÛcr to
ít, ít bas tbcrcÏorc Occn cÍasscdmonµ so-caÍÍcd
+tTmconuacts. ¯bc dísbncbon bctwccn unìÍatcraÍ and
"Translalor's Tlole: 'excessive damage'.
1 07
Philosohy of Right
bíIatcraI ccnuacts,' and cthcr cIassíhcabcns cIccnuacts ín
and chcn cxtcmaI aspcctsuch as thc kd cIIcrmaI¡bcsthcy
arc assccíatcd wíth, and ín part thcy ccnmsc |amcng cthcr
thìngs) dctcrmínabcns whích ccnccm thc naturc cIccnuact
íucIIw¡th cthcrs whích ccnccm cnIy thc admín¡suabcn cI
jusbcc (ca·e··ss) and thc IcgaI 'rsclt/o·so} ccnscqucnccs cI
pcsíbvc Iaw, and whích chcn dcrívc Ircm whcIIy cxtcmaI
círcumstanccs and ccnuavcncthc ccnccpt cIríght.
Jhcdísbncbcnbctwccnprcpcrwandpcsscssícn,�mc substannaI and
c� cts |cIcwncrshìmscc ;+¡),bcccmcs, ìnccnuact, mc
mrcugh�� �ccn rcachcd, ccn-
sídcrcdbyítscII!rs·cl}wíthcutrcIcrcncctc íupcrIcrmancc, ísan
íd�acIrcprcscntabcnaIthcught 's·o |srgsstshtss},tcwhíchaparbcu-

I�roæ|Oc ]�sIcrc bc gívcnín acccrdanccwíththc
dísbncbvc manncr ín whích rwrsssotot·sool tlssglts '|sntsllsogso}
lovs tls·r o·stsocs ·o s·gos |scc Eocdsoosé·o s1 tls Pl·lsssol·col
Sc·socss, ; ; (}oIA Jhís ís ach¡cvcd by cxprcssìng thc st·oslot·so
a spccíhc dccIarabcnmloogsogs,thc mcstapprcprìatc mcdíum 'Els-
¬s··t} cIìntcIIcctuaI rcprcscntabcn 'ésrgs·st·gso |sntshsog} .
Acccrdíng tc thís dchníbcn 'Bsst·¬¬sog}, a sbpuIabcn ís
índccd thc Icrm thrcughwh¡chthc ccntcntcIa ccnuact,í.c.
what ís csoclséséínít, hasíts cxstcncc as scmcth¡ng as yct
onIyrwrsssotsé.ButthísrcprcscntabcnísmcrcIyaIcrm, and
ítdccsnctmcanthatthc ccntcntíssbIIsubjccbvc íncharac-
way. On thc ccnuary, thc ccntcnt ís thc dccísícnwh¡ch thc
wìIIhnaIIyrcachcs cnsuchmattcrs.
ucn bcnccn prcpcm and pcsscssícn, bctwccn thc substanuaI and thc
mcrcIy cxtcmaI, sc dc wc havc m ccnuact thc díûcrcncc 'D[srsoz}
bctwccn thc ccmmcn wilI as agrccmcnt and thc parucuIar wl as pcr-
Icrmancc.ic¡ccnüact �nd

I o8

Abstract Right
mc parucuIar wìII shouId bc cxrcsscd, for a conuact ìs a rcIauonshìp
bctwccnonc wland anothcr. Jhc agrccmcnt, whìch m�nscI by
mcansofasìgn, and thcpcrfo:¬a:icrarctcrcmrcparatcaong
�/o } pcopIcs, whcrcas thcy may coìncìdc among thc
uncìvcd. !n thc forcsts ofCcyIon thcrc ìs anauon ofuadcrs who Iay
out thcìr propcrty and pcaccmIIywaìt unuI othcrs comc and put thcìrs
down bcsìdc ìt, ìn thìs casc, mcrc ìs no dìI!crcncc bctwccn mc mutc
dccIarauon ofwland ìtpcrm�¯
§§ 77-7
Jhc sdpuIadoncontaíns thc aspcctoIwíII, and hcncc thc ss/stootiol
cIc�¬!htínaconuact. Ïnconuasttothís,thcposscssíonwhích
rcmaíns ín Iorcc so Iong as thc conuact ís unhIhIIcd ís ín ítscII'üìr
s·cl}mcrcIythc cxtcmaIaspcct,whíchhasíts dctcrmínadonínthcwíII
aIonc. Jhrough thc sdpuIadon, Ïhavc rcIínquíshcdanítcmoIprop-
crnandmyarbíuarywíIIovcrít, andíthasolrsoé,/scs¬stlsorsos·¡,
s1tlsstlsroom.Ïn tcrms oIríght, Ï amthusímmcdíatcIybound by
thc sdpuIadon toosmm·what has bccnagrccd.
thc Iactthat, ín a promísc, whatcvcr Ï íntcnd to gívc, do, or
pcrIorm ís cxprcsscd as ss¬stl·og ·o tlswtsrs, and�
rcmaíns a ss/;sa·vs dctcrmínadon oI my wí!I, whích Ï can
thc othcr hand, ís ítscII aIrcady mc sx·sts··cs 'Doss·o} oImy
wíI!'s dccísíon, m thc scnsc thatÏ havc thcrcbyaIícnatcd thc
�g 'Socls}Ïown, thatíthaso¬ccascdtobcmypropcrn,
and that Ï aIrady rcmc ¡ropcrn oIthc othcr
a bad onc.' - !íchtc oncc maíntaíncd that my obIígadon to
s/ssmsa conuactcs¬¬s··cssot¡!y whcnthc othcrparn/sg·os
topcrIorm [hís sídcoIthc agrccmcntj, Iorunu!hc docsso,Ï
do not know whcthcr ms orígínaI uttcrancc was ss·isss/r
¬soot,thc obIígadonbcIorcthcpcrIormancc couIdthcrcIorc
on!ybcoIa¬srolnaturc, rathcrthanbascdonríghtbutthc
uttcrancc oIa sdpuIadonís not justanuttcrancc ín gcncraI;
ínto bcíng, and whích has supcrscdcd thc arbíuanncss oI
[índívíduaIj é·soss·t·so and íts Iíabí!ín to changc. Ït ís not
1 09
Philosophy of Right
likewise retain the arbiuary w which enables me to do
wronç. The nullityofFichte'sviewisatonceapparenthom
the fact that it would base conuactual riçhts on the false
inhnite, onanmte reçress, onthe mte divisibiliwof
formaliw ofçesture orin lançuaçe which is determinate for
itselfisalreadythecompleteexstenceofthew ,asintellec-
tual 'iotcllcltscl/c··} w , and the performance [ofthe açree-
are also, in posiuve riçht, so-called rcol csotroas as disunct
hom so-called ce··sc··ssol conuacts - in the sense that the
beenfollowedbythe actualperformance(rcs, troéitisrc:)- is
enablesmetoperformmyside [oftheaçreement],andwhere
oflease, and deposits |and as may be the case with other
conuacts, too) - a circumstance which concems not the
nature ofthe relauonship between supulauon and perform-
hand, the arbiuaryw is always atliberw to supulate in a
conuactthat the obliçauon ofthe one parwto perform [his
side ofthe açreement] should notlieinthe conuactitselfas
such, but should depend on the other parw performinç his
side 6rst.
§ 80
Theclossocotisoofconuacuandajudiciousanalysis, inthe liçhtof
this classihcauon, ofthen various kinds, should not be based on
extemal circumstances buton disuncuons inherentinthenature of
and real conuact, between ownership and ¬d
¯-. �
----- -- --- ---��


Abstrct Right
between�g 'Socls}.They accordingly give
rise to the1lls¬·ogl·oés ofconuact |the classi6cauon given here
Ikssr s1 R·glt 'Mstool,s·scls ao1ooggoioéc ésr Rso·tslslrs}, pp.
: zoff., and onemighthaveexpected thatthe oldhumdrumclassi-
would long since have been abandoned in favour of a rauonal
A. Csotrocts1g:1,comprising
I . Gmofathing, so-calledgi1 inthe propersense.
z. Lsooofathing,i.e.thegivingawayof oonofitorofthel·¬·tsé
counts |like money) asathinguniversalinitseBrs·cl} .
3. Cm ofa ssr:·csofanykind, e.g. themere safe-keepingofan

Issto¬wtordisposiuon, i.e. me
|at which ume the latter in any case ceases to be the owner),
has no place inthe conceptofconuact, butpresupposes civil
societ and aposiuvelegislauon.
B. Csotrocts1ocloogs
: . Excloogsas such.
(o) ofatl·ogofanykind, i.e. ofasoso;cthingforanotherof
|�) osrclossorsols(s·ot·s,vwé·t·s),

only as volss, without the other specibc determinauon of
uu!it- i.e.for¬soc.
z. Lstt·ogsrl·r·og (lscot·s, csoésct·s), alienauon ofthe ts¬osror
sssofapropertinexchange forrwt,V.
(o) ofasosc·;cthing,letunginthe propersense, or
|�) ofa so·vsnol tl·og, so that the lender remains only the
Philosophy of Right

rise tc cther parncular determInancns (as in A.z. abcve,
lcan as gift),butthese arecfncimpcrtance¯
7. Uogss cs·:tro (lscot·s sosros),

alienancn cfmy sstost 'Prs-
ész·srs··s} crssrc·css (|e

inscfar asthese arealienable)fcra
limitednmecrwithscmectherliminngccndincn (see {67).
an ·ocs¬¬sossro/·l·n arises between the perfcrmance and its
C Cs¬olst·s··s1ocs·:troct(cost·s) /,çv·ogoolségs
I thcse ccnnacts whereby I alienate the use 'Bsostz:mg} cf a
when I rent scmething cut) Furthermcre, in ccnnacu cf
exchange,sale,andgift, Imayhavebeccmethecwnercfscme-
stw/,stw. Ncwtheeûectcftheolségs

isthatinthecne case I
remain,andinthe cthercaseI ccmeintc, actualosssas·so s1tls
volssasthatwhich is snll, cr has alreadybeccme, myprcpert,
is due tc me. Butas far as its speci6c character and anyexcess
value itmayhave are ccncemed, itremains the prcpert cfthe
perscn giving úe pledge Ccnsecuently, giving a pledge is nct
itselfaccnnactbutcnlyasnpulancn (see {77), |e. themcment
which ccmpletes a ccnnactwith regard tc the pcssessicn cfa
prcpert.¯Msngogs andssrst,areparncularfcrms cfpledge.
a11|||ss 1.Inúecasectccnuact,wemadethe tcllcwingdisuncucn·
(supulaucn),I dc nctvethave pcssessicnctitbutgainpcssessicncnlv
�rmance. NcwitI alreadvhave hll cwnership ctthe
"Translator's note: Hegel's manuscript note adds the gloss 'i.e. of no importance for the
universal determinatons'.
Abstract Right §§ 8081
thing, the purpose of the pledge is that I should at the same tme g
possession of the value of the propert, and that the performance should
tereby be guaranteed within the agreement itelf Suret is a partcular
kind of pledge whereby someone tenders his promise or m credit Ü a
guarantee of my performance. Here, a person assumes the role which, in
the case of a pledge, is flfl ed by a mere thing.
§ 8¡
In any relatonship of immediate persons to one another, their w
are not only ·ésot·col·otls¬sslvssand, in a contact, posited by them

as cs¬¬so,but also ¡on·csor�Since they are ·¬¬sé·otspersons, it is
purel contn ent whether their ¡on·cslorwills are in conformit �th
the will ¬l·cllo/s·o·o·tss0,and which has its exstence 'Ex·stmz}
y��-ém srsot
fom the universal, its atttude analton are characteriz ¯y
�� ositon to that
� which is right ·o ·tsshthis is ¬rsog.
The tansiton to wrong is made by the logical higher necess-
it that th

moments o�e concept - here, that of right ·o
·tsshor the as so·vsnol, and that of right in its o·stmcs,
which is simply the ¡ort·oloot,of will -�ould be posited as
· slvss,this belongs to the o/strsrsol·nof the
concept. - But m s partcularit of the will for itself is
arbitarness and contngency, and in contact, I have
relinquished these only as arbitariness in relaton to an
·oé·v·ésol thing 'Socls}, not as the arbitariness and con­
tngency of the will itself.
a1·t·so 0. In contact, we had the relatonship of to wills as a com­
mon will. This identcal will, however, is only relatvely universal - a
posited universal will - and is thereby stll in oppositon to the partcular
will. The contact or agreement nevertheless contins the right to require
its performance; but this again is a matter |Soch·} for the partcular will,
which may, as such, act in contaventon of that right which has being in
itself. Thus, there appears at this point the negaton which was already
presen earlier stage in the will which has being in itelf, and U
" neganon is-quite z·ss�The overall progression is that the will is
. Purged of its immediacY 50-tat, fom the common will, that partcularit
1 1 3
Philosophy of Right
is evoked which then appears in oppositon to it. In a contact, the
consentng partes will retain their partcular wills; thus, contact has not
yet progressed beyond the stage of arbitariness, and it therefore remains
susceptble to wrong.
1 1 4
Wrong [Das Unrecht]
§ 82
I connact,right|»||s:/isprcscntassomcthing¡ss||:1 anditsinncr
univcrsalin is prcscnt as a :soos» aas·in thc arbinarincss and
right itsclf and its csscnual :xs|:·::: 'Dcs:|»}, thc parucular wiII,
coincidcimmcdiatcly- i.c.m aconungcntmanncr- gocs on,m thc
cascofc·s»e,tobccomc�- anopposiuonbctwccnrightin
·|e/|.Butthc nuth ofthis scmblancc is thatitis null and void, and
that right rc-cstablishcs itsclf by ncgamg m ncgauon ofitsclf.
´ough this proccs:f mcdiauon whcrcby right rctums to itsclf
ûׯcgauon, itdctcrmincs itsclfas casc/and oc/|1,whcrcas it
was¯t hrst only |o ||s:/and somcthing|oo:1|c|:.
a1|||s·:1.Kightinitsclf,thcunivcrsalwl, iscsscnuallydctcrmincdby
thc parucular dthusstandsin rclauon '8æ|:/s·:ei to somcthing
incsscnual. This is thc rclauonship '|:·|s/|·:|si of thc csscncc to its
stagc ofconungcncy,orcsscncc in rclauon '8:z|:|:æei to thcincsscnual.
Butinthccasc ofwrong, appcaranccgocsontobccomcascmblancc.A
scmblancc is cxstcnccinappropriatc to thccsscncc,thc cmpty dctach-
mcnt and positcdncss ofthc csscncc, so that in both [scmblancc and
csscncc], mcir disuncmcss is [mcrc] dif!crcncc. Scmblancc is thcrcforc
disappcarancc, csscncc hasshown itsclfas csscncc,thatis, as thc powcr
1 1 5
Philosophy of Right
ccnhrmcd. Wrcng is a scmblancc cfthis kind, and thrcugh its disap-
pcarancc, rightacquircs thc dctcrminancn cfscmcthinghxcd andvalid.
Whatwc havc iustrcfcrrcd tc as csscncc is right initsclf, inccnuasttc
which thc parncularwillis supcrscdcd 's|d·cs]|::/|i as unuuc.Whcrcas
rightprcvicuslyhadcnlyan mmcdiatcbcing,itncwbcccmcsc:|sc/asit
rctums cut cfits ncgancn, fcr actualin is mat which i cf!ccnvcª and
sustainsitsclfinitscthcmcss,whcrcas thcimmcdiatcsnllrcmainsliablc
tc ncgancn.
Trallslator's Iote: Hegel defnes the term Wirklichkeit ('actality') by exploitng it
relatonship with the verb wirketl ('to be efectve').
Kght, as scmcthing¡cn|o/c·and thcrcIcrc ccmp!cx in ccnuast tc
as:o//cs::.Ítist scmb!ancccithcr|o||s:/crcdiatc!y, critis
�|/:ss/,::| cs s:o//cs::, ort is pcsitcd by¯ss/,::t cs
:so¡/:|:/r»sl/co1os|1¯ thatis,itbcccmcs·u|o|o||soc/s·ao|/c·soe,
1::q||so, cr :·|o:.
a11|||s» 1. Wrcng is thus thc�c which pcsitsitsclf
iLclf-thatis,if uwrcngisinmycpinicnright- thcwrcngisunintcn-
hcmmypcintcfvicw. Jhc scccnd Hindcñwrcngi dcccpncn. !nU
instcad, what happcns is that ! crcatc a scmblancc in crdcr tc dcccivc
ancthcrpcrscn. Whcn!dcccivcscmccnc,rightisfcrmcascmblancc.!n
thc hrstcasc,wrcngwas ascmblancc hcmthcpcintc! ¯cwcfright. !n
thc pcint cfvicw cfwrcng. Iinally, thc third Hind cñwrcngis crimc.
whcmthccrimcisccmmittcdis nctcxpcctcd tcrcgardthcwrcng,which
has bcing in and fcritsclf, as right. Jhc dif!crcncc bctwccn crimc and
dcccpncnisthatinthclattcr, arccc�ucfrighti smprcscn�
I I 6
Abstract Right
§§ 82-86
A. Unintentional Wrong
Taking possession (see § 54) and contact, for themselves and in their
partcular varietes, are in the frst place different expressions and
consequences of my wlin general; but since the wlis inherendy '|»
s|:/} universal, they are also /:ec/:/c|os 'R:d:/soi:o1:} in respect of
their recogniton by others. By virtue of their multplicity and mutual
exteralit, they may be entertained by diferent persons with
reference to one and the same thing 'Scd::},and each of these per­
sons, on the stength of his partcular claim, may regard the thing as
his propert. Ths gives rise to :s|/:s|soss1·|e//s.
Such a collision, in which c/:ec/c/c|ois made to a thing 'Sc:/:},and
which consttutes the sphere of :|o|/ca|s»s,involves the ·::se»|/|s»of
right as the universal and deciding factor, so that the thing may belong
to the person who has a right to it. The acton concers merely the
ss/s:u:¡/|s» of the thing under the propert of the one or the other
part - a :so¡/:/:h »:ec/|o: judgement whereby, in the predicate
'mine', only the partcular is negated.
§ 86
For the partes involved, the recogniton of right is bound up with
their partcular opposing interests and points of view. In oppositon to
this s:o//c»::, yet at the same tme c|//|o //:s:o//c»::|/s:/(see
§ 85), right |»i/s:/emerges as something represented 'os·e:s/:///}and
required. But it appears at frst only as an s//:ec/|s»,because the wlis
not yet present as a wlwhich has feed itself fom the immediac of
interest in such a way that, as a partcular wl, i has the universal wl
as its end. Nor is it here determined as a recogned actualit of such
a kind that, when cononted with it, the partes would have to
renounce their partcular points of view and interests.
a1á|||s» (H). What is right i itself has a determinate ground, and the
wrong which I hold to be right I also defend on some ground or other. It is
I I 7
Philosophy of Right
ìn thc naturc oIthc hnìtc and parucular that ìt lcavcs room Ior con-
thchnìtc.Jhìshrstkínd oIwrongncgatcsonI thc arucularwíll�
unìvcrsal -.. rcspcctcd, ìt ìs conscqucntly thc lcast scrìous oI all
colour.Ie gcnus, utonlythc pamcuarcoour,
�n ..casc. ac pcrson¤ílls what ìs
�c�co rcccìvc only what ìs ríght; thcìr wrong
consìsts '/:s/:ui solcly mconsìdcríngthatwhat thcy wìll ìs ríght.
B. Decetion
Kíµht |» |/s:/ as dísunct Irom ríght as parucuÌar and cxstcnt, ís
índccd,asa ·:cs|no·s/,dctcrmíncdasthc csscnuaÌ,butassuch,ítís
atthcsamcumc s»harcquírcmcntand ínthísrcspcctmcrcÌysubjcc-
uvc,hcnccíncsscnuaÌ and a mcrcscmbÌancc.YhcnthcunívcrsaÌ ís
thus rcduccd bythc arucu!arwl to a mcrc scmbÌancc, and, ínmc
casc oIconuact, ís rcduccd ín thc hrst pÌacc to a purcÌy cxtcmaÌ
��-¬¯ ¯¯¯ · -
communíwg�1s,thís consututcs 1::q/|s».
`� ¨ ~¬
a11|/|s» |H. Jhc parucular wl ìs rcspcctcd at thìs sccond lcvcl oI
wrong, but unìvcrsaÏ ríght ìs not. In dcccpuon, thc oarucular¯ìs not
ìnhìngcd, bccausc thc dcccìvcd pcrson ìs mvcn thc ìllusìon that hc i
rcccìvínghìsríght. Jhus,thc ríghtwhíchìs rcquìrcd ìs posìtcd assomc-
thìngsubiccuvc,amcrcscm�lancc, andthìsconsututcs dcccpuon.
§ 88
I naconuact, IacquírcanìtcmoIpropcrwonaccountoI thcparucu-
Ìíµht oIthc ínncr unívcrsaÌíw wmch ít posscsscs, partÌy throuµh íts
oc/s:and partÌy through havíng bccn somconc cÌsc`s ¡·x:·o. ¯hc
as rcµards what I acquírc, so that thc conuact may bc pcrIcctÌy ín
ordcr as a Ircc mutuaÌ agrccmcnt to cxchanµc //|ss¡::|]cthmgíníts
|oo:1|c/: índívíduaÌíty '£|oz://:|/i, aÌthouµh thc aspcct oIwhat ís
unívcrsaÌ|»|/s:/ìsÌackíng. (Onmc mñiutc ¡udgcmcntínìts posíuvc
Abstrct Right
§§ 8�1
expression or as an identcal propositon, see £so:/s¡c:1|c s1 //:
P/|/sss¡/|:c/S:|o::s, ;I 2 I .) 1
That te objectve or universal element, as opposed to this acceptance
of the thing 'Sc:/:}merely a //|s//|seand to the mere opinions and
arbitariness of the w , should be recognizable as oc/s: and have
validity as right, and that the subjectve arbitary w in its oppositon
to right should be superseded, is again in the frst instance only a
÷éái/ie·t 1.No penalt ataches to civil and unintentonal wrong, for in
such cases I have ,villed nothing contary to right. In the case of decep­
ton, however, penaltes are intoduced, because it is now a matter of
infingements of right.
C Coercon and Crme
When Iown property, my w is embodied in an c/¬c///|se'Sc:/:} .
This means that my w , to the extent that it is reflected in the
exteral thing, is also caught up in it and subjected to necessit. I
this situaton, it may either exerience 1·::in general, or it may be
forced to sacrifce or do something as a conditon
of retaining some
possession' or' positve bemg, thereby s

ftering :s:·ass.
÷éái/ie·t 1.Wrong in the proper sense is crime, where neither right in
itself nor [right] as it appears to me is respected - tat is, where both
sides, objectve and subjectve, are iged. _
As a living being, the human being can certainly be 1so|sc/:1
'/:zc·ueo}- i�e. his physical side and other exteral attibutes may
be brought under the power of others. But 'the fee vin and for
itself cannot be :s:·c:1|æcsseo}

(see § 5), except in so far as i/;|/

/sc|//1·ac|/s:/ ]rso//:c/:o:c/1|oos|ssin Which it is caught up, or
I I 9
Philosophy of Right
fom its idea '|sn/://:ue}of the latter (see § 7). Only he who c|//sto
be :s:·::1can be coerced into anything. ·
The wl is Idea or actually free only in so far as it has exstence
'Dcs:|o},and the exstence in which it has embodied itselfis the being
of feedom. Consequently, force or coercion immediately destoys
itself in it concept, since it is the expression of a wlwhich cancels
[co://}the expression or exstence of a wl. Force or coercion, taken
in the abstact, is therefore :so/·c¬/sne//.

destoys itself in it concep, it has its real exression
'Dcn/://soe}in the fact //c/:s:·aso|s:co::ü:1'cs]:/s/:o}/,:s:·:|so,
it is therefore not onlvonditonally right �
s::so1coercion which cancels an inital coercion.
The violaton of a contact through failure to perform what it
stpulates or to flfl rightl dutes towards the family or state,
whether by acton or by default,
is an inital coerci

or at
least force, in so far as I withhold or withdraw from another
person a propert which belongs to uor a service which is
due to u+ ¯ Pedagogical coercion, or coercion directed
against savagery and barbarism ' 0|/1/:|/so1Rs//:|/},admit­
tedly looks like a primary coercion rather than one which
comes afer a primary coercion which has already occurred.
But the merely natural wlis |o|/s:/a force directed against
the Idea of feedom as that which has being in itself which
must be protected against this uncivilized '::oe:/|/á/:o} wl
and given recogniton within it. Either an ethical exstence
'Dcs:|·:} has already been posited in the family or state, in
which case the natural conditon referred to above is an act of
violence against it, or there is nothing other than a state of
nature, a state govered entrely by force, in which case te
Idea sets up a ·|e//s1/:·s:s'against it.
,a11|/|so 1.Within the state, heroes are no longer possible: they occur
only in the absence of civilizaton. The end they pursue i rightl,
1 20

Abstract Right
§ § 91-9
necessary, and politcal," and they put it into efect as a cause [Sacle] of
their own. The heroes who founded states and intoduced marriage and
agriculture admittedly did not do this as their recognied right, and these
actons stll appear as [a product ot their partcular wl. But as the higher
right of the Idea against the state of nature, this coercion employed by
heroes is a rightfl coercion, for goodness alone can have little efect
when confonted with the force of nature.
"Tralls/alor's nOle: Instead of slaallidl ('politcal'), the equivalent adjectve in Hotho's
notes (VP R ttt, 295), on which Gans based this Additon, is sillldl ('ethical').
Abstact right is a :s:·:|o:nc|,because a wrong commited against it
is a force directed against the c|s|:»::'Dcs:|»} of my freedom in an
c|:mc/thing 'Sc:/:}. Consequently, the protecton of this exstence
against such" a force wl itself appear as an exteral acton and as a
force which Iupersedes the original one.
To defne abstact right - or right in the stict sense - from
the start as a ne/|which justfes the use of coercionl is to
interret 'c::]css:»} it in the light of a consequence which
arises only indirectly by way of wrong.
a1á|||s» 1. Special attenton must be paid here to the distncton
between right and morality. In the moral sphere - that is, when I Ü
reflected into myself - there is also a duality, for the good is my end and
the Idea by which I should determine myself. The exstence of the good is
my decision, and I actualize it within myself but this exstence is wholly
inward, so that coercion cannot be applied to it. Thus, the laws of the
state cannot claim to extend to a person's dispositon, for in the moral
sphere, I exst [only] for myself, and force is meaningless in this context.
The inital use of coercion, as force employed by a free agent i n such
a way as to infringe the exstence 'Dcs:|»} of freedom in its :s»:·:|:¸
sense - Ie. to infinge right as right - is :·|¬:. This consttutes a
�|»]·:||:,s1~its comp� (see my 'S:|:»::s1
!sc|:,Vol. II, p. 99)1 whereby not only the partcular - i.e. the sub­
sumpton of a thing 'Scd::}under my wl (see § 85) - is negated, but
1 2 1
Philosophy of Right
alsothcunivcrsalandinhnitcclcmcntinthcprcdicatc'minc' i.c.my
:a¡cao1··|e//s.Jhis docs notinvolvcthc mcdiauon ofmyopinion
�ccpuon, scc § 88), butrunscountcrtoit. Jhisis thc
Right,whoscinfringcmcntis crimc,has admIttcdlyappcarcd
up tl now only in thosc shapcswhichwc havc considcrcd,
hcncc crimc hkcwisc, for thc momcnt, has only thc morc
spccihc mcaning associatcd with thcsc dctcrminauons. But
thc substanual clcmcnt withIn thcsc forms is thc univcrsal,
whichrcmainsthcsamcinits furthcrdcvclopmcntandinthc
mrmcr shapcs it assumcs, thus its infringcmcnt, i.c. crimc,
also rcmains thcsamc,inconformitwithitsconccpt.Hcncc
thc dctcrmInauonwhichwl bc considcrcd in thc following
paragraph also appIics to thc parucular and mrthcr
dctcrmincd contcnt [ofcrimc],c.g.inpcr|ury, ucason, coun-
tcrfciung, forgcry, ctc.
!tisonlythcc|s/:o/wlwhichcanbcinfringcd. Butinits cxstcncc
'Dcs:|o}, thc wl cntcrs thc sphcrc of quanutauvc cxtcnsion and
qualitauvc dctcrminauons, and thcrcforcvaricsaccordmgly. Jhus,it
likcwiscmakcsadiffcrcncctothcob]ccuvcsidc ofcrimcwhcthcrthc
will'scxstcnccand dctcrminacyingcncralisinhingcd throughoutits
cnurc cxtcnt, and hcncc m t which corrcsonds to its
conccpt(asM murdcr,slavcry,rcligiouscocrcion, ctc.) oronlyinonc
ifso, inwhichofitsquaIitauvc dctcrminauons.
Jhc Stoicvicwthatthcrc is onIyso:virtucandso:vicc,' thc
barbarous codc of formal honour which rcgards cvcry
mfringcmcntasanoffcncc against thcinhnitcpcrsonality, all
havc this in common: thcy go no n¡rthcr than thc absuact
thoughtofthc frccwl an pcrsonalit, and donotconsidcr
th�atc cxstcnccwhichit
musthavcas!dca.- Jhcdisuncuonbctwccn·s//:¬and//o
¹forinthccascofrobbcry, [my] '!'isalso
mt, andforccisuscdagainstmypcrson.- Yariousquali-
1 22
Abstract Right
tauvc dctcrminauons [of crimc], such as 1c»e:· /s ¡s/l|:
lightofothcrconscqucnccsrathcrthanintcrms ofthc con-
ccpt ofthc thing 'Sc:/:} . Jhus, thc crImc whIch is morc
dangcrous initsclf[iT s|:/},inits immcdiatc charactcr, is a
morc scrious mgcmcnt in its cxtcnt or qualit. - Jhc
sub|ccuvc, os·c/qualIt [ofa crimc] rclatcs to thc highcr
any scnsc an acuon, and conccms thc lattcr's sub|ccuvc
naturc itsclf(whichwl bc discusscdlatcr).
§§ 9
a1á|/|ss (u. Thought cannot spcciF how cach cmc should bc
punishcd, posiuvc dctcrminauons arc ncccssar for this purposc. Wim
thcprogrcssofcducauon, howcvcr, atutudcstowardcrimcbccomcmorc
\cnicnt,and punishmcnts today arc notncarly so harsh as thcywcrc a
changc, butthc rclauonbctwccnthc two.
cxtcmal ·/:»::'£/:»z},but this cxstcncc c|//|» |/s:/is null and
�Jhc ocoás/c/|so ofits nullIt is that thc nullihcauon ofthc
mgcmcnt likcwisc comcs into cxstcncc, this is thc actualIt of
right, as its ncccssit wm ch mcdiatcs itsclfw¡th itsclfthrough thc
canccllauon |As1::/·ue} ofits inhingcmcnt.
a1á|/|ss(u.Throughacrimc,somcthingi altcrcd,andthcthing'Scc/::}
cxstsin thisaltcrauon,butthis cxstcnccisthcoppositcofthcthingitsclf,
prcsumpuon]thatrightasrighthasbccncanccllcd'cs1:|s/a:}. Forright,
as an absolutc, cannot bc canccllcd, so that thc cxprcssion ofcrimc is
withinitsclfnull and void, and misnullityisthc csscncc ofthc ctIcctof
crimc.Butwhatcvcri nullandvoidmustmanifcstitsclfassuch-thatis,
it mustitsclfappcar as vulncrablc. Thc criminal act is not an iniual
posiuvc occurrcncc followcd by thc punishmcnt as its ncgauon,�
itsclfncgauvc, so that thc unishmcnt is mcrcl thc ncgauon of thc
ncga on. c a rig tisthusthccanccllauon|sü:/·æ- ..�
mcnt,æitis inthisvcry circumstanccthatitdcmonsnatcsitsvalidity
and(rovcs itsclfas ancccssarandmcdiatcdcxstcncc 'Ðcs:|s}.
1 23
Philosophy of Right
P inûingement which atfects on|y extema| exstence 'Dcs:|»} or
possessionsisanevi|'//:�or1coce:donetosomekindof propertor
|atterhascauseddamage,iscivi|sausfacuonintheformof :so¡:»sc/|s»

(inso far asanycompensauonispossib|e).
�� ��

c�acterwhere the damage amounts to desnuc-
uonandis+� b|e.

Butan inIury' |:d:|z·ue}sufferedbythe\vlwhichhasbeing|·:||s:/
�` ·�
(and hence a|so by the \vl ofthe inIuring part as�we|| as by the

assuch,nomorethanithasinthemereproduct |oftheinIury].Ps·
|/s:/,thIswi||which has beinginitse|f(i.e. rightor|awinitse|0 is
me parucu|ar wl ofthe inIured party and ofothers. The ¡ss|/|o:
Thus, an inIury to the |atter as an exstentwl is the cce||auo�
í thecrime,c/|:/css/1s//:¬|s:/:·:ec·1:1csoc/|1,an�

The theory ofpunishment is one ofthe topics which have
come oûworst in the posiuve Iurisprudence 'R::I:/sc|ss:»-
inadequate, and the essenua| factor is the concept. ÷ Ifthe
crime and its cance||auon s1::/s»e}, which is mrther
determinedaspunishment,areregarded- yaso|/s'(:�in
mere|y/::css:c»s//:·:s|/|s c/·:c1,¡·:s:»|(see K|ein's£/:-
o:»|ss1P:»c/!cc'6nu1së|z:1:s¡:|»/|:I::»R::l·|s}, §§ ofJ
This super6cia|characterofano|/is theprimaryassumpuon
in the various theories ofpunishment as prevenuon, as a

deterrent, athreat,acorrecuve, etc., andconverse|y,whatis
1 24

Abstrct Right
supposcd to rcsult from ít ís iust as supcrhcíally dchncd
'/:s||»o|}as aess1.Butítís ncíthcra qucsuonmcrclyofan
cvílnor ofthís orthatgood, on thc conuary, ítís dch¡iítcly
'/:s||oo|}amattcrofc·s»eandof ,ss||::.As arcsultofthcsc
supcrhcíal poínts ofvícw, howcvcr, thc obiccuvc consídcra-
uon of,ss||::,whích ís thc prímary and substanualpoínt of
vícwínrclauontocrímc, íssctasídc, ítautomaucallyfol¡ows
í.c. thc subiccuvc aspcct of crímc, íntcrmíxcd wíth uívíal
psychologícal ídcas '|s·s|:l/·ue:»}ofsumulí and thcsucngth
ofscnsuous mouvcs 'In:/;1em} as opposcd to rcason, o¡
psychologícal cocrcíon and of psychologícal ínüucnccs on
wcrcnotthcmsclvcs rcduccdbyhccdomtosomcthíngpurcly
conungcnt). Jhcvaríousconsídcrauonswhícharcrclcvantto
puníshmcntasaphcnomcnon'£·sd::|sue} andtoítsrclauon
'8æ|:ls»e} to thc parucular conscíousncss, and whích con-
ccm íts cIIcct on rcprcscntauonal thought |as a dctcrrcnt,
corrccuvc, ctc.), arc ofcsscnual sígníhcancc ín thcír propcr
ofpuníshmcnt. �

�I thc prcscntdíscussíon, wc arc solcly
conccmcdwíththc nccd tocanccl'c·usl:/:»}crímc

asourcc ofo|/,butasanínhíng

ntofríçhtas�ht- and
� !(ch crímc posscsscs, whích
must also bc canccllcd. Jhís cxstcncc ís thc uuc cvílwhích
must bc rcmovcd, andc csscnuaI poínt ís [to dísco�]
�gasthc conccpts rclaungtothíshavcnot
bccn dchnítcly '/:s||oo|}rccognízcd, conmsíonmustprcvaíl
ín ourvícws on pumshmcnt.
§§ 98-99
a11|||s» 1.Fcucrbach'sthcor`bascspuníshmcntonthrcatandmaín-
tains mat, ífanyonc commíts a crimc ín spítc ofthc thrcat, thcpunish-
mcntmustfollowbccausc thc crimínalkncwaboutítín advancc. Butto
what cxtcntís thc thvcat compaublcwith right³ Thc thrcatprcsupposcs
thathumanbcíngs arc not hcc, and sccks tococrccthcmw
rpr«s¢taelli. But right and [usucc must havc
cñc d��,a�d�otmma¡Iackofhccdomatw¡ch
.~-¬¬"¬^ ´¯ �¯`*¬ ¨ ¯ ¨' ¯
thc thrcat ís dircctcd. To[usuwnuníshmcnt ín this way ís líkc raísing
onc's suckatadog, ítmeansucaungahumanbcínglíkcadoginstcado�
¯ ¬
I 25
Philosophy oj Right
rcspccdnghis honourand frccdo. But athrcat,which may uIdmatcIy
¯rovokc somconc into dcmonsuadng his frccdom in dc6ancc ofit,� `
iusdccasidccompIc1y.PsychoIogicaIcocrcioncanrcfcronIyto quaIitat-
T and quandtadvc diffcrcnccswithin crimc,�
itscIf, and any IcgaI codcs which may havc originatcd i this docuinc
¯scqucntIyhavc no propcrfoundadon.
9 1 ÒÒ
Jhc injury '|:·/:|zs»e} which is in!lictcd onthc criminal is notonly
�stcncc 'Dcs:|»} ofhisfrccdom,/|sright),itisalsoa ·|e/|
1·|/::no|»c//|os:/,thatis,a right¡ss||:1inhisc|s|:s|wl, inhis
acuon.Ioritisimplícitinhis acuon, asthatofa·c||s»c/bcing,thatit
is univcrsal incharactcr, andthat, bypcrformingit, hchas sct up a
�����÷�¹� �
It is wcll known that Bcccaria' qucsuoncd thc right of thc
statc to imposc capitalpunishmcnt, on thc grounds that it
couldnotbcprcsumcdthatthc social conuactincludcd thc
conscnt ofindividuals 'I»1|o|1s:»} to allow thcmsclvcs to bc
kíllcd, andthatwc oughtrathcr to assumc thc conuary. But
thcstatcisbynomcansaconuact|scc§ 75), anditssubs!
ual csscncc docs not consist uncondiuonally in mc¡·s|:a|s»
and seüoc·1|»e of thc livcs and propcrn ofindividuals as
such.Jhc statc israthcrthathighcrinstanccwhichmay cvc-.
itsclflay claim to thc livcs and propcrn ofindividuals and
rcquircthcirsacrincc.- Iurthcrmorc.c��
nalinvolvcsnotonlythc:s»:q|ofcrimc, its rauonality|»c»1
o·:|s:/which thc statc must cnforcc c||/ or c||/ss|thc
conscnt of individuals '1:· £|»z:/::»}, but also thc formal
rauonalinofthc |»1|o|1sc/'s'1:s£|»z:/»:»}os/|||s».Inso far
asthcpunishmcntwhichthíscntailsissccn ascmbodying|/:
:·|o|»c/'s sc» ·|e/|, thc criminal is /s·:ss·:1 as a rauonal
bcing.- Hcisdcnicd�tandcritcon
� ~
��� � �
ofhispunishmcntarcnot dcrivcdûomhisownact,andhcis
aLcd it i hc is rcgardcd simply as a harmml animal
dctcrringor rcformingu. - Bcsidcs, sofar as thc modc of
: z6
Abstrd Right
cxstcncc '£x|s/:»z} ofjusuccis conccmcd,thcfonnwhichit
haswt mcstatc,namclythatof¡s»|s/o:»/,isnotitsonly
fonn, and thc statc is not ancccssarycondiuon ofjusucc in
§§ 99
÷ééi/ieo 0,G). Bcccaria is quitc right to dcmand that human bcings
should givc thcir conscnt to bcing punishcd, butthc criminal givcs this
conscntby m vcract. Bomthc naturc ofcrimc andthc criminal's own
wlrcquirc that thc inhingcmcntfor which hc is rcsponsiblc shouldbc
canccllcd 'c·a:/s/:»}. Mcvcrthclcss, Bcccaria's cfforu to havc capital
punishmcnt abolishcd 'c·á:/:»XU |css:»}havchadadvantagcous ctIccts.
complctc aboliuon, pcoplc havc bcgun to apprcciatc which crimcs
dcscrºc thc dcath pcnaln and which do not. Thc dcath pcnaln has
conscqucntly bccomc lcss frcqucnt, as indccd this ulumatc fonn of
punishmcntdcscrºcsto bc.'
J O1
Thc canccllauon 'sû:/:»} of crimc is ·:/n/s/|s» in so far as thc

tcr,byitsconcc t,isaninfrin cmcnto!aninfringcmcnt,andinso
far ascrimc, byits cxstcncc 'D

», hasa dctcrminatc qualitauvc
dctcrminatc magnitudc. But this idcnut [ofcrimc and rcuibun n],

which is bascd on thc cöcpt, is not an :cscl|(r in


c aractcr - c M
gcmcnt, but in its charactcr |» | i.c. in

!tisusualinscicnccforadctcrminauon- inthis casc,thatof
punishmcnt- tobc dchncd intcnnsofthcs»|o:·sc/·:¡·:s:··-
/c/|s»s ' |s·s/:l/:ue} ofconsciouspsychological cxpcricncc. !n
thc prcscnt casc, this cxpcricncc would indicatc that thc
univcrsalfcclingofpcoplcs andindividualstowardscrimc is,
and always hasbccn, thatit1:s:·v:stobcpunishcd, andthat


prc cnsiblchowthoscscicnccswhichdcrivcthcirdctcrmina-
uons from univcrsal rcprcscntauons '|s·s/://·ue} should on
callcd univcrsal !us ofconsciousncss. - Butthc dctcrmina-
uon of:csc||/,has brought a major dimcult into thc idca
'|sn/:|/:···e} ofrcuibuuon, although thc jusucc (in tcnns of
1 27
Philosophy of Right
their qualitatve and quanttatve character) of whatever
punishments are determined is in any case a matter which
arises later than the substance of the thing 'Sc:/:}itself. Even
if, for this later determinaton of punishments, we had to look
around for principles other than those which apply to the
universal aspect of punishment, this universal aspect remains
what it is. Yet the concept itself must always contain the basic
principle, even for the partcular instance. This determinaton
of the concept, however, is precisely that necessary connec­
ton [which dictates] that crime, as the wlwhich is null and
void in itself, accordingly contains within itelf its own nullifi­
caton, and tis appears in the form of punishment. It is this
· `

¡ inner |1:»/|(r which, for the understanding, is reflected i




ts cancellaton 's:|··:s
÷sû:/:»s}thus falls into the sphere of exteralit, in which no
absolute determinaton is in any case possible (cf. § +a). Is//:
r:c/os1]o|/:/l|oç,the absolute determinaton remains only a
requirement, on which the understanding must impose
increasing restictons -and this is of the utost importance -
but which contnues cá|»]»|/soand admits in perpetuit of
only an c¡¡·cx|oc/:flfent. - If we not only overlook this
nature of the fnite realm but also proceed no frther than
abstact and s¡::|]::csc/|o, an insuperable difcult arises
when we come to determine punishments (especially if
psychology also invokes the stength of sensuous motves
'In:/;1} and, as a corollary, either the :so:s¡s»1|»e/r
er:c/:rs/r:»ct/of the evil wl or - oc:¡rqr- the :so:s¡s»1-
|·:e/r/:ss:rs/r:»e// and freedom of the wl in general). Fur­
thermore, it is very easy to portay the retibutve aspect of
punishment as an absurdit (thef as retibuton for theft,
robbery for robbery, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth/
so that one can even imagine the miscreant as one-eyed or
toothless); but the conce t has nothin to do with this
.absw.dit, í�which the intoducton of that [idea of] s¡::|]:
:csc/|ois alone to blame. |c/s:,as the |»»:r:csc/:oof things
'Sc:/:o} which, in their exstence '£x|s/:»z}, are specifcally
quite diferent, is a determinaton which has already arisen in
connecton with contacts (see [§ 77] above) and with civi
I 28

Abstrc Right
suits against crimes (see ;
ò),· and which raises our
representaton '|sn|:l/:ue} of a thing above its |oo:1|c|:
character to the universal. I the case of crime, whose basic
detenninaton is the |»]»||: aspect of the deed, that aspect
which is only exterally specific disappears all the more
readily, and equalit remains merely the basic measure of the
criminal's :sso||c/ deserts, but not of the specific exteral
shape which the retibuton should take. It is only in terms of
this specific shape that thef and robbery [on the one hand]
and fnes and imprisonment etc. [on the other] are completely
unequal, whereas in terms of their value, i. e. their universal
character as injuries '|:·/:|zs»eo},they are :so¡c·c//:. It is
then, as already remarked, a matter 'Scc/:} for the under­
standing to seek an approxmate equivalence in this common
value. If we do not grasp either the connecton, as it is in itself,
between crime and its nullifcaton, or the thought of oc/s:
and the comparabilit of crime and punishment in terms of
value, we may reach the point (see Klein's £/oo|ss1P:»c/
!cc, ;a)'of regarding a proper punishment as a purely c·/|-
|·c¬associaton of an evil ':|»:s6/:ls] c||/c»|//|a|c:||s».
1 01
a1|||ss(H. Retibuton is the inner connecton and the identty of two
determinanns which are diferent in appearance and a so have a dif­
ferent exteral exstence '£xs|:»z} i relaton to one another. When the
criminal meets with retibuton, this has the appearance of an alien
destny '8:s||o»:oe}which does not belong to him; yet as we have seen,
the punishment is merely a manifestaton of te crime, i.e. it is one half
which is necessarily presupposed by the oter. What is at fst sight
objectonable about retibuton is that it looks lie something inunoral,
like revenge, and ra tus be interpreted as a personal matter. Yet it is
not the personal element, but e concept itsel which cares out retibu­
ton. 'Vengeance is mine' Lte word of God in te Bible,J and .:te wora
reibuton should evoke the idea '|sn|:|/:oe}of a partcular caprice of the
subjectve will, it must be replied that it signifes merely the shape of the
crime tured round against itself. The Eumenides4 sleep, but crme
awakens them; thus the deed brings its own retbuton with it. But
although retbuton cannot aim to achieve specifc equalit, Uis not the
case with murder, which necessarily incurs the death penalt. For sice
life is the entre compass of exstence 'Ðcs:|s}, the punishment [for
"Translator's note: The reference m all editons of Hegel's text is to § 95, which appears
to be an error. I follow T. M. Knox in substtutng § 98 as more appropriate.
I 29
f `
Philosophy of Right
murder] cannot consist [bestehe1] in a valle " since none is equivalent to
life but only in the taking of another life. �
In this sphere of te immediacy of right, the cancellaton Vufebel] of
crime is primarily ·:s:se:,and i) cs»/:·:/is just so far as it consttutes
�eDuton. But in its 1o··,��:|:wlwhich can
place |/s |»ü»|n in any infi �ement [of right] which occurs, and
¯justce is therefore alto�ust as it exsts 1·//:
'�wiU. Thus �enge, as the positve �
of a oon|olorwl, becomes oow·or|»¿:··::·:/,because of t con­
a lcton, it becomes part of an infinite progression and is inherited
indefnitely from generaton to generaton.
Where the crimes are prosecuted and punished not as ¬¬·oo


u�o·¬··æ¡¬(as wit thef and robbery among
tile Jews and Romans, and even today with certain offences in
England, etc.) �at least an element of
�Private revenge is disti �
of heroes, knighty adventurers, etc., which belongs to the
period when states first arose.
Addition (. In a social conditon in which there are neither magist�
nor laws, punishment always takes the form of revenge; this remains
inadequate inasmuch as it is the acton of a subjectve wl, and thus out of
keeping with the content. It is tue that the members of a tibunal are also
persons, but their wlis the universal wlof the law, and they do not seek
to include in the punishment anything but what is naturally present in the
matter [Sache] in hand. On the other hand, the injured part does not
perceive wrong in its quanttatve and ualitatve limitaton [Bege1zrmg],
, but simply as Wrong without ualifcaton, and he may go too far in his
retaliaton, whic w in tum lead to m er wrong. Among uncivilied
. [rlgebilele peoples, revenge is undying, as with th�abs, where it can
be suppressed only by superior force or by the impossibilit of puttng it
into effect. There is stll a residue of revenge in several legal codes in use
today, as in those cases where It is lef to individuals to decide whether
they \vish to bring an offence [Verletzrmg] to court or not.
I 30
Abstrc Right §§ I OI-I0
Jorcquirc thatthisconuadicuon,whichin thc prcscntcascis tobc
foundinthcmanncrinwhichwrongiscanccllcd'1:· a·/s»10:|s:1:s
a·a:/:»s},should bc rcsolvcd in thc samc way as conuadicuons in
othcrkindsofwrong(scc § § 86 and 89), is to rcquIrc a|usucchccd
hom sub|ccuvc intcrcst and sub|ccuvc shapc and from thc con-
ungcncyoIpowcr- thatis, a¡s»|/|o:rathcrthananco:»e|»e,ss/|c:
ofos·c/:oisnot|ustarcquircmcnt, ithascmcrgcdinthc coursc of
1 0
Jhus, crimc and avcnging |usucc rcprcscnt thc s/c¡: ofthc will's
dcvclopmcnt whcn it has procccdcd to thc disuncuon bctwccn thc
_ s»|o:·sc/willwhich has bcing |» |/s:/and thc |»1|o|1sc/':|»z:/»:»}
'¹ � � ·
\· willwhichhasbcingrinopposiuontothcunivcrsal.Jhcyalso
' showhowthcwillc/|c//cs/:|»e|»|/s:/,bysupcrscdingthisopposi-
uon, �fandthcrcbyitsclfbccomccc/sc/and!r

�rightaccordingly |sand |s·:a»|z:1�

virtucofitsncccssi� shapc [ofthcwill'sdcvclopmcnt]isalso

urthcradvancc in thc inncr dctcrminauon ofthc
will byits conccpt. !n accordancc with its conccpt, thc will's sclf-
actualizauonis thc proccsswhcrcbyitsupcrscdcsitsbcin

its shapc in thc rcalm ofabsuactriht (scc § 21), Conscqucntly, it

supcrscding this opposiuon -� ncgauon of thc ncgauon - it
hccwillin itsclf butalso!r|/s:/,assclf-rclatcd 's|d:cs] s|d: /:z|:-
/¬1}ncgauvit.Jhus,itnow has i

and inabsuactright
thc worc than pcrsonality - as its s/,:ct '6:e¬s/c»1}, thc
·~¯´`�� ´
1 3 1
Philosophy of Right
infnite subjectvity of freedom, which now has being 1·|/s:/, con­
sttutes the principle of the os·c/¡s|ss1o|:c.
If we look again more closely at the moments trough which
the concept of freedom develops from the will's initally
abstact determinacy to its self-related determinacy and hence
to the s:/1:/:oo|»c/|s»s1ss/,:c/|o|/,,we see that they are as
follows. In Rropert, the wil's determinacy is c/s/·cc/¡sss:ss|s»
'1csc/s/·c//:M:|oe:} and is therefore located M an exteral
thing 'Scc/::} , in contact, it is possession o:1|c/:1/, c|//and
^~ ~ ¯¯·· ´ ¨¯�
�,in wrong, the will of te sphere of
right in its abstact being-in-itself or immediacy is posited as

which is itself css|»e:»/.I
te moral point of view, it [Le. the will's abstact determinacy]
has been overcome to the extent that this contngency itself, as
reflected |ss|/s:/and |1:»/|cc/c|// |/s:/is the ite and
inwardly present contngency of the will, Le. its ss/,:a|o|n.
' �
a11|/|s» 1.It is [a necessary] part of the tth tat the concept should
exst, and that this exstence should be in conformit with the concept.J
right, the wlhas its exstence in somethin exteral, but the next stage is
or e to ave IS exstence in itself, in something interal. It must
have being for itself, as subject
it, and be confronted with itself. This

a�l, but
an att
this only by super­
seding its immediacy. The immediacy which is superseded in crime thus
leads, through punishment -that is, through the nullit of this nullit -to
afaton, i.e. to os·an.

1 32
§§ 1 0
§ 1 0
|atter is |»]»|/:not on|y |» |/s:/buta|so1·|/s:/|see ;t e+). �
its beinc-in-itse|f and immediacy and the determinacies which
deve|op within the |atter, determinethe¡:ns»asass/j::/.
; r
§ 1 06
Sincesubìecuvi nowconsututesthedeterminacyoftheconceptand
in itse|f), and more precise|y since the wl ofthe subìect, as the
c|s/s |i.e. su|| has immediacyin it), it fo||ows that subìecuvitcon-
sututes the :x|s/:»:: 'Dcs:|»} ofthe concept. - A hichere·ss»1has
therebybeen determined for freedom, the !dea's aspect ofc|s/:»::
'£x|s/:»z},itsrea|moment,is now the ss/,:a|o|oofthe �. On|y in�
Jhe second sphere, i.e. mora|it, thus represents in its
enuretthe rea|aspectofthe conceptoffreedom.Jhepro-
cesswithinthissphereis suchthatthewlwhichathrsthas

_m wi||)issuperseded,and|eavincbehinditthisdifIerencein
c/s/·c:/- i.e. disunct hom the coi:cept- becomesidenuca|
¬th the concept, so that the !dea mere5y attains its uue
:ca .Jhus,msubìecuvewl determinesitse|fascor-
¬obìecuve, andhence asuu|yconcrete.
pr|ncip|e or intenuonwas.Jhis quesuon of the se|f-determinauon and
� wlandofitspunosenowar|ses|nconnecuon


Philosophy of Right
se|f-determinauon, and are in this respect free, whatever exema|
��be at work. !t is impossib|e to break into this inner
inaccessib|e. The worth ofa human being is measured by his inward
acuons, andhencethepointofviewofmora|inisthatofüeedomwhich
has beingforitse|f .
' �·~
§ 1 07
�he wil!'s s:/1:/:-:|»c/|s» is at the same me a moment ofits
concept,andsubjecuvinisnotjusttheaspectofitsexstence 'Dcs:|»},
+wndeterminauon(see ;t e+). Jhewillwhichisdetermined
c|s/:»::inorderto becomew:c. Jhemoralpoint ofviewtherefore
thattmngis|/ssc»,and insofarasthewillispresenttoitselfinitas
´ subj ecuvin.

A far as this aspect is concemed, the process ofthe moral
pointofviewreferred to above (seeKemarks to ;t eê)takes
me followingshape. itis the developmentofthene//ofthe
�uecuve�- or ofits mode ofexstence- whereby this
subjecuve will further determines what it recognizes as iu
own inits object '6:e:·:s/c»1} sotbatthis becomesthewill's
uueconcept- i.e.becomesobjecuveinthesenseofthewill's
own universality.
a1|/|s» 1. This enure determinauon ofthe subjecuvinofthe wlis
again.awho|ewhich,as subjecuvin, musta|sohaveobjecuvin. On|y in



uvinisdiere��+ewD �an. o�in
the human beingwhich comes into quesuon, and the highva|ue ofthis
Ü abso|ute and determineshimse|f.The uncivi|ized ':uee/||1·e}human
being |ets everhing be dictated to him by brute force and bynamra|
condiuons, chi|dren have no mora| wl and a||ow themse|ves to be
determined bytheirparents, but the cu|uvated ae/||1·e} and inward|y
Morality §§
dcvclopínghumanbcíngwílls thathcshould hímsclIbcprcscntíncvcr-
thínghc docs.
· ~· ¯ ¬·--- ·~.=--··~-~- ~

§ 1 08
¯hc subjccuvc wÌÌ, as ímmcdíatc Ior ítscÌI and dísunct Irom that
whíchhasbcíngínítscÌI(sccKcmarksto ;t eê),ísthcrcIorcabsuact,
círcumscríbcd '/:s:l·ës//}, and IormaÌ. Üut not omy ís subjccuvíw
[ítscÌI| IormaÌ; as thc ínhnítc scÌI-dctcrmauon oIthc wl, ít aÌso
consututcsthc1mælcs¡:c/oIthcwíÌÌ [íngcncraÌ].Vcnítma

stappcarancc ínthcíndívíduaÌ ':|sz:/s:s},vl, íthas notyctbccn
posítcd as ídcnucaÌwíth thc conccpt oIthc wíÌÌ, so mat thc moraÌ
poíntoIvícwís conscqucntÌy thc poíntoIvícw oI·:/c/|sssl|¡,s/ü
_,_or ·:as|·eo:s/." And síncc thc díIÌcrcncc 'Ð[·:sz} oIsuojcc-
Lvíw Ìíkcwísc contaíns thc dctcrmínauon whcrcby ít ís opposcd to
objccuvíw as cxtcmaÌ cxstcncc 'Ðcs:|s},wc aÌso cncountcrhcrc thc
poíntoIvícw oI:s»s:|sss»:ss(scc ;ò)" íngcncraÌ,thcpoíntoIvícwoI
thc díIIcrcncc,]
|/s1:, and c¡¡:c·c··::oIthcwl.
¯hc moraÌ ís not prímaríÌy dchncd '/:s/|oo/} símpÌy as thc
opposítcoIímoraÌ, justasríghtísnotínanímcdíatcscnsc
thcopposítcoI wrong. Onthcconuary,thcunívcrsaÌpoíntoI
vícw oI thc moraÌ and thc ímmoraÌ aÌíkc ís bascd on thc
subjccuvíw oIthc wl.
·11|·|ss 1. În moralíw, sclI-dctcrmínauon should bc thought oI as
shccrrcstlcssacuvíwwhíchcannotyctarrívc atsomcthíng ·|c·|s.Õnlyín

cs thc wíll bccomc ídcnucalwíththc conccptoIthc
wíll andhavcthclattcralonc asítscontcnt.!nthcmoralsphcrc, thcwíÌl
sull rclatcs to thatwhíchhasbcíngínítsclI,_ís thus thcpoíntoIvícwoI
andÚc proccssassocíatcdwíth ítísthatwhcrcby thc subjccuvc

vcs ídcnuw wíth íts conccpt. ¯hc oblígauon whích ís thcrcIorc
sullprcscnt ín moralíw ís mlhllcd onlyín thc cthícal rcalm. !n addíuon,
thís 'othcr` to whíchthcsubjccuvcwíll standsín rclauonís twoIold: hrst,
ítís thc substanual clcmcntoIthc conccpt, and sccondly, ítís thatwhích
cxsts cxtcmally. Ívcn íIthcess1wcrcposítcdín thc subjccuvcwíll, thís
would notyct amount to íts ímplcmcntauon.
Philosophy oj Right

9 I Og
!naccordanccwithitsunivcrsal dctcrminauon, this formalaspcct[of
thcwill]containsinthchrstplaccthc opposiuonbctwccnsubiccuvin
and obiccuvin and thc acuvin associatcd with this opposiuon |scc
·arc idcnuc�t |cf. ;t c+),

thc w¡ll as
subiccuvc�t Jhc two sidcs [ic. subiccuvin and
·bcctmustbcdisunguishcd- cachas|»1q:»1:»/'ü ·s|:/}¯and
positcd as idcnucal. !nthc sclf-dctcrminingw¡ll, �c�ac is (o)
iniuallypositcd |»//:|

andthc�': of¡hisncgauonis thatitismcrcly
somcthingss|/:1and subicc�c. As |»]»|/: ·q::/|s» into itsclfthis
, �|/s:/andthcwis (�) thcaspirauon
' 0s//:»}toovcrcomc 'cs]s/:/:»}thisrcsuicuon 'S:/·c»/:}- ic. thc
c:/|o|(rofuanslaungthiscontcntfromsubiccuvininto obiccuvinin
l ' with itscl¡in this opposiuon is thc :s»/:»/ or :»1which rcmains


consunt in thc two oppositcs and indiffcrcnt towards thcsc dif-
fcrcnccs ofform.
9 I 1 O
But this idcnun ofcontcnt rcccivcs its morc prccisc and disuncuvc
idcnunofthc will with itsclf, is prcscnt1·thc will |scc ;tc
¬�¬ �
|a) Jhccontcntisdctcrmincdformcaso|»:insuchawaythat,inits
idcnun, it:s»/c|»smysubiccuvin1·o:notonlyasmy|»»:·cnd,but
also inso far as this cnd has achicvcd c/:mc/s/,::/|o|o.
a11|/|s» 1. Jhc contcnt of thc subiccuvc or moral will contains a
should ncvcrthclcss sull contain mysubiccuviw, andmyactshould bc
rccoæcd only in so far as it was inwardly dctcrmincd by mc as my
purposc and intcnuon. Onlywhat was alrcadyprcscnt in my subiccuvc
will do Irccogc as minc inthatwilI's cxprcssion, and I cxpcct to rc-
cncountcrmysubiccuvc consciousncss in it.
Morlity §§ 1 09-1 1 2
§ I I I
() Altough the content does include something partcular -regard­
less of where this may have come from it neverteless embodies, as
the content of the wl·q::/:1|o/s|/s:/mits determina9, and hence
of the self-identcal and universal wl, (o) e inner determnaton of

being in conformit with the wl which has being in itself, or of
possessing the s�iJ_/; but (�) because the subjectve
wl , in so far as it has being for itself, is at the same tme stll formal
(see § 1 08), this is only a ·:cs|noo/,and it stll includes the possi­
bility of [the content] not being in conformit with the concept.
§ I I 2
(c) While I ¡·:s:o:my subjectvit in implementng my ends (see
§ i io), in the course of thus objectfing them I c///:sco:/|o:
supersede this subjectvit in its |oo:1|co,and hence in its character
as my individual subjectvit. But the exteral subjectvity which is
thus identcal with me is the cá of others (see § 73). - The basis of
the will's c|s/o::'£x|s/oz}is now ss/,:a|o|/,(see § 1 06), and the wl
of others is the exstence '£x|s/oz}which I give to my end, and which
is for me at the same tme an other. - The implementaton of my end
terefore has this identt of my wland the wlof others within it -it
has a ¡ss|/|o:reference to the wl of others.
The s/,:a|o|(rof the end, once it is implemented, therefore
encompasses three meanings - or rather it contains as a unit
the following three moments: it is (o) c/:mc/ immediate
exstence 'Dcs:|o} (see § 1 09), (m in conformit with the :s·:-
:q/(see § i1 2), and |v)so|o:·sc/subjectvit. The ss/,::/|o|o
which is ¡·:s:·v:1in this objectvity is such that (o) the objec-

tve end is o, end, so that I Ü presered in it as //|s
mdlvdual¯ee § 1 10); moments (�) and |v) of subjectvit
coincide with moments (�) and |v)of objectvit (see above). -
That these determinatons, which from the point of view of
moralit are distnct from one another, are thus united only as
a :s··/·c1|:/|so consttutes more precisely the ;o|/s1:of this
sphere, or its character as c¡¡:c·co:: (see § 1 08); and the
development of this point of view is the development of these
Philosophy of Right
couuadicuous aud thcir rcsoluuous (although such rcsolu-
uous, with¡u thissphcrc, cau oulybc ·:|c/|o:).
a11|/|s» 1.!ucouuccuouwim formalright,wcuotcd matitcoutaiucd
�s,audthatauacuousuictlyiukccpiugwith rightcousc-
qucutly ha a purcly ucgauvc dctcrmiuauou iu rcspcct ofmc will of
othcrs. !umoraliw,ou thcothcrhaud, thc dctcrmiuauouofmywiIlwith
rcfcrcucctotbcwillofothcrsisposiuvc-thati, thcwillwbichhasbciug
M iuclf is iuwardly prcscut iu w at thc subiccuvc wilI rcalizcs. Jhis
cutails thcproducuou or altcrauou ofsomcthiugcxstcut,which iu tum
has rcfcrcucc to thc will ofothcrs. Jhc couccptofmoraliwis thcwill's
iuucr atutudc '|:·/c|/¬itowards itsclt But uot iust s»:will is prcscut
hcrc. Ou thc couuary,itsobiccuvizauoualso coutaius thc dctcrmiuauou
whcrcbythc iudividualwillwithiu itis supcrscdcd, aud iu couscqucucc,
siucc thc dctcrmiuauou ofouc-sidcducss disappcars, two wilIs with a
which givcs itsclf cxstcucc 'Dcs:|··i iu propcrw, arc irrclcvaut. !u thc
moralsphcrc,�,thcwclfarcofomcrsisalsoiuvolvcd amy
atthis poiutthatthisposiuvc rcfcrcucc caucomciutoplay.

Jhc cxprcssiou of thc wl s·�|o: or t|s ca|s». Acuou
Its cxtcmaIiw�s m�; (�) its csscuual rclauou '8æ|:/s»e} to thc
couccptis ouc ofobIíauu, aud |v)ithas au csscuual rclauou '8:-
z|:/s»e} to�of�crs.
OuIy with thc cxprcssiou ofthc moral wl do wc comc to
c:t|s».Jhc c|s/:s:: 'Dcs:|»} which thc wl givcs to itsclfm
furmal right is locatcd m au |oo:1|c/: //|» Sc:/:} aud is
�cdiatc. Îu¡uaIly, it docs uot mitscIf'û·s|:/} h�

toordisuuguishcdfromthc sub`ccuvcwl, uordocsithavca
ss|/|o:rcfcrcuccto thcwl ofothcrs, mits basic dctcrm¡ua-
uou, a commaudmcut of right is mcrcly �» (scc
ò). Louuact aud wroug do adm¡ttcdly bcgiu to havc a
rcfcrcucc to thc wiIl of othcrs - but thc ce·::o:s/which is
coucludcd m thc formcr is bascd ou arbiuariucss, aud its

negatve one, inasmuch as I retain my propert (in terms of its
�llow the other part to retain his. On the other
hand, that aspect of crime which has its source in the ss/,:a|o:
¬h,and te manner of its exstence '£x|st:»z}in that wl, only
now come into consideraton. - The content of a legal æ:nd·t-
/|:/:} ca|so (cct|s),which is determined by rules, is not imput­
able to me; it thJi; coni Ol y some of ie moments of
moral acton proper, and these are only «c//r present.
That aspect of acton which makes it moral in the proper
sense is therefore distnct fom its legal æ:nc|·t/::/:} side.
The right of the moral wlcontains tee aspects:
§§ I I 2-I I 4
(a) The c/stnaor 1m·c/ right of acton, according to which the
content of my acton, as accomplished in |oo:1|ct: exstence
'Dcs:|o}, is entrely o|·::, so that the acton is the ¡snss:of the
subjectve wl.
(b) The ¡cn|a/c·aspect of the acton is its |·æ:·content, (o)i.e. the
manner in which it universal character i determined 1·o:-this
consttutes the oc/s:of the acton and the reason why I consider it
valid, i.e. it |··t¬t|so,(�) its content, as the ¡c·t|a/c·'/:sso1e·:·}
end of my partcular mcn|/s/õ·:»} and subjectve exstence, is
(c) This content, though |occ·1in character, is at the same tme
raised to its so|o:nc/:oand thus to that s/,:a|o|t,which has being
in and for itself; as such, it is the absolute end of the wl, i.e. the
ess1, and its opposite, in the sphere of reflecton, is ss/:a|o:
umvers , el er of o| or - e :som
a1|t|s·· 1. For an acton to be moral, it must in te fst place cor­
respond to my purpose, for it i te right of the moral wlto recoge, in
irsee fWat was inwardly present as purpose. Purpose con­
cer only the formal conditon tat the exteral wl should also be
present wt me as an interal element. In the second moment, on te
oter hand, the queston arises of te intenton behind te acton -that i,
of the relate value of the acton ¬And lastly,
te tird moment is not just the relatve value of te acton, but its
universal value, the ess1. The fst division in [moral] acton is that
between what i purposed and what is accomplished in te realm of
Philosophy of Right
exstence, the second i betweenwhatis presentextema||yas universa|
wi||andthe parucu|ar inner determInauonwhich! give to it, and |ast|y,
thethird factoristhatthe intenuon shou|d a|sobemeuniversa| content



Purpose and Responsibilit
§ I 1 <
The ]»|ts1of the subjectve wlin the immediacy of acton consists
immediately in the fact that the acton of the wl ¡·:nt¡¡ss:s an
�'6:e¬stc»1} with various attendant circumstances.
The 1:1posi an alteraton to this given c
tence 'Dcs:|»},and the
wlis entrely ·:s¡s»s|//:for it in so far as the abstact predicate '¬|»:'
attaches to the exstence so altered.

Pevent, or a situaton which has arisen, is a :s»o:t:exteral
actualit which accordingly has an indetenninable number of
attendant circumstances. Every individual moment which is
shown to have been a :s»1|t|s»,oss»1,or :css:of some such
circumstance and has thereby contibuted |tss/c·:to it may be
regarded as being c/s//r,or at least ¡c·th,·:s¡s»s|//:for it. I
the case of a complex event (such as the French Revoluton),
the formal understanding can therefore choose which of a
coundess number of circumstances it wishes to make respon­
sible for the event.
�1|t|ssd.!can be made responsible for whatever was contained in my
purose, and U is the chief consideraton as far as crime is concered.
But responsibility involves only the wholly exteral judgement as to
whether !have done something or not; and the fact that !am responsible
for something does not mean that the ting 'Sc:/:ican be imputed to me.
Philosophy of Right
I I 6
It is admittedly not of my doing if damage is caused to others by things
|Diog·J of which I am the owner and which, as exteral objects, exst
and fncton within a varied context (as may even be the case with
myself as a mechanical body or living entt). But the damage is ¬sr·
or l·ssmy fault, because the things which caused it are afer æ mine,
altough they are in tum ony more or less subject to my contol,
supervision, etc., according to their own distnct nature.
I I 7
The autonomously actng wl, in the ends which it pursues in relaton
to the exstence |Dcs·ioJit has before it, has an iéc||s·si·hoogJs1i/·
ora¬sic:·c·s¬/ic/ i/cioisi·oc·iovslv·s.But since, on account of this
presuppositon, the w i 1oii·, the objectve phenomenon ;·g·æu oé-
/ic/·£nc/·iougJ is csoiiog·oifor it, and may contain something other
than what was present in the will's idea ||sni·/loogJ of it. It i,
however, the right of the wlto recognize as its cciiso,and to accept
r·spsosi/ilii, for, only those aspects of its ée·éwhich it knew to be
presupposed within its end, and which were present in its ponss·.¯ I
can be made cccsooic/l·for a deed only if ¬,¬il/¬csr·spsosi/l·for it
¯ i/·ng/is1ks¬l·ég·.
÷1iiissd.The will has before it an exstence upon which it acts; but to
be able to do this, it must have an ic�s¬i·/osg

�re�onsible ory mso far as I had knowledge of the exstence be�
me. Since the will has a presuppositon -n ..o ,it is fi te -or rather,
since it is fnite, it has a presuppositon of this kind. In so far as my
thinking and voliton are ratonal, my point of view is not that of fnitude,
because the object '6·gesics1}upon which I act is not something other in
relaton to me. But limitaton and resticton are always inherent in
ftude. I am confronted with an other which is only contngent and only
exterally necessary, and which may either coincide with or be at variance
with me. But I am only what has reference to my feedom, �nd


deed only in so far as I have knowled e ofCOedipus,
who unwittngly .
e is a er, cannot be accused of parricide, although
the legal codes of antquit attached less importance to the subjectve
�,t� res� 'zor·a.¬og},than is the case t;�y
sanctuaries were established in antquity, to receive and protect fugitves
from vengeance.'

§§ I I6I I 8
§ 1
Furthermore, acton has multple csos·oo·oc·s in so far Ü it i
tanslated into exteral exstence |Dcs·ioJ , for the latter, by virtue of
its context in exteral necessit, develops in all directons. These
consequences, Ü the [outward] s/cp·whose ssolis the ·oéto which
te acton is directed, belong to te acton as an integral part of it. But
te acton, as the end tanslated into the oi¬cl¬srlé,is at the same
tme exosed to exteral forces which attach to it things quite dif­
ferent fom what it is for itself, and impel it on into remote and alien
consequences. The wl thus has the right iscccwir·spsosi/ilinonly
for the first set of consequences, since they alone were part of its
The distncton between csoiiog·oiand o·c·sscnconsequences
i indeterminate inasmuch as inner necessity comes into
exstence in the fnite realm as oi·n·clnecessit, as a relaton­
ship between individual things |Diog·:·J which, as self-suf­
ficient enttes, come together in mutual indifference and in
an exteral manner. The maxm |CmoéccJwhich enjoins us
to disregard the consequences of our actons, and the other
which enjoins us to judge actons by their consequences and
make the latter the yardstck of what is right and good, are in
equal measure [products of the] abstact understanding. In so
far as the consequences are the proper and i¬¬co·:·ishape of
the acton, they manifest only its nature and are nothing other
than the acton itelf; for this reason, the acton cannot
repudiate or disregard them. I But conversely, the conse­
quences also include exteral interventons and contngent
additons which have nothing to do with the nature of the
acton itself. - The development in the realm of exstence of
the contadicton which is contained in the o·c·ssiu·s1i/· 1oii·
is simply the tansformaton of necessit into contngency and
vice versa. From this point of view, to act therefore means is
so/¬iisoa·hisi/islc¬.-It follows fom tis that the criminal
stands to benefit if his acton has less adverse consequences,
just as the good acton must accept that it may have no conse­
quences or relatvely few; and it also follows that, once the
consequences of a crime have developed more fully, the crime
Philosophy of Right
itsclfis madc rcspousiblc for thcm. - Jhc /·rsicsclf-cou-
sciousucss (as iu aucicut uagcdics likc mat ofOcdipus) has
uotyctprogrcsscd hom its uualloycd simpliciwto rctlcctou
thc disuucuoubctwccué·éaudoiso,bctwccuthc cxtcmal
cvcutaudthcpumosc audkuowlcdgcofthccírcumstauccs,or
toaualysc thc couscqucuccs míuutcly, butacccpts rcspousi-
biliwfor thc dccd iuits cuurcw.´
÷1éiiiso d.Jhc factmat! rccoguizc onlywhat! had au idca '|sni·/-
/oog}¯ofcousututcsmcuausiuoutoiutcuuou.For!cau bc madcrcspou-
siblc only for what ! kucw of mc circumstauccs. But ucccssary
couscqucuccsattachthcmsclvcstocvcryacuou- cvcuifwhat!iuiuatcis
purclyiudividualaudimmcdiatc- audthcyarcto mat cxtcutmcuuivcr-
sal clcmcut coutaiucd wimiu it. !t is uuc mat ! cauuot forcscc thosc
couscqucuccswhichmightbcprcvcutcd,but! mustbcfamiliarwimthc
uuivcrsaluaturc ofmciudividual dccd.' Whatis atissuc hcrc is uotmc
iudividual aspcct but mc wholc, which couccms uot thc dctcrmiuatc
charactcrofthc parucularacuoubutits uuivcrsaluaturc. Jhc uausiuou
frompurposc to iutcuuou cousists, thcu, iu thc fact mat1oughtto bc
¯ �yoÎmymdividuaI acuou, but also ofthc uuivcrsalwhich is
��auucr,�sal is wha(

"Translator' note: In Hotho's notes (VPR ttt, 362), on which this Additon ubased, the
equivalent word is m fact VOTat ('purpose'), which would yield the tanslaton 'only
what was my purpose'.

Intenton and Welfare
I I 9
The exteral exstence |Dc·ioJof an acton is a varied set of connec­
tons which may be regarded as itely divided into ioéiviéoclooiis
|£ioz·l/·iiwJ,and the acton itself can be thought of as having isoc/·é
so/rso·s1i/·s·ooiisioi/·1niiosicoc·.But the tuth of the ioéiviéocl
|és£ioz·lowJis the ooiv·ncl,and the determinate character of the
acton for itself is not an isolated content confined to one exteral
unit, but a o·iv··scl content containing within itself all its various
connectons. The purpose, as emanatng fom a i/ioliogagent, con­
tains not just the individual uni�Ossentally that ooiv·nclcsp·a
already referred to - the ioiwiiso.
[The word for] ioi·oiisocontains in its etymology [the idea of]
c/sircaiso,ªeither as the form of ooiv·nclinor as the selecton

´lcraspect of the concrete thing |Scc/·J.To attempt
to justf something in terms of its intenton is to isolate an
individual aspect completely and to maintain that it is the
subjectve essence of the acton. - To judge an acton as an
-exteral deed without first deterg whether it is right or
wrong is to apply a ooiv··sclpredicate to it, classifing it as
arson, murder, or the lie. - By its determinaton, exteral
actualit consists of ioéiviéoclooiis,which shows that exteral
csoo·aisos are inherent in its ocior·. Actualit i touched in
"Translator's note: Absicht ('intenton') is derived fom the verb absehen ('to look away'),
and Hegel associates it with the idea of abstacton as a 'looking away' fom whatever u
m be abstacted fom.
t +
Philosophy of Right
thc uamc is appÌicd dircctÌy onÌy to a smaÌÌ poruon oIthc
wood - m:s yicÌds onÌy a proposiuon, not a ¡udµcmcnt), but
thc univcrsaÌ naturc oIthis point impÌics its cxansion. Ìn
Ìivinµ orµanisms, thc individuaÌ [componcnt] cxsts immcdi-
atcÌynotas a part, but as an orµaninwhich thcunivcrsaÌas
such has itsprcscnt cxstcncc. *
p� Ì cnu whichis in¡urcd, butmc
ÌiIc itscÌIwm it. Ln thc onc hand, sub¡ccuvc rcüccuon,
saÌ,� in thc minutc anaÌysis oI individuaÌ uniu and
hn:tc dccd iucÌIto contain such scparabÌc conunµcncics. -
Àhc nouon oIéslos ioéir·aos·
was invcntcd Ior thc rcason
[Gnmd] ¡ustconsidcrcd.
÷éé|i|s·: d. ÌtisccrtainÌy thc casc mat a µrcatcr orÌcsscr numbcr oI
circumstanccsmayintcrvcnc inthccoursc oIanacuon.Ìnacasc oIarson,
Ior cxampÌc, mc hrc may not takc hoÌd, or convcrscÌy, it may sprcad
mrmcrthanthccuÌpritintcndcd. lcvcrthcÌcss, no disuncuon shouÌd bc
madc hcrc bctwccn µood and il Iortunc, Ior in thcir acuons, human
bcinµs arcncccssariÌyinvoÌvcdin cxtcmaÌiw. A oÌdprovcrbriµhuysays,
'Àhc stoncbcÌonµsto mcdcviIwhcnitÌcavcs mchandthatmrcwit.Uy
acunµ, Ì cxposcmyscÌIto misIortunc,whichaccordinµÌyhas ariµhtovcr
mc and is an cxstcncc oImyownvoÌiuon.
aTrallslator' Ilote: 'indirect wrong'.
I 20
Àhc ng/is1iamiiso is that thc ooiv··sclquaÌiw oIthc acuon shaÌÌ
havcbcinµnotonÌyioiis·/butshaÌÌbc¬s¬obythc aµcntandthus
wcmaycaÌÌ thc riµhtoIthc s/;·:tivinoIthc acuonis thcriµhtoIthc
acuon to asscrt itscÌIasknownand\viÌÌcdbythc sub¡cctasai/ioliog
Àhc riµht to such insiµht impÌics that thc r·spsosi/ilin oI
chiÌdrcn, imbcciÌcs, Ìunaucs, ctc. Ior thcir acuons is cithcr
totaÌÌy c/smi or diminishcd. - Uut ¡ust as acuons, in thcir
exteral exstence |Dos·ioJ , include contngent consequences,
so also does so/;·ciiv·exstence contain an indetenninacy as
far as the power and stength of self-consciousness and
presence of mind are concered. This indetenninacy,
however, can be taken into account only in connecton with
imbecilit, lunacy, etc., and with childhood, because only such
pronounced conditons as these can annul |oo1·/·oJ the
character of thought and fee wl and allow us to deny the
agent the dignit |£/r·J of being a tg individual and a
1 2 1
The universal qualit of an acton is the varied csoi·oiof te acton in
general, reduced to the si¬pl·1mof universalit. But the subject, as
reflected into itself and hence as a poniolorentt in relaton to the
partcularit of the objectve realm, has its own partcular content in
it end, and tis is the soul and deteninant of the acton. The fact
that this Ioment of the poriiolonn of the agent is contained and
implemented in the acton consttutes so/;·ciiv·1··é¬ in its more
concrete deteninaton, i.e. the ng/iof the so/;·cito fnd its soiismciiso
in the acton.
÷1iiisod.I for mysel refected into myself, Ûstll a partcular entt
in relaton to the exteralit of my acton. My ¬1 consttutes te
deterg content of the acton. Murder and arson, for example, as
universals, do not consttute my positve content as a subject. If someone
has perpetated crimes of U kind, we ask why he committed them. The
murder was not committed for te sake of murder; on te contary, some
partcular positve end was also present. If we were to say, however, that
the murder was comitted for te pleasure of klg, ten this pleasure
would itelf be the positve content of te subject as such, and te deed
would ten be tsatsfacton of te subject's voliton. Thus te osiiv·
{oëof a deed U more precIsey what we call te osrolelement,
and tis, in te present context, has two meanings -te universal which is
inherent in the purpose, and te partcular aspect of the intenton. In
recent tmes especially, it has become customary to enquire about te
motves of actons, altough the queston used simply to be 'Is U man
honest |r·c/isa·of·oJ?Does he do his dut?' Now, we seek to look into
people's hearts, and tereby presuppose a gulf between the objectve
realm of actons and the inner, subjectve realm of motves. The
t +a
§§ 1 19-121
Philosophy of Right
determinaton of the subject must certainly be considered: it wills some­
ting whose ground lies within the subject itself; it wills the flfment of
its desire and te gratfcaton of it passion. But the good and the right
are also a content -not just a natural content, but a content posited by my
ratonalit; and to make my freedom the content of my will is a pure
determinaton of my feedom itself. The higher moral viewpoint therefore
consists in fnding satsfacton in one's acton, not in stopping short at the
gulf between te self-consciousness of the human being and the objec­
tvit of the deed - although the latter atttude does predominate in
certain periods of world histor and of the lives of individuals.
I 22
This partcular aspect gives the acton its subjectve vclo·and ioi·r·si
for me. In contast with this end - i.e. i/·ioi·oiiso1s¬i/·psiois1vi·¬
s1iis csoi·oi- the immediate character of the acton in its frther
content is reduced to a means. In so far as such an end is a 6te one,
it may in tum be reduced to a means to some frther intenton, and so
on in an infnite progression.
I 2
For the content of these ends, all that presents itself here is (o)formal
actvit itself inasmuch as the subject caiv·/r commits itself to
whatever it is to regard and promote as its end - for human beings
wish to act in support of whatever interests them, or should interest
them, as their own. (�) But the as yet abstact and formal feedom of
subjectvit has a more determinate content only in its ociorclso/;·c-
iiv· oisi·oc· |Dcs·ioJ - its needs, incliatons, passions, opinions,
fancies, etc. The satsfacton of this content is ¬·hr· or /cppio·ss,
both in its partcular determinatons and in its universal aspect - the
ends of fnitude in general.
This is the point of view of r·lciisos/ip(see § 1 08), where the
subject is determined in its differentaton and so counts as
something pcnialcr,and where the content of the natural wl
makes its appearance (see § i i). But the wlhere is not as it is
in its immediacy; instead, this content, belonging as it does to
the wlreflected into itself, is raised to a ooiv·rsclend, namely
that of ¬·hr·or /cppio·ss(see £oo.lspc·éics1i/·P/ilsssp/iccl

Sciwc·s,§ §
9SffV This is the point of view of thought which
does not yet comprehend the will in its feedom, but rg·cison
it content as something natural and given - as, for example,
§§ 1 21-1 24
÷11iiiso1.In so far as the determinatons of happiness are present and
gven, they are not tue determinatons of feedom, which is not tuly
present for iis·/untl it has adopted te good as an end in itself. We may
ask at this point whether the human being has a right to set himself ends
which are not based on feedom, but solely on the fact that the subject is a
living being. The fact that he is a living being is not contngent, however,
but in accordance with reason, and to that extent he has a right to make
his needs his end. There is nothing degading about being alive, and we
do not have the alteratve of exstng in a higher spirituality. It is only by
raising what is present and gven to a self-creatng process that the higher
sphere of the good is attained (although this distncton does not imply
that the two aspect are incompatble).
§ 1 2
Since the so/;·ciiv·satsfacton of the individual himself (including his
recogniton in te shape of honour and fame) is also to be found in the
implementaton of ends ¬/ic/ or·voliéioooé1ri/·¬s·lv·s, it is an
empt asserton of the abstact understanding to require that only an
end of this kind shall appear willed and attained, and likewise to take
the view that, in voliton, objectve and subjectve ends are mutually
exclusive. Indeed, such atttudes become even worse if they lead to
the asserton that, because subjectve satsfacton is present (as it
ol¬o,s is when a task is completed), it consttutes the agent's ·sswiiol
ioi·oiisoto which the objectve end was merely a ¬·oos. - What the
subject is, isi/·s·ri·s s1iisociisos. If these are a series of worthless
productons, then the subjectvit of voliton is likewise worthless; and
conversely, if the series of the individual's !eeds are of a substantal
nature, then so also is his inner willJ
The right of te subject's ponicolorinto find satsfacton, or -
to put it differendy - the right of so/;·aiv·1··és¬, is the
pivotal and focal point in the diference between ooiiooinand
the ¬sJ -ae. This right, in its infinit, is expressed in
c: stanty, andlt has become the unversaand actual
principle of a new form of te world. Its more specific shapes
Philosophy of Right
include love, the romantc, the eteral salvaton of the
�s an end, etc.; then there are moralit and con­
science, followed by the other forms, some of which wlcome
into prominence below as the principle of civil societ and as
moments of the politcal consttuton, while others appear
within history at large, partcularly in the history of art, the
sciences, and philosophy. - Now this principle of partcularit
is admittedly a moment withn an antthesis, and in the frst
instnce at least, it is ;osiÜ ¬oc/identcal with the universal
as distnct fom it .. But abstact reflecton fies this moment in
its difference from and opposIton to the universa , an so

produces a view of moralit as a perennial and hostle stuggle
��own sans ac ' n, as D e injuncton: 'Do with

repugnance what dut commandsY This same [use of the]
understanding produces that psychological view of history
which contives to belittle and debase æ great deeds and
individuals by tansforming into the main intenton and efec­
tve spring |In·/1é·rJ of actons those inclinatons and pas­
sions which were simultaneously satsfed by substantal
actvit, along with fame and honour and other consequences
- indeed that whole partcular aspect which it had declared in
advance to be inherently inferior. The same atttude assures
us that, since great actons and the actvit associated with a
series of these have accomplished great things in the world
and have consequently brought power, honour, and fame to
the i:·éiviéoclcg·oi,it is not the greatess itself which belongs
to the individual, but only those partcular and exteral conse­
quences which accrued to him from it; and since this partcu­
lar aspect is a consequence [of the individual's acton], it is
also supposedjr i/isr·cssoto have been the end, and indeed
even the sole end in view. - Such reflecton as this fes upon
the subjectve side of great individuals - for its own basis is
likewise subjectve - and sv·nssLthe substantal element in
this edifce of vanit which it has itself constucted. This is the
view of 'those psychological vcl·isé·c/c¬/r·for whom there
are no heroes, not because the latter are not heroes, but
because the former are only vcl·is é· c/c¬/r·' (see
P/···s¬···slsgs1Spini,p. ó¡ó).'
Aditioll (. 'In magis voluisse sat est'" rightly signifies tat we ought to
will something great. But we must also be able to implement it, or else our
willing is futle [Iliclltig]. The laurels of mere willing are dr leaves which
have never been geen.
"Tralls{alor' 1I01e: 'In geat things, it is sufcient to have wled.'
Subjectvit, with its pcnio:lcrcontent of ¬·hr·,is reflected into itself
and infnite, and consequently also has reference to the universal, to
the wl which has being in itself. This [universal] moment, initally
posited within this partcularit itself, includes i/·¬·ür·s;sili ·n-or
in its complete, but wholly empty determinaton, the welfare of cl/.
The welfare of ¬co,si/·rpartcular beings in general is thus also an
essental end and right of subjectvit. But since the ooiv·ncl¬/ic/
/cs/·i:·gio coé1riis·/ as distnct from such partcular [kinds of
content, has not so far ,been determined beyond the stage of ng/i,
these ends of partcularit, diferent as they are from the universal,
may be in conformit with it - but alteratvely, they may not.
My partcularity, however, like that of others, is only a right at all in so
far as I am 1ì··.It cannot therefore assert itself in contadicton to this
substantal basis on which it rests; and an intenton to promote my
welfare and that of others - and in the latter case in partcular it is
called a ¬srclioi·oiiso¯ cannot justf an cctiso¬/ic/ is¬ro·g.
One of the most conspicuous among the corrupt maxms of
our tme is tat we ought to interest ourselves in the so-called
¬srcl ioi·oiiso behind ¬rsog actons, and to imagine
|vscosi·/l·oJ inferior |sc/l·c/i·J subjects with allegedly good
hearts, i.e. hearts which wl their own welfare and perhaps
even the welfare of others. This maxm derives in part from
the pre-Kantan period of sensibilit |oi·oH·n·r·s
and con­
sttutes, for example, the quintessence of familiar and affect­
ing dramatc presentatons.2 But this doctine has also been
revived in a more exteme shape, and inner enthusiasm and
Philosophy of Right
the emotons, i.e. the ]m·of partcularit as such, have been
made the criterion of what is right, ratonal, and excellent. As
a result, crimes and their guiding principles, even if these
should be the most banal and empt fancies and foolish
opinions, are presented as right, ratonal, and excellent on the
grounds that they are based on �cs¬
(for further details, see Remarks to ; 1 40 below). - In addi-
ton, we must bear in mind the point of view from which right
and welfare are being examined here - namely as formal right
and the partcular welfare of the individual |é·s £i··z·lo·oJ .
The so-called cs¬oso¬·clor ¬·hr·of the state, i.e. the right
of the actual and concrete spirit, is an altogether different
sphere, in which formal right is just as much a subordinate
moment as partcular welfare and the happiness of the
individual. We have already noted above [see ; zeJtat one �
the commonest errors of abstacton is �
rights and private welfare cs vclié io coé1r i/·¬s·lv·s in
oppositon to the universalit of the state.
a11|||s·:(. The famous answer 'je n'en vois pas la m!cessitea which was
given to the libeller who excused himself by saying 'd faut donc que je
vive'b is relevant here.3 For life, when confronted wit the higher realm of
freedom, is not necessary at all. When St Crispin stole leather to make
shoes for the poor, his acton was both moral and wrong, and hence
"Translalor's /lole: 'I do not see the need for it.'
Trallslalor's /lole: 'But 1 have to live.'
§ 1 2
The pcrticolcrii,of the interests of the natural w ,taken together as a
simple isiclii,, is personal exstence |Dcs·ioJ as lo.Iooi·e¬·écog·r
and in collision with the rightl propert of someone else, this life
may claim (not in equit, but as a right) a ng/is1o·c·ssii,,·for the
alteratves are an infnite injury ||·rl·izs··gJ to exstence with total
loss of rights, and an injury only to an individual and limited exstence
of feedom, whereby right as such and the capacit for rights of the
injured part, who has been injured only in i/is specific propert,
contnue to be recognized.
1 54

From the right of necessit arises the benefit of competence,
whereby a debtor is permitted to retain his tools, agricultural
implements, clothes, and in general as much of his resources
- i.e. of the propert of his creditors - as is deemed necessary
to support h, even in his accustomed staton in societ.
÷1é|t|eo d. Life, as the totalit of ends, �ht in op ositon to
abstact right If for example, it can be preserved by stealing a loaf this
�sttutes an infringement of someone's propert, but it would
be wrong to regard such an acton as common teft. If someone whose life
is in danger were not allowed to take measures to save himself he would
be destned to forfeit all his rights; and since he would be deprived of life,
his entre freedom would be negated. There are certainly many prerequi­
sites for te preservaton of life, and if we look to the future, we must
concer ourselves wit such details. But te only thing that is necessary is
to live 000, the future is not absolute, and it remains exposed to con­
tngency. Consequently, only the necessit |AetJof the immediate present
can justf a wrong acton, because its omission would in tum involve
committng a wrong - indeed the ultmate wrong, namely the total nega­
ton of the exstence of freedom. The /·sqcioo ceop·t·sti
is of
relevance here, because links of kinship and other close relatonships
entail the right to demand tat no one should be sacrificed completely for
the sake of right.
Such necessit |AetJreveals the fnitude and hence the contngency of
both right and welfare - of the abstact exstence |Dcs·ioJoffreedom
as distnct fom the exstence |£x|st·ozJ of the partcular person, and
of the sphere of the partcular wlas distnct from the universalit of
right. Their one-sided and ideal character is thereby posited, just as it
was already deterined for them in their concept. Right has already
(see § 1 06) determined its o|st·oc·|Dc·ioJas the partcular wl; and
subjectvit, in its comprehensive partcularit, is itself the exstence
|Dcs·|oJ of freedom (see § 1 27), just as it is in itself, as the ite
self-reference of the wl, the universal aspect of freedom. The two
moments in right and subjectvit, thus integrated so as to attain their
tuth and identt - though initally stll in a r·lctiv· relaton |8·-
zi·/··togJ to one another - are the geeé (as the 1ohll·é universal,
determined in and for itself) and the csosc|·sc· (as infinite and
§§ 1 26-1 28
Philosohy of Right
inwardly knowing 'c|ss¬1eI·subjectvit which determines its content
within itself.
"Translator's note; Here, and throughout the following secton (Secton 3), Hegel exploit
the etIDologicaJ relatonship between Gewissen ('conscience'), Wissen ('knowledge'), and
Gewiheit ('certaint') to suggest an aft between teir meanings. It u,unfortunately,
impossible to retain these associatons in English tanslaton.
The Good and te Conscience
§ 1 2
The gsséi the Hec, as the unit of the COtlCet of the wl and the
o·¡iamr_, in which abstact right, welfare, the subjectvit of
knowing, and the contngency of exteral exstence [Dasein], as s·/
sofci·oi1ri/·¬s·lv·s, are superseded; but they are at the same te
·ss·oiiclh csoicio·é and pr·s·rc·éwithin it. - [The good is] r·chz·é
1··é¬,i/·c/ssloi·coéolii¬ci··oés1i/· ¬sné.
÷ééiiisod. Ever stage is in fact the Idea, but the earlier stages contain
it only in more abstact form. For example, even te '!
as personalit i
aeady te Idea, but in it most abstact shape. The good is therefore the
Iéc as 1m/·réCiÛoitl·é, the unit of de concept of the wland te
partcular wl . It does not belong to abstact right, but has a complete
content whose import encompasses both right and welfare.
With this idea, welfare has no validit for itself as the exstence
[Daeitl] of the individual and partcular wl , but only as ooiv·ncl
welfare and essentally as ooiv·nclio iis·/i.e. in accordance with
feedom; welfare i not a good without rig/i.Similarly, right i not the
good without welfare ]ciiosiiiicshould not have p·r·ci¬ooéos¯
Ü its
consequence). Thus, since the good must necessarily be actualized
through the partcular wl, and since it is at the same tme the latter's
aTranslalor's nole: The Latn saying which Hegel split into two part means roughly:
'Let justce be done, even if the world should perish.'
Philosophy of Right
substancc, ithasanc/ss/oi·rig/iasdisuncthomthc absuactriµhtoI
propcrwand mcparucuÌarcnds oIwcÌIarc. Ìnso IarascithcroIthc
Ìattcrmomcntsis disunµuishcd homthcµood, ithasvaÌidiwonÌyin
so Iar as itis in conIormiwwith itand subordinatc to it.
Ïorthcso/;·aiv·wl, thcµoodisÌikcwiscabsoÌutcÌycsscnuaÌ, andthc
sub¡ccuvc wl has worth and diµniw onÌy in so Iar as its insiµht and
intcnuonarcinconIormiwwiththcµood. ÌnsoIarasthcµoodis suIÌ
substanuaÌ charactcr,whcrcbyitouµhtto makc thc µood its cndand
mit- ¡ustasitisonÌyinthcsub¡ccuvcwlthatthcµoodIoritspart
has thc mcansoIcntcrinµintoactuaI:w.
÷ééiiiso d.Jhc µoodi mc uum oImc parucuÌarwl, but mcwlis
onÌywhatitcommìtsiucÌIto, it i notby naturc µood, butcanbccomc
what it is onÌy by iu own cIÏorts. Ón thc omcr hand, mc µood itscÌ,
wimout mc sub¡ccuvc wl, is onÌy Ü absuacuon, dcvo�

thc sub¡ccuvc wl. Jhc
dcvcÌopmcntoImcµood accordìnµÌyhas mrcc staµcs: (r)thc µoodmust
bcaparucuÌarwlIormc- sinccÌamawìÌÌmyscÌI- andÌmustknowit,
(z) thc naturc oImc µood mustbc statcd, and mcparucuÌardctcrmìna-
uons oI mc µood must bc dcvcÌopcd, (( and ÌastÌy, mc µood must bc
dctcrmncdIoritscÌIandparucuÌarìzcd as inhnitc sub¡ccuvìwwhich has
bcìnµ IoriucÌI. Jhis inward dctcrmìnauon is conscicncc.
shouÌd bcp·rc·iv·ébyitÜgssé,and�uÌdbch
�uansÌatcdintocxtcmaÌob¡ccuviw- asriµht
or wronµ, µood or cvíI, ÌcµaÌ or iIIcµaÌ, accordinµ to its coµnizancc
|Kc··oioisJ oIthc vaÌuc which that acuon has inthis ob¡ccuviw.
Àhcgsséis in µcncraÌ mc � __o1�ìn its so/sico-
iic/inand·uiv·nc/in·- thcwlinitsuuth;thcµoodthcrcIorc
cxstswithout cxccpuon onIy io i/sog/iand i/rsog/ i/sog/i.
LonscqucntÌy, thc asscruon that human bcinµs cannot know

'·rlw···oJ the tuth, but have to do only wth appearances, or
that thought is harmful to the good will, and other similar
notons '|sni·/loog·oJ, deprive the spirit both of intellectual
and of all ethical worth and dignit. - The right to recoge
nothing that I do not perceive as ratonal is the highest right of
the subject, but by virtue of its subjectve determinaton, it is
at the same tme 1nocl, on the other hand, i/· rig/i s1i/·
rciisocl- as the objectve - over the subject remains frmly
established. - Because of its formal determinaton, insight is
equally capable of being im·and of being mere spioiso and
·~sr. From the point of view of what is stll the sphere of
moralit, the individual's attainment of this rght of insight
depends upon his partcular subjectve educaton. I may
require of myself and regard it as an inner subjectve right that
my insight into an obligaton should be based on gsséreasons
and that I should be csovioc·éby it, and in additon, that I
should recognize it in terms of its concept and nature. But
whatever I may require in order to satsf my convicton that
an acton is good, permissible, or impermissible - and hence
that the agent is in this respect responsible for it - in no way
detacts fom the rig/is1s/;·ciivin.-This right of insight into
the gsséis distnct from the right of insight with regard to
cctisoas such (see § 1 17). Afar as the latter is concered, the
right of objectvit takes the following shape: since acton is an
alteraton which must exst in an actual world and thus seeks
recogniton in it, it must in general conform to what is
niz·écsvcliéin that world. Whoever wills an acton in the
actual world has, iosséoiog,submitted himself to its laws and
recognized the right of objectvit. - Similarly, in the sici·,as
the s/;·ctivinof the concept of reason, l·gclr·spsosi/ilin[éi·
g·ric/ilic/·Zor·.l···:ugJ must not stop at what the individual
considers to be in conformit with his reason or otherwise, or
at his subjectve insight into rightess or wrongness, good or
evil, or at what he may require in order to satsf his convic­
ton. In this objectve field, the right of insight applies to
insight into l·gc/in or i/l·gcl:i,, i.e. into what is niz·éas
right, and is confined to its primary meaning, namely
csgoizcoc· 'K·ooioisJ in the sense of 1¬ilicri(rwith what is
legal and to that extent obligatory. Through the public nature
§§ 1 3
Philosophy of Right
of the laws and the universalit of customs, the state takes
away from the right of insight its formal aspect and that con­
tngency which this right stl has for the subject within the
prevailing viewpoint [of moralit]. The right of the subject to
know [kennetl] acton in its determinaton of ess1or :c|/,legal
or illegal, has the efect, in the case of children, imbeciles, and
lunatcs, of diminishing or annulling 'cs[s/:/:»} their
responsibilit in this respect, too; but it is impossible to
impose a defnite limit '/es/|oo/:6·:»z:}on these conditons
and the level of responsibilit associated with them. But to
make momentary blindness, the excitement of passion, intox­
caton, or in general what is described as the stength of
sensuous motves 'I·i:/f1:m} (but excluding anything which
gives grounds for a right of necessit - see § 1 27)" into
grounds for attibutng responsibilit or deterg the
[nature of the] :·|o:itself and its a/¡c/|/|/,, and to consider
such circumstances as taking away the criminal's cs|//
'S:/s/J,is once again (cf. § 100 and Remarks to § 1 20)b to
deny the criminal the right and dignit '£/·:} of a human
being; for the nature of a human being consists precisely in
the fact that he is essentally universal in character, not an
abstacton of the moment and a single fagment of know­
ledge. -Just as what the arsonist sets on fre is not the isolated
area of wood an inch wide to which he applies the fame, but
�te universal �_- i.e. the entre house - so, too, is the
-arsonist himself, as a subject, not just the individual aspect of
//|smoment or this isolated passion for revenge. Ifhe were so,
he would be an anial which should be hit on the head
because of its dangerousness and proneness to unpredictable
fts of rage. - It is said that the criminal, at the moment of his
acton, must have a :I:c··q·:s:»tc/|so's|:/. . . o|:ss:os·e:s/:ü/
/c/:·:}oiu¬ biliubefore he can be
made responsible for it as a crime. This requirement, which
appears to uphold his right of moral subjectvit, in fact denies
his inherent nature as an intelligent being; for this nature, in
aTranslator' note: The reference in most editons of Hegel's tex is to § : zo, which
appears mbe an error. I follow Iltngs editon in substtutng § : z¡3 more appropriate.
"Translator's IlOle: I follow Iltng in substtutng § : zo for § : : g,which is given in most
earlier editons, including the frst.
1 60
it actve presence, i not confned to the shape it assumes in
Wolfs psychology - namely that of .l·crrwr·swiciieos||er-
si·l/oog·oJ¯ and only in cases of madness is it so deranged as
to be divorced from the knowledge and performance of
individual thngs |Diog·| - The sphere in which the above
circumstances come into consideraton as grounds for relax­
ing the punishment is not the sphere of right, but the sphere
of dmwo.
§§ 132-134
The relaton of the good to the partcular subject i s that the good is
the ·ss·oiiclcharacter of the subject's wl, which thus has an unquali­
fied e//igciieoin this connecton. Because pcnicolcrinis distnct fom
the good and falls within the subjectve will, the good is initally
determined only as ooiv·nclc/sirccias·oiichn-i.e. as éog.I view of
this determinato�should be done.fr i/·scl·e1éon.
÷1iiie·· (. The essental element of the w for me is dut. Now uI
know nothing apart from the fact that the good i my dut, I do not go
Jeyond dut in the abstac,t. I should do my dut for its own sake, æóIt IS
in the tue sense my own objectvit that I bring to flflment in doing so.
In doing my dut, I am with myself |/·iæirs·//siJand fe. The merit and
exalted viewpoint of Kant's moral philosophy are that it has emphasied
tis signifcance of dut.
Since acton for itself requires a partcular content and a determinate
end, whereas dut in the abstact contains nothing of the kind, the
queston arises: ¬/ciiséon?For this defton |8esii¬¬oogJ,all that
is available so far is this: to do rig/i,and to promote ¬·0r·,one's own
welfare and welfare in its universal determinaton, the welfare of
others (see ; r re).
÷1iiieo (. This is the very queston which was put to Jesus when
someone wished to know what to do in order to gain eteral Iife.'
universal aspect of good, or good in the abstac; cannot be flflled as an
abstacton; it must frst acquire the further determinaton of partcularit.
Philosophy of Right
I 3
These detenninatons, however, are not contained in the determina­
ton of dut itself. But since both of them are conditonal and lted,
they give rise to the tansiton to the higher sphere of the oocsoéi-
iisocl,the sphere of dut. Hence all that is lef for dut itself, in so far
as it is the essental or universal element in the moral self-conscious­
ness as it is related within itself to itself alone, is abstact universalit,
whose determinaton is ié·siii, ¬ii/soicsoi·oior the abstacdy pssi-
iiv·,i.e. the indeterminate.
However essental it may be to emphasie the pure and
unconditonal self-detenninaton of the wlas the root of duty
- for knowledge |£rl·ootoisJ of the wl frst gained a frm
foundaton and point of departure in the philosophy of Kant,
through the thought of its infinite autonomy (see § 1
) - to
cling on to a merely moral point of view without making the
tansiton to the concept of ethics reduces this gain to an mn
1-scliso,and moral science to an empt rhetoric of éoi,1r
éoi,'s scl·. From this point of view, no immanent theory of
dutes is possible. One may indeed bring in material 1ìso
soisié·and thereby arrive at pcriicolcrdutes, but it is imposs­
ible to make the tansiton to the determinaton of partcular
dutes from the above determinaton of duty as c/s·oc· s1
cssircéiciiso, as 1mcl csrr·spssé·sc· ¬ii/ iis·/ which is no
diferent from the specifcaton of c/sircciioé·i·m·ioco, and
even if such a partcular content for acton is taken into con­
sideraton, there is no criterion within that principle for decid­
ing whether or not this content is a duty. On the contary, it is
possible to justf any wrong or immoral mode of acton by
this means. - Kant's frther form - the capacit of an acton
to be envisaged as a ooiv··scl maxm - does yield a more
csoo·i·representaton ||s·si·/l·ugJ of the situaton in ques­
ton, but it does not in itself |/|ìrsid·J contain any principle
apart from formal identt and that absence of contadicton
already referred to. - The fact that ll0prsp·ri,is present is in
itself !ìrsic/Jno more contadictory than is the non-exstence
of this or that individual people, family, etc., or the complete
c/s·oc· s1 /ooco lü·. But if it is already established and
1 62
prcsupposcdthatpropcrnandhumanlifcshould cxst andbc
rcspcctcd, thcn it is a connadicuon to commit thch or
murdcr, a connadicuonmustbca connadicuonwith somc-
thing, thatis,witha contcntwhichisalrcadymndamcntal!y
prcscntas ancstabl¡shcdprinciplc. Only toaprinciplcofm
kind docs an acuon stand in a rclauon |8·zi·/oogJ ofagrcc-
dunandnotbccauscofitscontcnt,itisa 1m·clié·oiinwhich
ncccssarily cxcludcs cvcrycontcntand dctcrminauon.
r·lciisos/ip simply drihs to and fro without bcing ablc to
rcsolvc mcmandgctbcyond obligauon, arc dcvclopcdinmy
P/·os¬·oslsg s1 Spini, pp.
0f. ; cf. £ooc/@c·éic s1 i/·
P/ilss@/icclSo·oc·s, § § 420f[
÷1éiiiss (. Whcrcaswc carlicr cmphasucd that thcpointofvicw of
andrcason,itmustbcpointcdouthcrcthatthispointofvicwi dcfccuvc
mamcanbc asscrtcdas aunivcrsalprinciplc
wc alrcady had dctcrmnatc principlcs conccmg how to act. În othcr
words, ifwc dcmand ofaprinciplc Uatitshouldalsobcablcto scrvcÜ
Uc dctcrminantofaunivcrsallcgislauon,thisprcsupposcsthatitalrcady
has acontcnt, and uU contcntwcrc prcscnt, itwouldbccasyto apply
thcprinciplc.Butintms casc, thc principlc itsclfisnotyctavailablc,and
thc critcrionUatUcrc shouldbcnoconnadicuoni non-producuvc-for
whcrc thcrc i notmg, thcrccanbc no connadicuon cithcr.
Bccausc ofthc absnactcharactcr ofthc good, thc othcr momcntof
thc Îdca,i.c.pcnicolcnningcncral, fallswithinsubjccuvin. 5ubjcc-
uvin, in its univcrsalin rcücctcdinto itsclf, is thc absolutc inward
ccrtainn ofitsclf, it is that which posits pardcu!arin, and it is thc
dctcmg and dccisivc factor~ i/·cm sci·oc·.
÷1iiis·.(. Oncmayspcakofduninamostsublimcmanncr,andsuch
tl glori6csUchumanbcingand6llshishcartwithpridc. Butifitlcads
thatpardcularintowhichitiscnutlcd.Conscicncc, on thc othcrhand,is
Philosophy of Right
tat deepest inner solitude within oneself in which all exterals and all
limitaton have disappeared - it is a total withdrawal into the self. As
conscience, the human being is no longer boun y e en s of partcu­
larit, so that conscience represent an exalted point of view, a point of
view of the moder world, which has for the fst tme attined this
consciousness, U descent into the self. Earlier and more sensuous ages
have before them something exteral and given, whether this be religion
or right; but [my] conscience knows itself as thought, and that this
thought of mine is my sole source of obligaton.
True conscience is the dispositon to will what is good ioooé1riis·/
it therefore has fed principles, and these have for it the character of
determinacy and dutes which are objectve for themselves. I con­
tast to its content - i.e. tuth - conscience is merely the 1m·o/c�
of the actvit of the will, which, ¯ i/iswill, has no distnctve content
�ctve system of these principles and dutes and
the union of subjectve knowledge with ths system are present only
when the point of view of ethics has been reached. Here, within the
formal point of view of moralit, conscience lacks ths objectve con­
tent, and is thus for itself the ite formal certaint of itself, which
for this very reason is at the same tme te certaint L i/issubject.
6sosci···c· expresses the absolute enttlement of subjectve
self-consciousness to know io iis·/and 1s¬ iis·/what right
and dut are, and to recognize only what it thus knows as the
good; it also consists in the asserton that what it thus knows
and wills is imhright and dut. A ths unit of subjectve
knowledge and that which has being in and for itself, con­
science is a sanctuary which it would be socri/·g·to violate. But
wheter the conscience of a sp·ci1cioéiviéoo/is in conformit
with this Idea of conscience, and whether what it csosié·nor
declares is/·gsséis also actually good, can be recognized only
fom the cs··i···iof this supposed good. What consttutes right
and dut, as the ratonalt in and for itself of the will's
determinatons, is essentally neither the poriio/orpropert of
an individual, nor is its 1mthat of feeling |£¬p1oéoogJor any
other individual - i.e. sensuous - kind of knowledge, but
essentally that of ooiv·no/éei·m·iooiisos s1i/sog/i, i.e. the
form of /o¬sand pnocip/·s.The conscience is therefore sub­
ject to judgement as H its imi/or falsit, and its appeal solely
isile1is direcdy opposed to what it seeks to be - that is, the
rule for a ratonal and universal mode of acton which is valid
in and for itself. Consequendy, the state cannot recognize the
conscience in its distnctve form, i.e. as so/;·aiv·ks¬/·ég·,
any more than science can grant any validit to subjectve
@ioiso,oss·riiso,and the opp·o/to subjectve opinion. What is
not distnct within the tue conscience is nevertheless dis­
tnguishable, and it is the deterg subjectvit of know­
ledge and voliton which can separate itself from the tue
content, posit itself for itself, and reduce the content to a 1m
and sm//ooc·. The ambiguit associated with conscience
therefore consists in the fact that conscience is assumed in
advance to signit the identt of subjectve knowledge and
voliton with the tue good, and is thus declared and acknow­
ledged to be sacrosanct, while it also claims, as the purely
subjectve reflecton of self-consciousness into itself, the
authorit |8·r·c/iæ·gJ which belongs only to that identt
itself by virtue of its ratonal content which is valid in and for
itself. The point of view of morality, which is distnguished in
this teatse from that of ethics, includes only the formal
conscience; the tue conscience has been mentoned only in
order to indicate its diferent character, and to prevent the
possible misunderstanding to the effect that we are here dis­
cussing the tue conscience rather than the formal con­
science, which is in fact our exclusive concer. The tue
conscience is contained in the ethical dispositon, which wl
be considered only in the following secton. The religious
conscience, however, lies completely outside this sphere. I
§§ 1 36-137
÷éé|i|so d.When we speak of conscience, it may easily be thought that,
because its form is that of abstact inwardness, it is already in and for
itself te tue conscience. But te tue conscience is tat which
determines itelf to wlwhat is in and for itself the good and a duty. Here,
however, we are dealing only wit good in the abstact, and conscience
stll lacks this objectve content and is as yet only te infinite certaint of
1 6
, · : ¸
Philosophy oj Right
This subjectvit, as abstact S��inaton and pure certaint of
itelf alone, ·copsroi·sinto itself all éei·noiooi·aspects of right, dut,
detennines solely from within itself what is good in relaton to a gven
�e same � the power to which the good, which i.at
frst only an Idea |vsrg·si·//iJ and an s//igoiiso,owes its ocioo/|n.
The self-consciousness which has managed to attain this
absolute reflecton into itself knows itselfin this reflecton as a
consciousness which cannot and should not be compromised
by any present and given determinaton. In the shapes which it
more commonly assumes in history (as in the case of Socrates,
the Stoics, etc.), the tendency to look io¬orésinto the self and
to know and determine from within the self what is right and
good appears in epochs when what is recoged as right and
good in actualit and custom is unable to satsf the better
wl. When the exstng world of freedom has become unfaith­
fl to the better wl, this wl no longer fnds itself in the
dutes recognized in iis world and must seek to recover in
ideal inwardness alone that harmony which it has lost in actu-
�. Once self-consci�as grasped and acquire·
formal right in this way, everg depends on the kind of
content which it gives to itself. I
÷ééi/iso d. If we look more closely at this process of evaporaton and
obsere how all determinatons are absorbed into this simple concept and
must again issue for from it, we can see that the process depends
primarily on the fact that everything which we recognize as right or duty
can· be shown by thought to be null and void, limited, and in no way
absolute. Conversely, just as subjectvit evaporates every content into
itself it ra also in tr develop it out of itself Ivering wJich arises in
±Impro uce y this aClvity o�. On the other
hand, this point of view is defectve inasmuch as it is merely abstact.
When I am aware of my feedom as the substance within me, I am inactve
and do nothing. But if! proceed to act and look for principles, I reach out
for determinatons, and there is then a requirement that these should be
deduced fom the concept of the free will. Thus, while it is right to
evaporate right or duty into subjectvit, it i on the other hand wrong if
this abstact foundaton is not in tr developed. Only in ages when the
1 66

§§ I 38-I39
actual world is a hollow, spirtless, and unsetted exstence |Ens/mz}may
the individual be permitted to fee fom actualit and reteat into his inner
life. Socrates made his appearance at the tme when Athenian democracy
had fallen into ruin. He evaporated the exstng world and reteated into
himself in search of te right and the good. Even in our tmes it happens
that reverence for the exstng order is in varing degrees absent, and
people seek to equate accepted values with their own will, with what they
have recognied.
Were all previously valid determinatons have vanished and the will
is in a state of pure inwardness, the self-consciousness is capable of
making into its principle either i/·ooiv·no/io ooé1riis·/, or the
or/iirorio·ss of its s¬oporiico/orin, giving the latter precedence over
the universal and realizng it through its actons - i.e� it is capa�e of
being wil
Conscience, as formal subjectvit, consists simply in the
possibilit of turg at any moment to wi/,for both morality
and evil have their common root in that self-certain! which
has be�d knows and resolves for itself.
The sriço s1·ci/in general lies in the mystery - i.e. the
speculatve aspect - of freedom, in the necessit with which it
emerges fom the �se of the will and adopts a
character of io¬oréo·ssin relaton to it. It is this natural phase
of the will which comes into exstence |£xisi·ozJ as self-con­
tadicton, as incompatble with itself in this oppositon, and
thus it i this poriico/onn of the will itself which frther
aetermines itself as evil. For partcularit exsts ory as ¯
éoo/i�- in the present case as the oppositon between the
will's natural phase and its inwardness. Within this opposi­
ton, te will's inwardness is only a r·/oiiv·and formal being­
for-itself which can derive its content only fom the
determinatons of the natural will, from desire, drive, inclina­
ton, etc. Now it is said of these desires, drives, etc. that they
¬o,be either good srevil. But when the will lets its content be
determined by these desires etc. in the determinaton of cso-
iiog·oowhich they have as natural [forces], and hence also by
the form which it [i.e. the will] has at this point, the form of
Philosophy of Right
partcularit, it thereby becomes opposed to ·oiv··so/ii, as
inner objectvit, i.e. to the good, which, along with the will's
interal self-reflecton and the cognitve |·rl········é···J con­
sciousness, makes its appearance as the opposite exeme to
immediate objectvit, to the merely natural k this case, the
inwardness of the wl is evil. The human being is therefore
�r·and at the same tme through
his rm·ciis·· i··is/i¬s·/,so that neiter nature as such (apart
from the naturalness of the wl which remains ted to its
partcular content) nor reflecton iom·éi··s¡s·· iis·/ i.e. in
cogniton in general (unless it remains attached to that
oppositon already referred to) is in itself !ìr sic/J evi. -
Absolutely united with this aspect of i/····c·ssii, s1wi/is also
the fact that this evil is determined as that which of necessit
sog/i osi is /·, i.e. the fact that it ought to be cancelled
|oof·/s/···J.It is ··sithat the point of view of division referred
to above ought never to appear at all - on the contary, it is
this which consttutes the distncton between the unreasoning
animal and the human being. But the wlmust not stop short
at this point and cling on to partcularit instead of the univer­
sal as the essental; the point of view of division should be
overcome as null and void. In connecton with this necessit of
evil, [we should also note that] it is so/;·ciivin,as the infnit of
this reflecton, which is faced with and present \vithin this
oppositon; if it stops short at this juncture - i.e. if it is evil - it
is consequently presentfr iis·/retains its separate individu­
alit, and is itself this arbitary wl. It is accordingly the
individual so/;·aas such which bears the entre r·sps··si/i/ii,
÷ééiiiso (m. The abstact certaint which knows itself as the basis of
everything has within it the possibilit of wlling the universal of the
concept, but also that of making a partcular content into its principle and
realing this content. It follows that the abstacton of self-certainty is
always a part of wi/,which is the second of these alteratves, and that
so/the human being is good - but only in so far as he can also be evil.
Good and evil are inseparable, and their inseparabilit derives from the
"Translalor' nole: I follow Htng (VP R tt, 496) in reading seines Bosen ('it own c\il')
rather than des Bosen ('e\il [in general]') as in the Suhrkamp editon of the text.
1 68

factthat thc ccnccptbcccmcs its cwn cbicct[Gegenstald and, as cbicct,
thc will can alsc bc cvil usually ariscs bccausc wc think cfthc vvill as
having cnlyapcsinvc rclancnship tc itsclf, and cnvisagc it as scmcthing
crigincfcvil signihcs mcrc prccisclythis. 'Hcwdccs thc ncganvc ccmc
i thcabsclutclypcsitivc,itisimpcssiblc tc rcccgnízcthc ncganvcwithin
this pcsinvc, nc mattcr which way wc turn, fcr tc assumc that cvil was
pcrmittcdbyGcd is tcassumccnhís partapassivc rclancnshipwhich is
unsansfactcry and mcaninglcss. !nthc rcprcscntancnal thcught [VoTtel­
IlIng] cfrcligicus myth, thc crigin cf cvil is nct ccmprchcndcd, that is,
thcrc is ncrcccgnincn cfthc cnc inthc cthcr,butcnlyarcprcscntancn
[VoTtellll1g] cfsucccssicnandcccxstcnccwhcrcbythcncganvcccmcstc
thcpcsinvcfrcmcutsidc. Butthiscannctsanshthcught,whichdcmands
arcascn [Gnmd andancccssityand scckstcapprchcndthcncganvcas
itsclfrcctcdinthcpcsinvc.Jhcscluncn [cfthisprcblcm],frcmthcpcint
cfvicwcfthcccnccpt,isccntaincdinthcccnccptitsclf,fcrthcccnccpt -
cr in mcrc ccncrctc tcrms, thc !dca has thc csscnnal charactcrisnc cf
havc an cmpn dctcrminancn cfthc undcrstandingwhich clings tcsuch
itintcadimcultcnc. Buthcmthcpcintcfvícwcfthcccnccpt,pcsinvity
is apprchcndcd as acnvin and sclf-diffcrcnnaticn. Jhus, cvíl as wcll as
gccdhasitscriginin mcwill, and thcwillinitsccnccptisbcthgccd and
cvil. Jhc naturalwillisinitsclfthcccnuadicncncfsclf-diffcrcnnancn,cf
bcing[bcth] fcritsclfand inward. Jcsaythcn thatcvilccntainsthcmcrc
prccisc dctcrminancnthatthc human bcingis cvil insc far as hiswill is
natural wculd run ccuntcr tc thc ccmmcn idca [VoTtelfl1g] that it is
prccisclythc naturalwillwhichisinncccntand gccd. Butthc naturalwill
is cppcscdtcmcccntcntcffrccdcm,andthcchildanduncducatcdman
whcsc wills arc natural arc fcr that rcascn acccuntablc fcr thcir acncns
cnlytcalcsscrdcgrcc.Jhus,whcnwcspcakcfhumanbcings, wcdcnct
mcan childrcnbutsclf-ccnscicus individuals, and whcn wc spcak cfthc
gccd,wcmcankncwlcdgccfthcgccd.Mcwitisuucthatthcnatural isin
itsclf ingcnucus, ncithcr gccd ncr cvil, but in rclancn tc thc vvill as
frccdcm and as kncwlcdgc cf frccdcm, thc natural ccntains thc
dctcrminancn cfthc unfrcc, and is thcrcfcrc cvil. !n sc faras man wills
thcnatural,itisnclcngcrmcrclythcnaturalbutthc ncgaticn cfthcgccd
I 69
as te concept of the will. - But if it were now to be argued that, since evil
is inherent in the concept and necessary, man would not be responsible if
he committed it, it must be replied tat the decision is man's own act, the
product of his freedom and responsibilit. Religious myth tells us that
man is like God in his knowledge '£rl··ots|s} of good and evil, and this
likeness is indeed present in that the necessity here is not a natural
necessit - on the contary, the decision is in fact the cancellaton
æu·/·og} of tis dualit of good and evil. Since I am confronted wit
both good and evil, I am able to choose between them; I can choose eiter
of them and accept one or the other into my subjectvity. It is thus in the
nature of evil that man may will it, but need not necessarily do so.
The self-consciousness knows how to discover a pssiiiv·aspect in its
own end (see § 1
); for this end, as part of �n oaoo/
csoo·i· acton, necessarily has a positve aspect. By virtue of this
positve aspect, [which it regards] as a éoi,ooée¬iro//·ioi·oiiso,the
self-consciousness is able to assert that its acton is good both 1r
si/··sand 1riis·h But because of its �
�iversal character of the wl , it is also in a positon
to compare with this universal character the essentally o·goiiv·con­
tent of its acton, which is simultaneously present u
that this acton is good for si/·nis /,pscris,, and to assert that it is
good for the self-conSCIOusness iis·�
exeme at which so/;·aivii, é·cor·s iis·/o ssoi·.
This last and most abstuse form of evil, whereby evil is
perverted into good and good into evil and the consciousness,
knowing that it has the power to accomplish this reversal,
consequently knows itself as absolute, is the greatest exeme
of subjectvity from the point of view of moralit. It is the form
to which evil has advanced in our tme -thanks to philosophy,
i.e. to a shallowness of thought which has twisted a profound
concept into this shape and has presumed to call itself philo­
sophy, just as it has presumed to call evi good. In these
present Remarks, I shall briefly indicate the principal shapes
which this subjectvit commonly assumes.
(a) H,pscr|s, contains the following moments: (o)knowledge
of the tue universal, whether in the form merely of a

feeling of ng/iand éoi,or of a more advanced knowledge
|K·ooioisJ and cogniton of these; (�) a willing of the
poriia/crwhich is at odds with this universal; and (y) a
knowing cs¬porisso of these two moments so that the
partcular voliton is detennined, for the wlg con­
sciousness itself, as evil. These detenninatons sign act­
iog¬ii/o/oécsosci·oc·,but not yet hypocrisy as such. - It
was at one te a queston of great importance ¬/·i/·roo
cciiso ¬cs wi/ so/r ioss1ros ii ¬os éoo· ¬ii/ o /oé
csoso·oc·, i.e. with a éw·/sp·é consciousness of the
moments indicated above. - Pascal (L·iir·sprsviooo/·s,4)
describes very well what follows from answering this
queston in the afnnatve: 'ü seront tous damnes ces
der-pecheurs, qui ont quelque amour pour la vertu.
Mais pour ces fancs pecheurs, pecheurs endurcis,
pecheurs sans melange, pleins et acheves, l'enfer ne les
tent pas: ils ont tompe Ie diable aforce de s'y abandon­
ner.'at - The subjectve right of self-consciousness to
los¬an acton in its detenninaton as either good or evil
in and for itself must not be thought of as colliding with
the absolute rght of the s/;·aivinof this detenninaton in
such a way that the two are represented as sworo//·,and
" Trallator's note: 'They wall be damned, these half-sinners who retain some love of
virtue. But as for those open sinners, hardened sinners, undiluted, complete, and
consummate sinners, hell cannot hold them: they have deceived the devil by their
complete surrender.'
t Hegel's note: In the same context, Pascal also quotes ch
ist's intercession on the Cross
for his enemies: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do
-a superfuous
request if the fact that they did not know what they were doing removed the qualit of
evil fom their acton so that it did not require forgiveness. He likewise cites the
opinion of Aristotle (Nicomahean Ethic 1Il.2 [ I I IOb27]), who distnguishes between
actng OUK ctôdç and actng 6v·oOv;
in the former case of ignorance, the person
concered act iTtlulan"y (m ignorance relates to eteral cirClmstances; see § 1 17
above), and he cannot be held responsible for h acton.
But of the latter instnce,
Aristotle says: 'A\vicked men fail to recoge what they should do and refrain from
doing, and it is this ver defect (òµuoiíu) which makes people unjust and in general
evil. Ignorance of te choice between good and evil does not mean that an acton is
involuntar (i.e. that the agent cannot be held responsible for it), but onl that it is bm.'`
Aristote, of course, had a deeper insight into the connecton between cognton and
voliton than has become usual in that superfcial philosophy which teaches that eotion
and enthusiasm, not cognition, are the tue principles of ethical acton.
bTraTlslator's note: OUK c(ôdç('\vithout percepton') is tanslated by both David Ross and
Terence Irwin as 'in ignorance'; òvoOv(,from ignorance') is translated by Ross 3 'by
reason of ignorance' and by Irwin as 'caused by ignorance'.
Philosophy of Right
ioém ·r·oiand csoiiog·oitowards one another; it was the
latter relatonship in partcular which was regarded as
fndamental in the old debates about o co:isosgroc·.'I
its formal aspect, evil is the individual's most distnctve
propert, because it is precisely his subjectvit positng
itself entrely for itself, and is therefore entrely his
responsibilit (see § I 70and the appended Remarks); and
on the objectve side, man is /, /is csocwi spirit and
ratonalit in general, and has the determinaton of self­
knowing universalit wholly within himself. It is therefore
to deny Hthe honour due to his concept i his good side
- and hence also the determinaton of his evil acton as
evil -i divorced fom Hand he is not made responsible
for his evil acton either. How determinate the conscious­
ness of these moments in their respectve diferences i,
what degree of clarit or obscurit it has attained as éc·/-
sp·éæiiiso, and to what extent the conscience associ­
ated with an evil acton is more or less evil io1m·- all
these are less important questons of a more empirical
(b) To act in an evil manner and with an evil conscience does
not amount to /,psois,.'Hypocrisy includes in additon
�ais, whereby ci/
i in the frst place represented frsi/·nas gsséand the
evildoer pretends in all exteral respects to be good, con­
scientous, pious, etc. -which in this case is merely a tick
to deceive si/··s.But secondly, the evil person may find in
the good he does at other tmes, or in his piet, or in gssé
r·ossosof any kind, a means of justfingfr /i¬s·htheevil
he does, in that he can use these reasons to distort it into
something he considers good. This possibilit exsts
within subjectvit, for, as abstact negatvit, it knows that
all determinatons are subordinate to it and emanate fom
(c) We must in the frst place include in this distorton that
atttude |6·sio/iJ kown as prs/o/i/is¬.º It adopts the
principle that an acton is permissible and can be done in
good conscience if the consciousness can discover oo,
good reason |6nuéJ for it - even if tis is merely the
§ 1
coi/srinof a single theologian, and even if other theolo­
gians are known to diverge very considerably from the
former's judgement. Even in this noton ||s·si·//·ugJ,
there is stl present the correct consciousness that a
reason and authorit of this kind affords ony a prs/c/i/|n,
although this is regarded as sufcient to satsf the con­
science. It is at the same tme conceded that a good reason
is merely of such a kind that other reasons of at least equal
merit may exst alongside i. A frther tace of objectvit
can be discered in m atttude in so far as it assumes
that a r·csso should be the deterg factor. But since
the decision beteen good and evil is made to depend
upon many gssé r·cssos, including those authorites
already referred to - despite the fact that these reasons
are so numerous and discordant -it is also apparent that it
is osithis objectvit of the thing |Scc/·J,but so/;·aivii,,
which is the decisive factor. As a result, [personal] prefer­
ence and the arbitary wl are made the arbiters of good
and evil, and both ethics and religiosit are undermined.
But the fact that it is the agent's own subjectvit which
makes the decision i not yet acknowledged as the [gov­
erg] principle - on the contar (as already men­
toned), it i claimed that a reason i the decisive factor.
To this extent, probabilism is stl a form of hypocrisy.
(d) The stage immediately above this is [the view] that the
good wlconsists in ¬i//iogi/·gssé,this wl g of gsséio
i/·c/sirca is supposed to be sufcient, indeed the sole
prerequisite, for the goodness of the acton itself. Since
the acton, as é·i·noioci·voliton, has a content, whereas
gsséioi/·c/sircadetermines nothing, it remains the task
of partcular subjectvit to gve tis abstacton its
determinaton and flflment. Just as, in the case of prob- " ·
abilism, anyone who is not himself a leared Rwó·oéPèr·
relies on the -all t of such a theologian in order to
subsume a determinate content under the universal
determinaton of the gssé, so in this case i every subject
immediately accorded the honour |Usré·J of providing
the abstact good with a content, or - and mamounts to
the same thing - of subsuming a content under a univer-
. .. .
Philosophy of Right
sal. This content is only one of the various aspects of a
concrete acton, some of which may even justf its des­
cripton as criminal and bad. But that subjectve
determinaton which I give to the good is the good which I
los¬ in the acton, i.e. my gssé ioi·oiiso (see § 1 14).
There thus arises a confict of determinatons, for one of
tem suggests that an acton is good, whereas others sug­
gest that i is criminal.lO It thus seems that the queston
also arises, in the case of an actual acton, whether the
ioi·oiisoisocioo//rgssé. But it may not only be generally
the case that the good is the ocioo/intenton; it must in
fact always be so if we adopt the point of view that the
abstact good i the deterg ground of the subject.
P injury done by a well-intentoned acton whose
determinaton is in other respects criminal and evil is, of
couse, also good, and all would seem to depend on which
aspect of the acton is the ¬ssi·sswiio/.But this objectve
queston is not applicable here -or rather, it is the subjec­
tvit of consciousness itself whose decision alone con­
sttutes the objectve element. £ss·oiio/and gsséare in any
case synonymous; the former is just as much an abstac­
ton as the latter; good is what is essental «th regard to
the will, and what should be essental in Ithis respect is
precisely that an acton is determined as good for me. But
this abstact good, being completely lacking in content,
can be wholly reduced simply to meaning anything pssiiic·
at all - anything, that is, which has any kind of validit and
which, in its immediate determinaton, may even count as
Ü essental end (such as doing good to the poor, or caring
for myself, my life, my family, etc.). The immediate
consequence of this for itself is that any content one
pleases can be subsumed under the good. Furthermore,
just as the good is an abstacton, so consequently is the
bad lkewise devoid of content, receiving its determinaton
fom my subjectvit; and this is also the source of the
moral end of hatng and eradicatng the bad as an indeter­
minate qualit. - Thef, cowardice, murder, etc., as
actons - i.e. as products i general of a subjectve will -
have the immediate determinaton of being the soiismciiso
of such a will, and hence of being something pssiiiv·,and
in order to make the acton into a good one, it is merely a
queston of knowing this positve aspect as my ioi·oiisoin
performing the acton, and this aspect is then the ·ss·oiio/
factor in deterg the acton as good, because I know
it as the good in my intenton. Thef in order to beneft
the poor, thef or deserton in battle for the sake of one's
dut to care for one's life or one's (perhaps even
impoverished) family, murder for hated and revenge -
i.e. in order to satsf a self-awareness of one's own rights
or of right in general, and one's sense of someone else's
wckedness, of wrong done by hto oneself or to others,
to the world or the p·@/·in general, by elimnatng this
wicked individual who is wickedness personifed, and
thereby contibutng at least somethng towards the end of
eradicatng the bad - all of these deeds, by virtue of the
positve aspect of their content, are in tis way tans­
formed into well-intentoned and consequently good
actons.!} Even the /s¬·si égr·· of understanding i
enough to discover, like those leared theologians, a posi­
tve aspect in every acton and hence a good reason and
intenton underlying u.Thus it has been said that there i
in fact no such thing as an wi/¬oo,for no one wills evil
for the sake of evil - i.e. the por·ho·goiiv·as such - but
always something pssiiiv·, and hence, according to the
point of view in queston, always something good. I this
abstact good, the distncton between gssé and wi/, as
well as all actual dutes, has vanished; consequently,
merely to will the good and to have a good intenton in
one's acton is more like evil than good, in that the good is
willed only in this abstact form so that its éi·miooiisoi
lef to the arbitary will of the subject.
To this context there also belongs the notorious prop­
ositon that i/··oé ;osiá·si/·¬·oos¹-Taken on its own,
ths expression is at frst sight tivial and vacuous. It may
be replied in equally indeterminate fashion that a just end
doubtless justfes the means, whereas an unjust end does
not. [To say] that the means is right if the end is right is a
tautological statement inasmuch as the means is precisely
1 40
t l
¬¬- ~ ¬ ~ ~ ~ - ¬~~~ ¬ ¬ ~~ - ~ -~ -
Philosophy oj Right
that which is nothing in itself !rsic/Jbut exsts for the
sake of something else and has its determinaton and
value in the latter as its end - i/oiis,áiiisim/ro¬·oos. -
But the meaning of the above propositon lies not just in
its formal significance; it can also be understood in the
more determinate sense that it is permissible, and perhaps
even one's dut, to use as a means to a good end some­
thing which in itself is not a means at all, to violate some­
thing which is in itself sacrosanct, and thus to make a
crime the means to a good end. In [those who follow] this
propositon, there is on the one hand an indeterminate
consciousness of the dialectc of the aforementoned pssi-
iiv·element in isolated determinatons of right or ethics,
or of equally indeterminate general propositons such as
'Thou shalt not L ` or 'Care for your own welfare and
that of your family'. Courts of law and soldiers have not
only the right but also the dut to Lhuman beings; but
in this case, there are pr·cis·é·1oiiisosas to what kind of
people and what circumstances make mpermissible and
obligatory. In the same way, my welfare and that of my
family must also b

subordinated to higher ends and
thereby reduced to a means. But what we describe as a
crime is not a general propositon of this kind, lef inde­
terminate and stll subject to a dialectc; on the contary, it
is already delimited in a determinate and objectve
manner. Now what is set up in oppositon to tis
determinaton - namely that sacred end which is sup­
posed to exonerate the crime - is nothing other than a
so/;·ciiv·spioiso of what is good or better. It is the same
thing as happens when voliton stops short at the abstact
good,.so that every determinate characteristc of good and
evil or right and wrong which has being and validit in and
for itself is cancelled |o·:û·/s/·oJ,and this determinaton
is assigned instead to the feeling, imaginaton | |s-i·h·oJ,
and caprice of the individual.
(e) So/;·ciiv·spioisois at last expressly acknowledged as the
criterion of right and dut when it is alleged that the
ethical nature of an acton is determined by i/·csoviciiso
¬/ic/ /s/é ss¬·i/iog is /· ng/i¹ The good which is

willed does not yet have a content; and the principle of
convicton contains the frther specifcaton that the sub­
sumpton of an acton under the determinaton of the
good i the responsibit of the so/;·a. Under these
circumstances, any semblance of ethical objectvit has
completely disappeared. Such doctines are intmately
connected with that self-stled philosophy, already
fequently referred to, which denies that imi/- and te
tuth of the spirit as will, it ratonalit in so far as it
actualizes itself, is to be found in the precepts of ethics -
can be recognized. Since such philosophizing maintains
that the knowledge |£rl·ooioisJof tuth i an empt vanit
which tanscends the sphere of cogniton |£rl··n·oJ,and
that the latter is a mere semblance, it must immediately
make m very semblance its principle as far as acton is
concered, and thereby equate the ethical with the éuiioc-
iiv·outlook of the individual and his ponico/orcsoviaiso.
The degradaton into which philosophy has thus sunk
seems at frst glance, in the eyes of the world, an utterly
indiferent happening which has affected only the idle u
of academics; but such a view necessarily becomes part of
our view of ethics, which i an essental component of
philosophy, and only then do the implicatons of these
views become apparent in and for [the realm of actualit.
- The disseminaton of the view that subjectve convicton
is the sole determinant of the ethical nature of an acton
has had the efect that references to /,scns,,which used
to be frequent, are nowadays uncommon; for to describe
evil as hypocrsy implies that certain actons are i··ooé 1r
i/··os·/v·smisdemeanours, vices, and crimes, and that the
perpetator is necessarily aware of them as such in so far
as he knows and acknowledges the principles and outward
acts of piet and integrit |R·c/i/ic/l·iiJ even within the
pretence in whose interest he misuses them. Or in rela­
ton to evil in general, it used to be assumed that it is a
dut to recognize the good and to know how to distnguish
it fom evil. But it was at all events an absolute require­
ment that human beings should not commit vicious and
criminal acts, and that they should be held responsible for
Philosophy oj Right
such acts in so far as they are human beings rather than
animals. But if a good heart, good intentons, and subjec­
tve convicton are said to be the factors which give actons
their value, there is no longer any hypocrisy or evil at all;
for a person is able to tansform whatever he does into
something good by the reflecton of good intentons and
motves d·¬·çogç oé·J, and the element |Ms¬wiJ of
his csoviciiso renders it good. t Thus, there is no longer
such a thing as crime or vice in and for itself, and instead
of those fee and open, hardened and undiluted sinners
referred to above we have a consciousness of complete
justcaton by intenton and convicton. My good inten­
ton in my acton and my convicton ofits goodness ¬ol·ii
gssé. In so far as· we speak of judging and pronouncing a
verdict on an acton, this principle requires that the agent
should be judged ony in terms of his intenton and con­
victon, or of his 1ii/- not in the sense in which Christ
requires faith in s/;·aiv· tut (so that the judgement
passed on a person of bad faith, i.e. on one whose convic­
ton is bad in its csoi·oi,must also be negatve, in keeping
with this evil content), but in the sense of loyalt to one's
convicton (in so far as a person, in his acton, remains im·
is /is csoviciiso), i.e. in the sense of formal, subjectve
loyalt, which is alone in keeping with dut. - Since this
principle of convicton is at the same tme so/;·ciiv·h
determined, the thought of the possibilit of ·rrsrmust
also thrust itself upon us, and this in tur presupposes a
law which has being in and for itself. But i/·/o¬[iis·m
éo·sosiac; only an actual human being acts. And, accord­
ing to the above principle, the sole criterion of the worth
of human actons is the extent to which the individual
tHegel's note: 'That he feels completely cnvinced, I do not doubt in the least. But how
many people proceed fom such felt convicton to commit the gravest misdeeds! Thus, if
anything may be excused on such grounds, no rational judgement of good and ndor of
honourable and cntemptible dasions uany longer possible; dlusion thim has equal right
with reason, or rather, reason no longer has any right or valid authorit VnseheJ
whatoever; it voice is an absurdity; he who has no dubts is the possessor oftrth!
I temble at the consequences of such toleraton, which would be exclusively to the
advantage of unreason.' (F. H. Jacobi to Count Holmer, Eutn, 5 August 1800, com­
mentng on Count Stolberg's change of religion, in Brenus (Berlin, August 180i». /4

concered has incorporated the law iois/iss¬ocsoviaiso.
But if, by this token, it is not actons which are to be
judged by the law in queston - i.e. to be measured by it in
any way - it is impossible to tell what that law is for or
what purpose it is to serve. Such a law is reduced to a
purely oi¬o//·ii·r, indeed to an empt word, for it is
only my convicton which ¬ol·siio/o¬and a binding dut
for me. - Such a law may have the authorit of God and
the state behind it, and the authorit of the thousands of
years for which it was the bond by which human beings
and all their deeds and desties were held together and
sustained - authorites which encompass countless
ioéiviéoo/csoviaisos.If Ithen set against all this the ooi/-
snnof my ioéiviéoo/convicton - and as my subjectve
convicton its validit is merely [that of authorit - this
may at frst appear a monstous presumpton. But this
appearance is refted by the ver principle which takes
subjectve convicton as its criterion. - If, however, the
higher illogicalit of reason and conscience - which shal­
low science and miserable sophist can never entrely
banish - admits the psssi/i/|n s1·rrsr, the very fact that
crime and evil in general are classed as error reduces the
fault to a minimum. For is·~is/o¬oo,¹and who has not
been mistaken about this or that circumstance, about
whether there was cabbage or sauerkraut with yesterday's
lunch, and about countless matters of greater and lesser
importance? Yet the distncton between the important
and the unimportnt disappears if subjectvit of convic­
ton and adherence to such convicton are the sole
criterion. It is in the nature of the case that the higher
illogicalit already referred to should admit the possibilit
of error; but when it goes on to say that a bad convicton is
merely an eror, it in fact simply becomes another kind of
illogicalit, namely that of dishonesty. For in the frst
instance, convicton is supposed to be the basis of ethics
and of man's supreme worth, and i thereby declared to
be a supreme and sacred value; and in the second case, all
that we are concered with is error, and my convicton is
insignifcant and contngent, in fact a purely exteral
Philosophy oj Right
circumstance which I may socssoi·rioso·¬o,sroosi/·r.
And my convicton is indeed an extemely insignificant
thing ifI cannot recognie the tuth; for then it is a matter
of indifference /s¬I think, and all that remains for me to
m about is that empt good as an abstacton of the
understanding. - It may also be remarked that, as far as
the mode of acton of other people in relaton to my own
acton is concered, it follows from this principle of just­
ficaton on grounds of convicton that, if i/sirfaith and
convicton make them regard my actons as coc, they
are ooii·ng/ito do so - a consequence whereby I am not
only denied all credit in advance, but am on the contary
simply reduced from a positon of feedom and honour to
a situaton of unfeedom and dishonour. In the justce to
which I am here subjected - and which in itself is also my
own justce - I merely experience someone else's subjec­
tve convicton and, when it is implemented, I consider
myself acted upon merely by an exteral force.
(f Finally, the supreme form in which this subjectvit is
completely comprehended and expressed is that to which
the term 'irony', borrowed fom Plato, has been applied./6
Only the name is taken fom Plato, however, for Plato
used it of a method which Socrates employed in personal
dialogue to defend the Idea of tut and justce against the
complacency of the uneducated consciousness and that of
the Sophists; but it was only this consciousness whch he
teated ironically, not the Idea itself. Irony concers only a
manner of speaking in relaton to p·sp/·,without this per­
sonal directon, the essental movement of thought is
dialectc, and Plato was so far fom teatng the dialectc
in itself }|ìrsic/J,let alone irony, as the ultmate factor and
as the Idea itself that, on the contary, he ended the to and
fo of thought, and partcularly of subjectve opinion, by
submerging it in the substantalty of the Idea. t The only
tHegel's note: My late colleague Professor Solger/7 did admittedly take over the expres­
sion 'irony' which Friedrich von Schlegel intoduced during an earlier period of h
literary career and whose meaning he extended to include that subjectvit which knows
itelf as supreme. But Solger's better judgement rejected this definiton [BetimmungJ,
and h philosophical insight seized upon and retained only one aspect of it, namely the
1 80

possible culminaton - and this must now be discussed -
of that subjectvit which regards itself as the ultmate
instance is reached when it ¬s¬sitself as that power of
resoluton and decision on [matters of tuth, right, and
dialectcal element proper, the actvatng pulse of speculatve reflecton. But I do not fd
h conclusions entrely clear, nor can I agree wit the concept which he develops in h
last, substntal work, h detailed Crtiqlle ojAll t Wilhelm von Schlegel's Lectures on
DramaticArt and Liteatlre (WenerJahrbuch, Vol. vtt,pp. 90f.). 'True irony', says Solger
on that occasion (p. 92), 'starts fom the point of view that, as long as human beings live
in mpresent world, it is only in mworld that they can ff their destny, even in the
highest sense of that word. Any means whereby we believe we can transcd fnite ed is a
vain and empty fancy . . . Even the highest of things is present to our acton only in a
lmited and fnite shape.' Ä, ü understood correcdy, is a Platonic view, very tuly
expressed in oppositon to that empt stg for the (abstrac) ite which Solger had
previously referred to. But to say that the highest of things is present in a limited and
fnite shape, like the realm of ethics - and the ethical realm is essentally actualit and
acton -is very diferent fom saying that it is afnite end; the shape and form of finitude
do not deprive the content, i.e. the ethical realm, of any of it substantalit or of the
infinit which is inherent within it. Solger contnues: 'And for mver reason, it [the
highest of things] is B insigicnt in lU as the lowest of tings, and necesarily pershe
with lU and olr insignicant intellects. For it is tuly present in God alone, and when it
perishes in us, it is tansfgured as something divine, in which we would have no share u
there were not an immediate presence of m divinit which becomes manifest even as
our actualit disappears; but the state of mind to which mpresence becomes immedi­
ately evident in human event themselves is tagic irony.' The arbitar name 'irony'
would not in itelf require comment, but there is an unclarit in the statement that it is
the lighet ojthings which perihes with our insignifcance, and that the divine is revealed
only when our actualit disappears, as when we are told on page 91: 'We see heroes lose
faith in the noblest and fest aspect of their dispositons and feelings, not only in
relaton to what these lead to, but also in relaton to their soure and their value; indeed, we
are elevated by the doufll oJthe bet itelf' The tagic downfall of fgures of the highest
ethical worth can interest us, elevate us, and reconcile us to it occurrence only in so far
as such fgures appear in mutual oppositon, with equally justed but distnct ethical
powers which have unfortunately come into collision. (The just downfall of complete and
self-importnt rogues and cs- as, for instance, the hero of the modem tagedy
Glilt [Die SchlldJ8 -cery has an interest for criminal law, but not for tue 3, with
whch we are here concered.) Aa result of moppositon to an ethical principle, they
incur guilt, fom which te right and wrong of both partes emerges, and with it the tue
ethical Idea which, purifed and tiumphing over mone-siddnes, is thereby reconciled
in us. Accordingy, it is not the highet thing in us which perishes, and we are eleated not
b the dufll oJthe bet but, on the contary, by the tiumph of the tue. Äis the tue
and purely ethical interest of ancient tagedy, as I have explained more fl y in my
Pheomeolog oJSpirit (pp. 404f; cf pp. 683f.)J9 (In romantc tagedy, mdetermina­
ton undergoes a fuher modificaton.) But the ethical Idea, without sl unfrtlnate
cliions and the downfall of the indiiduals caught up in m misfortune, is actual and
preet in the ethical world; and tat mhighest of tings should not apear insignicnt
in its actualt is what the real ethical exstence [Ete], the stte, takes as it end and
put into efect, and what the ethical self-consciousness possesses, intuit, and knows,
and tg cogniton comprehends, in the state.
1 81
Philosophy of Right
duty which is already implicitly |oosic/Jpresent within the
preceding forms. Thus, it does indeed consist in know­
ledge of the objectve side of ethics, but without that self­
forgetulness and self-renunciaton which seriously
immerses itself in this objectvit and makes it the basis of
its acton. Although it has a relaton |8·zi·/oogJ to this
objectvit, it at the same tme distances itself from it and
knows iis·/as that which ¬ihs and r·ss/v·s io oporiia/or
¬o,but may ·ooo/h¬·//wland resolve otherwise. - 'You
in fact honestly accept a law as exstng in and for itself [it
says to others]; 'I do so, too, but I go frther than you, for
I am also beyond this law and can do i/is sr i/oi as I
please. It is not the thing |Soc/·Jwhich is excellent, it is I
who am excellent and master of both law and thing; I
¬·r·/rp/o,with them as with my own caprice, and in this
ironic consciousness in which I let the highest of things
perish, I ¬·r·hw;s,¬,s·h'- In this shape, subjectvit is
not only ·¬pn of æ etical c~iwi |éi· £ii·ll·ii ohasiii-
hc/wIo/o/isJ in the way of rights, dutes, and laws, and is
accordingly evil (evil, in fact, of an inherently wholly
universal kind); in additon, its form is that of so/;·ciiv·
emptness |£ii·/l·iiJ,in that it knows itself as this empt­
ness of all content and, in this knowledge, knows iis·/as
the absolute. - The extent to which this absolute self­
satsfacton does not simply remain a solitary worship of
the self, but may even form a cs¬¬ooi(rwhose bond and
substance consist, for example, in mutual assurances of
conscientousness, good intentons, and enjoyment of this
reciprocal purit, but above all in basking in the glory of
this self-knowledge and self-expression and of cherishing
and cultvatng such pursuits; and the extent to which
what has been called the 'beautfl soul' (i.e. that nobler
kind of subjectvit which fades away inasmuch as it is
empt of all objectvit and thus has no actualit of its
own), and certain oter phenomena |6·sio/ioogwJ are
related to the stage [of subjectvit] which we are here
considering - these are questons which I have discussed
in the P/wsows/sgs1Spini (pp. 605ff.). The whole of
Secton (c) of that work, 'The Conscience', should be
1 82

compared with what is said here, especially in relaton to
the tansiton to a higher stage in general (although the
latter is defned differently in the Ph¬eo¬o
÷Ji/ieo 0). Representatonal thought ||e·s/·llsog} can go frther and
tansform the evil wl into a semblance of goodness. Even if it cannot
alter the nature of evil, it can nevertheless make it appear to be good. For
every acton has a positve aspect, and since the determinaton of good as
opposed to evil can likewise be reduced to the positve, I can maintain that
my acton is good with reference to my intenton. Thus, evil is connected
with good not only within the consciousness, but also in its positve aspect.
If the self-consciousness passes its acton of as good only for the beneft
of other people, it takes the form of h,¢e¬s,,but if it is able to assert that
the deed is good in its own estmaton, too, we have reached that even
higher level of subjectvit which knows itself as absolute. For subjectvit
of this kind, good and evil in and for themselves have disappeared, and it
can pass of as good or evil whatever it wishes and its abilit dictate. This
is the point of view of absolute sophist which sets itself up as a legislator
and refers the distncton between good and evil to its own arbitary wl.
A for hypocrisy, this includes above all those religious hypocrites (or
Tartufes) who comply with all ceremonial requirements and may even be
pious in themselves mìrsich],while at the same tme doing whatever they
please. Nowadays, there is no longer much talk of hyocrites, partly
because this accusaton appears too harsh, and partly because hypocrisy in
its immediate shape has more or less disappeared. This barefaced lie and
cloak of goodness has now become too tansparent not to be seen
through, and the distncton between doing good on the one hand and evil
on the other is no longer present to the same extent since increasing
educaton has made such antthetcal determinatons seem less clear-cut.
Instead, hyocrisy has now assumed the subtler guise |C·s/ol/}of ¡relolil-
iso,which consists in the attempt to represent a tansgression as some­
thing good fom the point of view of one's own conscience. This can only
occur where morality and goodness are determined by an authorit, so
that there are as many reasons as there are authorites for maintaining that
evil i good. Casuistc theologians, especially Jesuits, have worked on
these cases of conscience and endlessly multplied them.
A these cases are refned to the highest pitch of subtlet, numerous
collisions arise, and the antthesis of good and evil becomes so blurred
that, in individual instances, the opposite poles prove interchangeable. P
that is asked for is ¡relolilio,that is, an approxmaton to goodness which
can be substantated by some reason or by some authorit. Thus, this
point of view has the peculiar determinaton of possessing only an abstact
content; the concrete content is presented as inessental - or rather, it i
` |
Philosophy of Right
allowed to depend on mere opinion. In this way, someone may have
committed a crime while willing the good. If, for example, an evil man is
murdered, the asserton that the murderer wished to resist evil and to
diminish it can be passed off as the positve aspect [of the deed]. The next
step beyond probabilism is that it is no longer someone else's authority or
asserton that counts, but the subject itself, i.e. its cutt convicton, which
can clss·make something good. The inadequacy of this is that everthing
is made to refer solely to convicton, and that there is no longer any right
which has being in and for itself a right for which this convicton would
merely be the form. It is not, of course, a matter of indiference whether I
do something fom habit or custom or because I am thoroughly persu­
aded of it tuth. But objectve tuth is also different from my convicton,
for the latter makes no distncton whatsoever between good and evil;
convicton always remains convicton, and the bad can only be that of
which I am not convinced. While this point of view is that of a supreme
instance which obliterates good and evil, it at the same tme acknowledges
that it is subject to error, and to this extent, it is brought down fom it
exalted positon and again becomes contngent and appears to deserve no
respect. Now this form is ireo,· the consciousness that such a principle of
convicton is of little value and that, within this supreme criterion, only
arbitariess prevails. This point of view was in fact a product of Fichte's
philosophy, which maintains that the 'I' is absolute, i.e. that it is absolute
certaint, the universal selfhood [Iellheit] whose further develdpment
leads to objectvity.1! It cannot in fact be said of Fichte that he made the
arbitary wlof the subject into a principle in the practcal sphere, but this
[principle of the] partcular, in the sense of Friedrich von Schlegel's
'partcular selfood', was itself later elevated to divine status in relaton to
the good and the beautfl. This implies that objectve goodness is merely
something constucted by my convicton, sustained by me alone, and that
I, as lord and master, can make it come and go [as I please]. ^ soon as I
relate myself to something objectve, it ceases to exst for me, and so I am
poised above an immense void, conjuring up shapes and destoying them.
This supremely subjective point of view can arise only in a highly
cultvated age in which faith has lost its seriousness, which now exsts
essentally only in the vanity of all things.

Moralty §§ 1 40141
§ I
For the gssé as the substantal universal of freedom, but stll as
something o/sima, determinatons of some kind are therefore
r·ooir·é,as is a determining principle (although this principle is ide­
iico/with the good itself). For the csosci···c· liewise, as the purely
abstact principle of determinaton, it is required that its deterina­
tons should be universal and objectve. Both of them [i.e. the good
and the conscience], if raised in this way to independent totalites !ìr
sid· zor Isio/iiöiJ, become the indeterminate which sog/i to be
determined. - But the integraton of th·ese to relatve totalites into
absolute identt has already been accomplished i·· iis·/ since this
very subjectvit of por· s·/-c·noio,, meltng away for itself in its
emptness, is iJiico/with the o/siroci ooiv·no/ii, of the good; te
identt - which is accordingly csoo·i·- of the good and the subjec­
tve will, the tuth of them both, is ·i/ico/ /m.
A conceptual tansiton of this kind can be understood more
fully with the help of logic. Here, it need only be said that the
nature of the limited and the finite -which in this case are the
abstact good which merely sog/iis/·,and an equally abstact
subjectvit which merely sog/iis/·gssé¯is for them to have
their opposite present ¬ii/ioi/·¬,the good its actualit, and
subjectvit (the moment of the ocioo/ii,of the ethical) the
good; but since they are one-sided, they are not yet pssii·éas
what they are io i/·¬s·/v·s. They become posited in their
negatvit, for as they so·-sié·é/r consttute themselves as
independent totalites, both refsing to accept what is present
io iis·/within them - the good lacking subjectvit and
determinaton, and the determinant, i.e. subjectvit, lacking
what has being in itself - they cancel themselves out |sid·
o·m··/···Jand are thereby reduced to moments, to moments of
the csocwi which becomes manifest as their unit and has
attained r·o/|i,through this very positng of its moments, so
tat it now exsts as Iá·o,this is the concept which has devel­
oped its determinatons to realit and which is simultaneously
present in their identt as their essence ¬/ic/ /os /·iog io
r ë¡
Philosophy oj Right
iis·/. ¯ That exstence |Dcs·ioJ of freedom which was
imediately present as rig/iis determined in the reflecton of
self-consciousness as the gssé,the third stage, present here il.
it tansiton as the tuth of this good and of subjectvity, is
therefore also the tuth of subjectvit and of right. - The
·i/ico/is a subjectve dispositon, but of that right which has
being in itself. That this Idea is the imi/of the concept of
freedom cannot be assumed or derived from feeling or from
any other source, but, in philosophy, can only be prsv·é. Its
deducton consists solely in the fact that right and the moral
self-consciousness can be seen in themselves to retur to this
Idea as their own r·so/i.¯ Those who think they can dispense
with proofs and deductons in philosophy show that they are
stll far from forming te least idea of what philosophy is; tey
may well speak on other matters, but those who wish to speak
without the concept have no right to partcipate in philosophi­
cal discourse.
÷éé|i|so d. Bot principles which we have so far considered, te
abstact good and the conscience, lack their opposite: the abstact good
evaporates into a complete powerlessness which I can endow with any
content whatsoever, and subjectvity of spirit becomes no less
impoverished in that it lacks any objectve significance. A longing may
therefore arise for an objectve conditon, a conditon in which the human
being gladly debases himself to servitude and total subjecton simply in
order to escape the tonnent of vacuit and negatvit. If many Protestants
have recendy gone over to the Catholic Church,! they have done so
because they found that their inner life was impoverished, and tey
reached out for a fed point, a support, and an authorit, even if what
they gained was not exacdy the stability of thought. The unit of the
subjectve wit the objectve good which has being in and for itself is
·i/|co//á,and the reconciliaton which takes place in it is in accord with
the concept. For whereas morality is te fonn of te wlin general in its
subjectve aspect, ethical life is not just the subjectve fonn and self­
determinaton of the will: it also has its own concept, namely feedom, as
its content. The sphere of right and that of moralit cannot exst
independendy ;rs|:/¦,they must have the ethical as their support and
foundaton. For right lacks the moment of subjectvit, which in tur
belongs solely to moralit, so that neither of the two moments has any
independent actuality. Only te infinite, te Idea, is actual. Right exsts
only as a branch of a whole, or as a climbing plant attached to a tee which
has m roots in and for itself
1 86
Etical Life

r· .
§ 1
Ethical life is te Iáeo s11ì··és¬ as the livg good which has its
knowledge and voliton in self-consciousness, and its actualit
through self-conscious acton. Similarly, it is in ethical being that self­
consciousness has its motvatng endI and a foundaton which has
being in and for itself. Ethical life is accordingly the csocwis11··é¬
¬/ic/ /cs /·cs¬· i/· oiiog |vsr/o··o···J ¬sr/é ooé i/· ··oior· s1
Since this unit of the concept of the wlwith its exstence |Dcs·i··J,
i.e. with the partcular wl, is knowledge, consciousness of the dif­
ference between these moments of the Idea is present, but in such a
way that each of these moments has become for itself the totalit of
the Idea and has the latter as its foundaton and content.
(a) The objectve sphere of ethics, which takes the place of the
abstact good, is substance made csoo·i· by subjectvit Ü i·moii·
1m. It therefore posits éisii··aisos within itself which are thus
determined by the concept. These distnctons give the ethical a fixed
csoi·oiwhich is necessary for itself, and whose exstence |8ai·/·oJis
exalted above subjectve opinions and preferences: they are /o¬sooé
iosiiioiisos¬/ic//ov·/·iogioo··é 1ri/·¬s·/v·s.
÷ééii|so d. m etical life as a whole, both objectve and subjectve
moments are present, but these are merely it forms. Its substance is the
good, that is, the flfment of the objectve [united] with subjectvit. If
we consider ethical life fom the objectve point of view, we may say that
ethical man is unconscious of m elf. In U sense, Antgone proclaims
tat no one knows where the laws come fom: tey are eteral. I That is,
their determinaton has being in and for itself and issues fom the nature
of the ting |Scc/·J. But U substantal element is also endowed wit
consciousness, altough the status of te latter is always only that of a
r 8
· · ·
· .
· ·
· ·
| |
Philosophy of Right
The fact tat the ethical sphere is the s,si·¬of these determinatons
of the Idea consttutes its roiisoo/in.I this way, the ethical sphere i
feedom, or the wlwhich has being in and for itself as objectvit, as
a circle of necessit whose moments are the ·i/ico/ps¬·rs which
gover the lives of individuals. I these individuals -who are acciden­
tal to them - these powers have teir representaton ||s·si·//oogJ,
phenomenal shape |··sd··i··wé·6·sio/iJ,and actualit.
÷1iiisod.Since the determinatons of ethics consttute te concept of
feedom, they are the substantalit or universal essence of individuals,
who are related to them merely as accidents. Whether te individual
exsts or not is a mater of indifference to objectve etical life,. which
alone has permanence and is te power by which te lives of individuals
are govered. Ethical life has therefore been represented to natons as
eteral justce, or as gods who have being in and for themselves, and in
relaton to whom te vain pursuits of individuals are merely a play of the
aTranslator's note: Ein anwogende Spiel, literally 'an upward-surging play'. The word
anwogende, perhaps a reminiscence of Goethe's poem 'Grenzen der Menschheit'
(,Limitatons of Mankind'), I which likens man, mcontast to the gods, to an evanescent
phenomenon bore upwards by, then sinking beneath, the waves, u Dot found m
Hotho's tanscripton of Hegel's lectures, fom which Gans compiled this Additon (see
VPR ttt, 485). It was therefore presumably added by Gans himself.
(�) I this oaoo/s·/csoscisoso·ss [which it now possesses], the sub­
stance knows itself and is thus an object |0/;·liJ of knowledge. In
relaton to the subject, the ethical substance and its laws and powers
are on the one hand an object |6·g·ssiooé,inasmuch as i/cor·,in
the supreme sense of self-sufficiency. They are thus an absolute
authorit and power, infinitely more firmly based than the being of
The sun, moon, mountains, rivers, and all natural object
|Aoiors/;·li·J around us or·.They have, in relaton to con­
sciousness, the authorit not only of /·iogin the frst place, but
also of having a partcular nature which the consciousness
acknowledges, and by which it is guided in its behaviour
1 9°

Ethical Li
towards them, its dealngs with them, and its use of them. The
authority of ethical laws is infnitely higher, because natural
things |Aoioréiog·J display ratonalit only in a completely
oi¬o/and ;w·oi·émanner and conceal it under the guise
|6·sio/iJ of contngency.
On the other hand, they are not something o/iwto the subject. On the
contary, te subject bears spiriioo/¬iio·ssto them as to iis0B ·ss·oc·,
i which it has its s·/o¬or·o·ss |S·//sigm/� and lives as in its ele­
ment which is not distnct from itself - a relatonship which is
immediate and closer to identt than even [a relatonship oû1ii/or
Faith and tust arise with the emergence of reflecton, and
they presuppose representatons and distnctons | |sni·//o··g
·ué|o··sc/i·o.For example, to believe in pagan religion and
to be a pagan are two different things. That relatonship - or
rather, tat relatonless identt - in which the ethical is the
actual lving principle |L·/·oéigl·iiJ of self-consciousness,
may indeed tur into a relatonship of faith and convicton or a
relatonship mediated by 1ì:ri/·r rm·ciiso, into insight
grounded on reasons, which may also begin wit certain par­
tcular ends, interests, and consideratons, with hope or fear,
or with historical presuppositons. But oé·oooi· csgoiiiso of
this identt belongs to conceptual thought [d é·ol···é·o


^ these substntal determinatons are éoii·swhich are binding on
the will of the individual; for the individual, as subjectve and
inherently undetermined - or determined in a partcular way - is
distnct fom them and csos·oo·oihsiooéioor·/oiisos/ipisi/·¬as to
his own substantal being.
The ethical i/·s¬s1éoii·s |P1ic/i·o/·/r·|- i.e. in its s/;·aiv·
sense, not as supposedly comprehended in the empt
principle of moral subjectvit, which in fact determines

· t r
Philosophy of Right
nothing (see § 134) - therefore consists in that systematc
development of the circle of ethical necessit which follows
here in Pon Ior·· of the work.2 The diference between its
presentaton here and the form of a i/·s¬s1éoiialies solely in
the fact that the following account merely shows that ethical
determinatons are necessary relatons, and does not proceed
to add in every case 'this determinaton is therefore a dut for
human beings'. - A theory of dutes, unless it forms part of
philosophical science, w tke it material fom exstng rela­
tons and show its connecton with one's own ideas | |sni·/-
/·ug·oJ and with commonly encountered principles and
thoughts, ends, drives, feelings |£¬p1··éoog···J, etc.; and as
reasons in favour of each dut, it may also adduce the frther
consequences which this dut may have with reference to
oter ethical relatons and to welfare and opinion. But an
immanent and consistent theory of dutes can be nothing
other than the development of i/ss·r·/oiisoswhich are neces­
sitated by the Idea of freedom, and are therefore oaoo/in their
entret, within the state.
A binding dut can appear as a /|¬iioiisoonly in relaton to indetermi­
nate subjectvit or abstact freedom, and to the drives of the natural
w or of the moral w which arbitarily determines its own indeter­
minate good. The individual, however, finds his /|/·roiisoin dut. On
the one hand, he is liberated from his dependence on mere natural
drives, and from the burden he labours under as a partcular subject
in his moral reflectons on obligaton and desire; and on the other
hand, he is liberated fom that indeterminate subjectvit which does
not attain exstence |Dos·ioJ or the objectve determinacy of acton,
but remains ¬ii/io iis·/and has no actualit. In dut, the individual
liberates himself so as to attain substantal freedom.
÷óéiiiso d. Dut places limits only on the arbitary wlof subjectvit
and clashes only \vit tat abstact good to which subjectvit clings.
When people say tat tey want to be fee, this means primarily only tat
they want to be free in an abstact sense, and every determinaton and
division '6/i·óenug} witin te state i regarded as a limitaton of that
freedom.! To this extent, duty is not a limitaton of freedom, but only of
Ethical Li
feedom in the abstact, tat is, of unfeedom: it is the attainment of
essental being, the acquisiton of afnnatve feedom.
The ethical, in so far as it is refected in the naturally determined
character of the individual as such, is virto·, and in so far as virtue
represent nothing more than the simple adequacy of the individual to
the dutes of the circumstnces | |·r/ö/ioiss·Jto which he belongs, it is
I an ethical communit, it is easy to say ¬/oisomeone must
do and ¬/oithe dutes are which he has to f in order to be
virtuous. He must simply do what is prescribed, exressly
stated, and known to him witin his situaton. Recttude is the
universal qualit which may be required of hq partly by right
and partly by ethics. But fom the point of view of moralit,
recttude can easily appear as something of a lower order,
beyond which one must impose frther demands on oneself
and others. For the craving to be something sp·oo/|8·ssoéraJ
is not satsfed with the universal, with what has being in and
for itelf; only in the ocwiisoo/does it attain consciousness of
it distnctveness. - The ém ·r·oi osp·as of recttude may
equally well be called vinoa, because they are likewise
propertes of the ioéiviéoo/- although not exclusive to hin
comparison with other individuals. But talk of virtue iogw·ro/
can easily verge on empt declamaton, because it refers only
to something abstact and indeterminate; and such u,with
it reasons and descriptons |Doni·h·ugwJ,is directed at te
individual as arbitar wl and subjectve caprice. Within a
given ethical order whose relatons are flly developed and
actualized, virio·io i/·prsp·rs·os·has its place and actualit
only in extaordinary circumstances, or where the above rela­
tons come into collision. But such cs0isisosmust be genuine
ones, for moral reflecton can invent collisions for itself
wherever it likes and so give itself a consciousness that some­
thing sp·oo/ |8·ssoér·¬J is involved and that soc1c·s have
been made.! This is why the form of virtue as such appears
more fequently in uncivilized societes and communites, for
Philosophy of Right
individua| discreuonand on the disuncuve natura| genius of
individua|s. In this way, the ancients ascribed virtue to
Hercu|esinparucu|ar.'And since,inthe statesofanuquit,
ethica| |ife hadnotyet evo|ved into this freesystem ofse|f-
sumcientdeve|opmentandobIecuvity, this de6ciencyhadto
bemadegoodbythedisuncuvegeniusofindividua|s.÷ Ifthe
theory|L·/r·J ofvirtuesisnotIustatheoryofduuesandthus
inc|udes the parucu|ar aspect of character which are
determinedbynature, itwi||thereforebea soiom//isis¬s1
Since virtues are the ethica| in it parucu|ar app|icauon,
andsince, in this subIecuve respect, theyare indeterminate,
the quanutauve princip|e ofmore or|esswl p|ay a partin
their determinauon.' Discussion of them wiI| merefore
Aristot|e,who Iudicious|ydehned eachparucu|arvirtue asa
meanbetweenan oc·ss and aée1ci·oo.÷ The same content
theformofériv·s(seeRemarksto{ 1
). Theirbasiccontentis
me same, but in drives, this content su|| be|ongs to the
farenoughtoattainthedeterminauonofthe ethica|. Drives
therefore have in common w¡th the content ofduues and
good orevi|.AItemauve|y,ifwe absnacttheirposiuve aspect
negauveaspect,theyarewü(see { I S).
i a constant teature othis character. Virtue consists rather in ethica|
vuosit, and uwe speak |ess aboutvirtue nowadays thanbetore, the
reason |Coirié is that the ethica| is no |onger so much the torm ota
parucu|ar individua|. The French, above a||, arethepeop|ewhospeak
his disuncuve qua|iues and by anatura| mode otbehaviour. The Ger-
contentacquiresthetorm otuniversa|ity.
Ethical Li
But if it is simply ié·oiico/with the actuality of individuals, the ethical
|éos Siii/ic/·J,as their general mode of behaviour, appears as asis¬
|Siii·J, and the /o/iiof the ethical appears as a s·csoéooiordwhich
takes the place of the original and purely natural will and is the all­
pervading soul, significance, and actualit of individual exstence
|Dos·ioJ.It is spiniliving and present as a world, and only thus does
te substance of spirit begin to exst as spirit.
§§ 1 50152
÷ééiiiso(,G). Just as nature has its laws, and as animals, tees, and the
sun obey their law, so is custom the law appropriate to the spirit of
feedom. Custom is what right an! moralit have not yet reached, namely
spirit. For in right, partcularit is not yet that of the concept, but only of
the natural wl. Similarly, fom the point of view of moralit, self-con­
sciousness is not yet spiritual consciousness. At this stage, it is merely a
queston of the value of the subject in itself - that is, te subject which
detennines itself in accordance with good as opposed to evil st has the
form of arbitar will. Here, on the other hand, at the level of ethics, the
wlis present as the wlof spirit and has a substantal content which is in
conformit with itself. Educaton 'Poéogsgil} is the art of making human
beings ethical: it considers tem as natral beings and shows them how
they can be rebor, and how their original nature can be tansformed into
a second, spirital nature so that this spiritualit becomes lo/ii:to/ to
them. In habit, the oppositon between the natural and the subjectve wl
disappears, and the resistance of te subject is broken; to this extent,
habit is part of ethics, just as it is part of philosophical thought, since the
latter requires that the mind 'éer6·isi} should be tained to resist arbi­
tary fancies and that these should be destoyed and overcome to clear the
way for ratonal thought. Human beings even die as a result of habit -that
is, if tey have become totally habitated to life and mentally ;·isiig} and
physically blunted, and the oppositon between subjectve consciousness
and mental actvit has disappeared. For they are actve only in so far as
tey have not yet attained something and wish to assert themselves and
show what they can do in pursuit of it. Once this is accomplished, their
actvit and vitalit disappear, and the loss of interest which ensues is
mental or physical death.
In this way, ·i/ico/so/siooiio/inhas attained its ng/i,and the latter has
attained vo/iéin.That is, the self-will of the individual |é·s£ioz·/o·oJ,
Philosophy of Right
and his own conscience in its attempt to exst for itself and in opposi­
ton to the ethical substantalit, have disappeared; for the ethical
character knows that the end which moves irl is the universal which,
though itself unmoved, has developed through its determinatons into
actual ratonalit, and it recognizes that it own dignit and the whole
contnued exstence |8·si·/·oJ of it partcular ends are based upon
and actualized within this universal. Subjectvit is itself the absolute
form and exstent actualit of substance, and the difference between
the subject on the one hand and substance as its object |6·g·osiooé,
end, and power on the other is the same as their difference in form,
both of which differences have disappeared with equal immediacy.
Subjectvit, which is the ground in which the concept of
feedom has its exstence |£xisi·ozJ (see § 1 06), and which, at
the level of moralit, is stll distnct fom tis its own concept,
is, in the ethical realm, that [mode of exstence of the concept
which is adequate to it.
The rig/i s1ioéiviéoo/ to their so/;·aiv· éei·m·iooiis·· is1··é¬ is
flflled in so far as they belong to ethical actualt; for their c·noion
of their own feedom has its imi/ in such objectvit, and it is in the
ethical realm that they oaoo/h possess i/·irs¬o essence and their
ioo·runiversalit (see § 147).
When a father asked ufor advice about the best way of
educatng his son in ethical matters, a Pythagorean repled:
'Make uthe ciiiz·os1osioi·¬ii/gssé/o¬s. ' (This saying has
also been attibuted to others/
÷ééiiiso d). Those pedagogical experiments in removing people fom
the ordinary life of the present and bringing them up in the count (cf
Rousseau's £¬i/·)have been ftle, because one cannot successflly iso­
late people fom the laws of the world.2 Even uyoung people have to be
educated in solitude, no one should imagine that the breath of the
spiritual world wlnot eventually fnd its way into this solitude and that
the power of the world spirit is too weak for it to gain contol of such
remote regions. The individual attains his right only by becoming the
citzen of a good state.
Ethical Li
Àhc riµht oIindividuaÌs to thcirponia/onnis Ìikcwisc containcd in
cthicaÌ substanuaÌiw, Ior parucuÌariw is thc modc oI outward
appcarancc inwhich thc cthicaÌ cxsts.
§ I
§§ I
Ícnccéonand ng/icoincidci nthisidcnuwoIthcunivcrsaÌandthc
parucuÌarwl, andinthccthicaÌrcaÌm, ahumanbcinµhasriµhtsinso
Iar ashchasduucs,andduucs insoIarashchasriµhts. I absuact
riµht, Ì havc mc riµht and somconc cÌsc hasthc corrcspondinµduw,
and in moraÌiw, it is mcrcÌy an s//igoiiso that thc riµht oImy own
knowÌcdµcandvoÌiuon,andoImywcÌIarc, shouÌdbcunitcdwithmy
duucs and cxstob¡ccuvcÌy.
thcsc.ÌIaIÌriµhuwcrcononcsidcandaII duucsonthcothcr,thcwhoIc
wouÌddisintcµratc,Iorthciridcnuwi mconÌybasiswchavctohoÌdonto
Àhc cthicaÌ substancc, as containinµ scÌI-consciousncss which has
bcinµIor itscÌIand is unitcdwithitsconccpt, isthcoaoo/spinioIa
Iam:Ìy and a pcopÌc.
÷ééiiis·· d.Àhc cthicaÌ is notabsuact Ìikc thc µood, butis intcnscIy
actuaÌ. Àhc spirit has actuaÌiw, and thc individuaÌs arc its accidcnu.
Àhus,thcrc arc aIways onÌytwo possibIcvicwoints in thccthicaIrcaIm.
cithcr onc starts hom substanuaÌity, or onc procccds atomisucaÌIy and
movcs upward hom thc basis oI individuaIiw '£i·c·//·ii}. Àhis Iattcr
spirit is not somcthinµ individuaI '··ic/is £ioz·h·a} but thc uniw oIthc
individuaÌand thc univcrsaÌ.
Àhc conccpt oIthis Ìdca has bcinµonÌyas spirit, as scÌI-knowÌcdµc
andactuaÌiw,bccauscitis thc ob¡ccuvizauonoIitscÌI, thcmovcmcnt
throuµhthc Iorm oIits momcnts. Ìtis thcrcIorc
1 97
Philosophy of Right
A. immediate or ··oioro/ethical spirit - the 1¬i/r.
This substantalit passes over into loss of unt, division, and the
point of view of relatvit, and is thus
B. civi/ssci·n,i.e. an associaton of members as s·/sofo·oiioéiviéo-
o/|£ioz·h··rJin what is therefore a1fIo/ooiv··so/in,occasioned
by their o··ésand by the /·go/csosiiioiisoas a means of securit for
persons and propert, and by an oi¬o/srérfor their partcular
and comon interest.
This oi¬o/sioi·
C. withdraws and comes to a focus in the end and actualit of the
substantal universal and of the public life which is dedicated to
this - i.e. in the csosiiioiisos1i/·sioi·.
The Famy
§ 1
Jhc fam¡ly, as thc i¬¬·éioi· s·:/siooiio/in of spint, has as its
dctcrminauonthcspirit's;·/iog'£¬p1oéo··g} ofits ownunin,which
consciousncss of onc's individualin ¬ii/io i/is ooin as csscnuality
indcpcndcntpcrson '·io·P·nso1rsi:/]butas a ¬·¬/·r.
anothcr, sothat!amnotisolatcdonmy own ;||r¬ic/¦,butgainmysclf-
'¬·i··aIs·sicls·i··s} and through knowing mysclfas thc uniw ofmysclf
thatis, cthicallifcinitsnaturalform. !nthcstatc,itisnolongcrprcscnt.
Jhcrc, onc is conscious ofuniw as law, thcrc, thc contcnt must bc
!would fccl dchcicntandincomplctc.Jhc sccondmomcntis that!hnd
mysclfinanothcrpcrson,that!gainrccogniuoninthispcrson'éo1icl io
ilrg·/i·},who inUD gainsrccogniuonin mc.Lovcis thcrcforc thc most
immcnsc conuadicuon, thc undcrstanding cannot rcsolvc it, bccausc
thcrc is nothing morc inuactablc man this punculiousncss ofthc sclf-
Ü amrmauc. Lovc is both thcproducuon and thc rcsoluuon ofthis
conuadicuon. A its rcsoluuon, itis cmical uniw.
I 00
Philosophy oj Right
The ng/iwhich belongs to the ioéiviéoo/|é·¬£ioz·/o·oJby virtue of
the family unit and which consists primarily in his life within this unit
takes on /·go/1n·: |éi· Psno R·d·i·osJ, as the abstact moment of
éi·m·i··oi·ioéiviéoo/ii, |£i··z·//·iiJ,only when the family begins to
dissolve. In this situaton, those who ought to be members [of the
family] become, in their dispositon and actualit, like self-sufcient
persons, and they now receive separately and in a purely exteral
manner - [in the shape of financial resources, food, costs of educa­
ton |£ni·/oogJ,etc. - what was formerly their due as a determinate
moment within the family.
÷ééiiiso (C).The right of the family properly consists in the fact that it
substantalit should have exstence |Dos·o·J. It is thus a right against
exteralit and against defecton fom the family unit. On the other hand,
love is itself a feeling |£¬v1·:é:t··gJ, subjectve in character, and unit
cannot assert itself against it. Thus, if unit is required, it can be required
only With reference to those things 'Do:g·Jwhich are by nature exteral
and not conditoned by feeling.
I 60
The family attains completon in these three respects:
(a) in the shape of it immediate concept, as ¬o~iog·,
(b) in exteral exstence |Dos·ioJ , as the vnv·ri, and oss·is of the
family and their administaton;
(c) in the /nogiogov of children and the dissoluton of the family.
A. Marage
I 6I
Marriage, as the i¬¬·éioi· ·i/ico/ r·/oiisos/iv, contains 1ni the
moment of ooioro/vitality; and since it is a substantal relatonship,
this involves life in its totality, namely as the actualit of the sv·ci·s
|6oii·ugJ· and its process (see £oodsvo·éio s1 i/· P/i/sssv/ico/
"Tratls/alor' nole: In this context of marriage and te family, the word Gallllng (genus,
species) carries wit it stong overtones of the closely related word Regallllng (matng,
copulaton). Hegel, who habitually e:ploits such et}mologicai relatonships, is doubtless
aware of this afnity.
Ethical Li §§ 1
Sci·oc·s,§ § I 67ff. and 288ffV But s·co:é/r,i n self-consciousness, the
soisoof the natural sexes, which was merely io¬oré(or had being only
ioiis·h)and whose exstence |£xisi·ozJwas for this very reason merely
exteral, is tansformed into a spiriioo/union, into self-conscious love.
÷ééiiis·· (C). Marriage is essentally an ethical relatonship. Formerly,
especially under most systems of natural law, it was considered only in its
physical aspect or natural character. It was accordingly regarded only as a
sexual relatonship, and its other determinatons remained completely
inaccessible.2 But it i� equally crude to interpret marriage merely as a civil
contact, a noton ||sni·//·og}which is stll to be found even in Kant.J On
tis interpretaton, marriage gives contactual form to the arbitary rela­
tons between individuals, and is thus debased to a contact enttling the
partes concered to use one another. A third and equally unacceptable
noton is that which simply equates marriage wth love; for love, as a
feeling |£¬p]·:é·og},is open in all respects to contngency, and this is a
shape which the ethical may not assume.4 Marriage should therefore be
defed more precisely as rightfully ethical |r·c/t/i:/·siitüd··}love, so that
the tansient, capricious, and purely subjectve aspects of love are
excluded fom it.
§ 1 6
The subjectve origin of marriage may lie to a greater extent in the
ponia/oriodiooiisoof the two persons who enter this relatonship, or
in the 1r·sig/iand initatve of parents, etc. But its objectve origin is
the free consent of the persons concered, and in partcular their
consent to csosiiioi·osiog/·p··ss·· and to give up their natural and
individual personalites within this union. In this respect, their union
is a self-limitaton, but since they attain their substantal self-con­
sciousness within it, it is in fact their liberaton.
To enter the state of marriage is an objectve determinaton,
and hence an ethical dut. The exteral origin of a given
marriage is by nature contngent, and depends in partcular on
the level of development |8iu·ogJ of reflectve thought
|RmoisoJ.At one exteme, the inital step is taken by well­
intentoned parents, and when the persons destned to be
united in love get to know each other as destned parters, a
mutual inclinaton results. At the other exteme, it is the
mutual inclinaton of the two persons, as i/·s·infnitely part-
' f
Philosophy oj Right
cularized individuals, which arises first. - The former
exteme, or any way at all in which the decision to marry
comes first and is followed by the inclinaton so that the two
come together in the actual marital union, can itself be
regarded as the more ethical course. - In the latter exteme, it
is i··1··ii·/r po·¡io/or distnctess |£ig·ois¬/id·l·iiJ which
asserts its claims; this is associated with the subjectve
principle of the modem world (see Remarks to § 1 24 above).
- But in those modem dramas and other artstc presentatons
in which love between the sexes is the basic interest, we
encounter a pervasive element of frostness which is brought
into the heat of the passion such works portay by the total
csaiiog·oo associated with it. For the whole interest is
represented as restng solely upon i/·s·partcular individuals.
This may well be of infnite importance for i/·¬,but it is of no
such importance io iis·h
÷óóiiiso (H). Among those peoples who hold te female sex in lite
respect, the parents arrange marriages arbitarily, without consultng the
individuals concered; te later accept tis arrangement, since the par­
tcularit of feeling |Eo¡)oé·mg} makes no claims for itself as yet. The
girl's only concer is to fnd a husband, and the man's to fnd a wife.
Under other circumstances, consideratons of wealt |é·s |·msg··ts],
connectons, or politcal ends may determine te outcome. This may have
very harsh effects, inasmuch as marriage is made a means to other ends.
In moder tmes, on te other hand, the subjectve origin [of marriagej,
te sioi·s1/·|ogiolm·,is regarded as te only important factor. Here, it is
imagined tat each must wait untl his hour has stuck, and that one can
give one's love only to a specifc individual.
The ·i/ico/aspect of marriage consists in the consciousness of this
union as a substantal end, and hence in love, tust, and the sharing of
the whole ofindividual exstence |£xisi···zJ . When this dispositon and
actualit are present, the natural drive is reduced to the modality of a
moment of nature which is destned to be extnguished in its very
satsfacton, while the spiritual bond asserts iisrig/isas the substantal
factor and thereby stands out as idissoluble ioiis·/and exalted above
the contngency of the passions and of partcular tansient caprice.
Ethical Li
Ítwas notcd abovc (;75) tbat marrìaµc ìs not a conuactuaÍ
rcÍabonsbìp as !ar as ìts csscnbaÍbasìs ìs conccmcd. Íor tbc
conuact- ì.c.tbatoIìndìvìduaÍpcrsonaÍìÞas ascÍ!-suIbcìcnt
unìt- i·· sré·rissop··s·é·ii|i/ooo1o/·/·oJ.Åbatìdcnbbca-
mcmbcrs arc ìts accìdcnts |aÍtbouµb substancc ìs csscnbaÍÍy
tbc rcÍabonsbìp o!accìdcnts to ìtscÍ!- scc £ooc/spo·éios1i/·
P/i/sssp/ico/ Sci·oc·s, ;95)
ìs tbc ctbìcaÍ spìrìt. Åakcn by
ìtscÍ!|ûrsic/J- ì.c. suìppcd o!tbc many cxtcmaÍ !caturcs ìt
posscsscsbyvìrtuco! ìtscXstcncc |Dos·ioJìni/·s·ìndìvìduaÍs
and ìn tbosc ìntcrcsts o![tbc rcaÍm oH appcarancc wbìcb arc
ìna sbapc approprìatc to rcprcscntabonaÍ tbouµbt, tbìs spìrìt
bas bccn vcncratcd as tbc P·ooi·sctc., and ìn µcncraÍ ìti ìn
tbìs spìrìt tbat tbc r·/igisos cbaractcr o! marrìaµc and tbc
!amìÍy, ì.c.pi·i,,ìscmbodìcd.°Ítìsa mrtbcrabsuacboni tbc
dìvìnc and substanbaÍ ìs scparatcd !romìu cXstcncc |Dos·ioJ
ìnsucbaway tbat IccÍìnµ|£¬p1oé·ugJ and tbc conscìousncss
o!spìrìtuaÍ unìÞ arc catcµorìzcd |ûi·riJ as wbat ìs !aÍscÍy
caÍÍcd P/oisoic /sv·. Åbìs scparabon ìs assocìatcd wìtb tbc
monasbc atbtudc wb:cb dcbncs tbc momcnt o!naturaÍ Íì!c
|L·/·oéigl·iiJ as uttcrÍy o·goiiv·and, by tbìs vcry scparabon,
cndows ìtwìtbìnH1I:tc ìmportancc ìnìtscÍ!!ìrsic/J.
÷1iiis·· (H,C).Narríaµc dìIIcrs Irom cs»o/iscg· ìnasmucbastbc Íattcr
drìvcìsmadc subordìnatcwìtbìn marríaµc.Åbìsìswby,wìthìn martíaµc,
onc may spcakunbÍusbìnµÍyoInaturaÍ !uncuonswbícb, ìncxUa-marìtaÍ
rcÍauonsbíps, wouÍd producc a IccÍínµ o!sbamc. Üut tbìs ìs aÍso wby
marríaµc sbouÍd bc rcµardcd as ìndìssoÍubÍc i·· iis·ü !or thc cnd oI
marrìaµc ìs tbc cthìcaÍ cnd, wbìcb ìs so cxaÍtcd mat cvcrytbínµ cÍsc
appcars powcrÍcss aµaìnstìtand sub¡cctto ìu autborìD. Narrìaµc sbouÍd
notbc dísruptcd by passìon, !or thc Íattcr ìs subordínatc to ìt. Üut ìt ìs
índíssoÍubÍc onÍy is iis·l, Ior as Lbrìst says, dìvorcc ìs pcrmíttcd onÍy
'bccausc o!thc bardncss oI thcír bcarts`.` bíncc marríaµc contaìns tbc
momcnto!!ccÍìnµ|£¬pf··é·ug},ìtìs notabsoÍutcbutunstabÍc,andìtbas
wìthín ìtthcpossìbíÍìDoIdìssoÍuuon. Üut aÍÍ ÍcµísÍauons must makc sucb
dìssoÍuuon as dìmcuÍt as possìbÍc and upboÍd tbc ríµbt o!cthìcs aµaìnst

· �
Philosophy of Right
Just as the stpulaton of a contact in itself [rsic/J contains the
genuine tansfer of propert (see § 79), so also do the solemn declara­
ton of consent to the etical bond of marriage and its recogniton and
confrmaton by the family and communit consttute te formal cso-
dosisoand ocioo/|nof marriage. (That the c/orc/ plays a part in this
connecton is a frter determinaton which cannot be discussed
here.) It is accordingly only afer this ceremony has 1niiol·op/cc·,as
the completon of the so/siooiio/[aspect of marriage] by means of the
sigo - i.e. by means of language as the most spiritual exstence
|Dos·ioJof the spiritual (see § 78) - that this bond has been ethically
consttuted. The sensuous moment which pertains to natural life
|L·/·oéigl·iiJ is thereby put in its ethical context | |·r/ö/ioisJ as an
accidental consequence belonging to the exteral exstence of the
ethical bond, which may even consist exclusively in mutual love and
If, in order to establish or assess the legal determinatons [of
marriage], it is asked what the c/io·oéof marriage is, this
chief end wl be understood to mean whatever individual
aspect of its actualit is to be regarded as more essental than
te others. But no one aspect on its own |fërsic/Jconsttutes
the whole extent of its content which has being in and for
itelf - that is, of it etical character - and one or other
aspect of its exstence |£xisi·ozJ may be absent, without
prejudice to the essence of marriage. - If the csoc/osiso s1
¬orriog·as such - i.e. the ceremony whereby the essence of
m bond is expressed and cso1m·é as an ethical qualit
exalted above the csoiiog·ooof feeling |£¬p1oéoogJ and por-
iiaurioc/iooiiso - is seen as an oi¬o/1m·o/in and a so­
called purely ovüpr·cwi, nothing remains of m act except
perhaps the purpose |Z¬·clJof edificaton and of attestng the
civil relatonship [of the marriage parters]. Or indeed, it is
the merely positve, arbitary enactent of a civil or
ecclesiastcal precept, which is not ony indiferent to the
nature of marriage, but also - in so far as the emotons are
inclined by this precept to attach a value to the formal conclu­
sion [of marriage] and to regard it as a conditon which must

Ethical Li
be flfilled before the parters can commit themselves totally
to each other - brings disunt into· the dispositon of love
and, as an alien factor, runs counter to the inwardness of ths
unon. Although such an opinion claims to impart the highest
concepton of the freedom, inwardness, and perfecton of
love, it in fact denies the ethical character of love, that higher
suppression and subordinaton of mere natural drive which is
already naturally present in s/o¬·and which the more deter­
minate spiritual consciousness raises to c/osii(r and po·in
|Zoc/iJ.More partcularly, the view just referred to casts aside
the ethical determinaton [of marriage]. This consists in the
fact that the consciousness emerges fom its naturalness and
subjectvit to concentate on the thought of the substantal.
Instead of frther reserving to itself the contngency and
arbitariness of sensuous inclinaton, it removes the marriage
bond fom this arbitariness and, pledging itself to the
Penates, makes it over to the substantal; it thereby reduces
the sensuous moment to a merely csoéiiisoo/one - condi­
toned, that is, by the tue and ethical character of the rela­
tonship, and by the recogniton of the marriage bond as an
ethical one. - It is impertnence and it ally, the understand­
ing, which cannot grasp the speculatve nature of the substan­
tal relatonship; but both the uncorrupted ethical emotons
|6·¬|ìiJand the legislatons of Christan peoples are in keep­
ing with this speculatve nature.
÷éé|i|so(G). Friedrich von Schlegel in his Ltc1 and a follower of his in
the anonymous Lettes (Lubeck and Leipzig, 1800) have argued tat te
marriage ceremony is superfuous and a formalit which could be dispen­
sed wit, on te grounds that love is te substantal element and tat it
value may even be diminished by tis celebraton. · These writers
represent the physical surrender as necessary in order to prove te
feedom and intensit of love -an argument wit which seducers are not
unfamiliar. On the relatons between man and woman, it should be noted
tat a girl loses her honour in [the act of] physical surrender, which is not
so much the case wit a man, who has anoter feld of ethical actvit
apart fom the family. A girl's vocaton |B·s/ioo·mg} consist essentally
only in te marital relatonship; what is therefore required is tat love
"Translator's note: Instead of vermeinige, which I have tanslated 'brings disunity into',
Hofmeister's editon has vermrenige, which means 'contaminates' or 'defles'.
´ ·
� ..
Philosophy oj Right
should assume the shape of marriage, and that the different moments
which are present in love should attain their tuly ratonal relaton to each
1 6
The soioro/determinacy of the two sexes acquires an io·//·cioo/and
·i/ice/ signifcance by virtue of its ratonalit. This signifcance is
determined by the difference into which the ethical substantalit, as
the concept in itself, divides itself up in order that its vitality may
thereby achieve a concrete unt.
1 66
The ss· [sex] is therefore spiritualit which divides itself up into
personal self-suffciency with being 1riis·/and the knowledge and
voliton of 1·· osiv··so/in, i.e. into the self-consciousness of con­
ceptual thought and the voliton of the objectve and ultmate end.
And the si/·ris spiritualit which maintains itself in unity as know­
ledge and voliton of the substantal in the form of concrete iséiviéo-
o/|n|£isz·//·iiJ anc1·hsg|£o p1sé·ugJ .In its exteral relatons, the
former is powerfl and actve, the latter passive and subjectve. Man
therefore has his actual substantal life in the state, in learng |Uis-
s·ssc/ofJ,etc., and otherwise in work and stuggle with the exteral
world and with himself, so that it is only through his division that he
fghts his way to self-sufcient unit \vith himself. In the family, he
has a peacefl intuiton of this unit, and an emotve |w oé·oéJand
subjectve ethical life. Woman, however, has her substantal vocaton
|8·sii¬¬oogJ in the family, and her ethical dispositon consists in this
[family] pi·
In one of the most sublime presentatons of piet - the ÷oi-
gss·of Sophocles - this quality is therefore declared to be
primarily the law of woman, and it is presented as the law of
emotve |w oé·séJ and subjectve substantalit, of inward­
ness which has not yet been fully actualized, as the law of the
ancient gods and of the chthonic realm |ées |oi·riréisc/·sJas
an eteral law of which no one knows whence it came, and in
oppositon to the public law, the law of the state - an opposi­
ton of the highest order in ethics and therefore in tagedy,
Ethical Li
and one which is individualized in femininit and masculinity
in the same play; cf. P/·os¬·os/sg s1Spirii, pp. 383f. and
÷ééiiiso(,G). Women may well be educated, but they are not made for
the higher sciences, for philosophy and certain artstc productons which
requie a universal element.2 Women may have insight '£io1//·},taste,
and delicacy, but they do not possess te ideal. The difference between
man and woman is the difference between animal and plant; the animal i
closer in character to man, the plant to woman, for the latter is a more
peacefl [process of] unfolding whose principle is the more indeterminate
unity of feeling '£¬p]··é:æg}.When women are in charge of goverent,
the state is in danger, for their actons are based not on the demands
of universality but on contngent inclinaton and opinion. The educaton
of women takes place imperceptbly, as if through the atosphere of
representatonal thought, more through living than trough the acquisi­
ton of knowledge 'Kwouiss·»}, whereas man attains his positon only
through the attainment of thought and numerous technical exertons.
Marriage is essentally ¬sosgo¬,,because it is personalit or immedi­
ate exclusive ioéiviéoo/ii, |£ioz·//·iiJ which enters into and sur­
renders itelf to this relatonship, whose tuth and io¬oréo·ss (i/·
so/;·ctiv·1m· s1 so/siooiio/in) consequently arise ony out of the
mutual and ooéiviéeésurrender of this personalit.] The latter attains
its right of being conscious of itself in the si/·ronly in so far as the
other is present in this identt as a person, i.e. as atomic individualit.
Marriage, and essentally monogamy, is one of the absolute
principles on which the ethical life of a community is based;
the insttuton of marriage is therefore included as one of the
moments in the foundaton of states by gods or heroes.
I 68
Furthermore, since marriage arises out of the 1··so~·oéerby both
sexes of their personalites, which are infinitely unique |·a·oJ to
themselves, it must not be concluded within the ooisro//r iéoiico/
circle of people who are acquainted and familiar with each other in
every detail - a circle in which the individuals do not have a distnct
Philosophy of Right
personalit of their own in relaton to one another - but must take
place [between people] from separate families and personalites of
diferent origin. Marriage between //ssé r·/oiisos is therefore at
variance with the concept of marriage as an ethical act of feedom
rather than an associaton based on immediate natural exstence
|Aoisr/ic/l·iiJ and its drives, and hence it i also at variance with
genuine natural feeling |£¬p1oé·ugJ.
If marriage itself is regarded as an arbitary contact and as
grounded not in ooiom//o¬but merely in the natural sexual
drive, and i exteral reasons for monogamy have been
derived even fom the physical relaton between numbers of
men and women, and obscure feelings have been cited as the
only reason for prohibitng marriage between blood relatons,
such arguments are based on the common noton ||sni·//oogJ
of a state of nature and of the naturalness of right, and on the
absence of the concept of ratonalit and feedom.
÷ééiiiss d. In the first place, marriage between blood relatons runs
counter even to the feeling |6o||/ñof shame, but this revulsion is just­
fed by the concept of the thing |Scc/··}.In other words, what is already
united cannot then be united only by means of marriage. A far as the
purely natural relatonship is concered, it is well known that reproduc­
ton within a family of animals produces more feeble offspring, for what i
to be united must frst be separate; the power of procreaton, like that of
the spirit, increases with the magnitude of oppositons out of which it
reconsttutes itself. Familiarit, acquaintance, and the habit of shared
actvity should not be present before marriage: they should be discovered
only within it, and the value of this discover is all the greater the richer it
is and the more components it has.
The family, as a person, has it exteral realit in prsp·n,and only in
the latter, in the shape of r·ssorc·s, does its substantal personalit
have its extence |Dos·ioJ.
Ethical Li
§§ I 68-I7
B. The Famil's Resources
Not only does the family have propert; as a ooiv·no/and wéoriog
person, it also incurs the need for possessions which are determined
as p·moo·oiand s·ar·,i.e. it needs r·ssorc·s.Abstact property con­
tains the arbitary moment of the partcular need of the siog/·
ioéiviéoo/|á//s1£ioz·/o·oJ,this is here tansfoned, along with the
selfshness of desie, into care and acquisiton for a cs¬¬ooo/ponss·,
i.e. into an ·i/ico/qualit.
The intoducton of pennanent propert appears, in conjunc­
ton with the insttuton of marriage, in the legends of the
founding of states, or at least of civilized ;·siii·iJ social lfe.
But the precise nature of these resources and the tue method
of consolidatng them become apparent within the sphere of
civil societ.
§ 1
The family as a legal |r·c/i/ic/·Jperson in relaton to others must be
represented by the husband as its head. In additon, he is primarly
responsible for exteral acquisiton and for caring for the family's
needs, as well as for the contol and administaton of the family's
resources. These are common propert, so that no member of the
family has partcular propert, although each has a right to what is
held in common. This right and the contol of the resources by the
head of the family may, however, come into collision, because the
ethical dispositon of the family is stll immediate (see § IS8) and
exosed to partcularizaton and contngency.
§ 1
When a marriage takes place, a o·¬1¬i/ris consttuted, and this is
s·/sofciwifor itself in relaton to the lios/ipgrsopsor houses fom
which it originated; its mwith the latter are based on the natural
blood relatonship, but the new family is based on ethical love. The
propert of an individual is therefore also essentally connected with
Philosophy of Right
his marital relatonship, and only more distantly connected with his
kinship group or house.
Mcrr|cg·s·ii/e¬·oiswhich place a resticton on the common
ownership by the parters of their goods, and measures which
ensure that the wife wl contnue to receive legal support,
etc., are signifcant inasmuch as they provide for the dissolu­
ton of the marriage in the event of natural death, divorce,
etc., and attempt to guarantee tat, in such an eventualit, te
share of the various members of the family in the common
propert wl be preserved.
÷1|i|sod.Many legal codes relate to the family in the wider sense and
regard it as the essental bond, whereas the other bond which unites each
specifc family appears less important in comparison. Thus, in older
Roman law, the wife in the less binding variet of marriage had a closer
relatonship to her own kinsfolk than to her children and husband/ and in
the era of feudal law, the maintenance of the sp/·oéor1¬|/|cmade it
necessary to count only the male members of te family as belonging to it
and to regard the family in its entret as the most importnt factor,
whereas the newly consttuted family disappeared fom view. Neverthe­
less, every new family is more essental tan the wider context of blood
relatonships, and marriage parters and children form the proper
nucleus in oppositon to what can also be described in a certain sense as
the family. The fancial circumstances ||·nosgc··sccr/ë/io|s} of individu­
als must therefore have a more essental connecton with their marrage
than with the wider circle of teir blood relatons .
C Te Upbringing of Children and the Dissolution of the
The oo|nof marriage, which in substance is merely |o¬créo·ss and
é|spos|i|oobut in exstence |c/s·x|si|·r···éJ is divided between the two
subjects, |is·/ becomes in the children co o|si·oc· |·|o· £x|si·ozJ
¬/|c//cs/·|og1r|is·/, and an s/;·ci |6·g·osicoéwhich they [i.e. the
parents] love as their love and their substantal exstence |Dcs·u·J .-
From the point of view of nature, the presuppositon of persons
exstng |¬¬·é|ci·h- as parents - here becomes the r·so/i,a process
2 1 0
Ethical Li §§ 1
which runs on into the innnite progression of generauons which
produceandpresupposeone another.Jhisisthemode inwhichthe
simp|espiritofthe!enatesrevea|sits exstence '£x|s|:»z}asaspecies
'6c|ts··e}·inthe 6nite rea|m ofnature.
a1á|||s» 1.The re|auon of|ovebeteenmanandwife is notyetan
ob|ecuve one, for even ifthis fee|ing '£»¡1»1····ei is their substanua|
unin, this unindoesnotyetpossess ob|ecuvin '6:e¬s·s»1/|c|/:||i.The
ofmeirunionbefore them. !n the chi|d, the mother |oves herhusband
is present in their chi|dren in a spiritua| form in which meparents are
"Translalors nole: Compare note to § 161 above.
Chi|drenhavea righttobe /·sse||s¡andss¡¡s·t:1attheexpenseof
the fami|y. Jhe right of the parents to their chi|dren's s:n|::s, as
the fami|yingenera|. !nthesameway, therightoftheparentsover
thec·/||·c¬c|//ofthechi|dren isdeterminedbytheend ofbringing
sm enuÜe|led in natureand to raisethe universa| into the chi|d-
ren'sconsciousness andwl.
a1á|||s·· 1.Humanbeings do not arrive byinsunctatwhattheyare
desuned tobecome, on meconuar, theymustattain thisbytheirown
efforts. This is the basis ofthechi|d's right to its upbringing. The same
depotsandarenotregardedas se|f-suf6cientadu|ts.Theser¬ceswhich
oftheirupbringing,theymustnotc|aimtobe|usu6ed intheirownnght
'f.·s|d·i, for the most unethica| ofa|| re|auonships is mat in which
discip|ine,thepurpose ofwhichisto breakthe chi|d's se|f-w||inorderto
eradicate the mere|y sensuous and natura|. One shou|d notimaginethat
2 I I
' W

' Í l
Philosophy oj Right
ate will which acts according to immediate fancies and desires rather than
reasons and representatons [Vorstellll1lget]. If one presents children with
reasons, it is lef to them to decide whether to accept these or not, and
thus everything is made to depend on their caprice.2 The fact that the
parents consttute the unversal and essental element entails the need for
obedience on the part of the children. Unless the feeling of subordina­
ton, which creates a longing to grow up, is nurtured in the children, they
become forward and impertnent.3
Children are free ioi/·¬s·/v·s,and their life is merely the immediate
exstence |Dos·ioJ of this feedom/ they therefore do not belong as
things [Saczm] either to others or to their parents. As far as their
relatonship with the family is concered, their op/r|ogioghas the
pssiiiv·determinaton that, in them, the ethical is given the form of
immediate 1·/iog |£¬p1oéoogJ which is stll without oppositon, so
that their early emotonal life may be lived in this [context], as the /osis
of ethical life, in love, tust, and obedience. But in the same connec­
ton, their upbringing also has the o·goiiv· determinaton of raising
the children out of the natural immediacy in which they originally
exst to self-sufciency and freedom of personalit, thereby enabling
them" to leave the natural unit of the family.
The positon of Roman children as slaves is one of the insttu­
tons which most tarshes the Roman legal code, and this
offence against the most vulnerable and innermost life of
ethics Lone of the most important moments which enable us
to understand the world-historical character of the Romans
and their tendency towards legal formalism. - The need for
an upbringing is present in children as their own feeling of
dissatsfacton within themselves at te way they are - as the
drive to belong to the adult world whose superiorit they
sense, or as the desire to grow up. The method of educaton
though play sees childishness itself as already inherently
valuable, presents it in this light to the children, and debases
serious things - and the method itelf - to a childish form for
which the children themselves have little respect.2 By
representng children, in the immature state which they feel
they are in, as in fact mature, by endeavouring to make tem
2 1 2
Ethical Li
satsfied with the way they are, m method distorts and
obscures the tue need of the children themselves for some­
thing better; it creates in them on the one hand an indif­
ference towards, and imperviousness to, the substantal
relatons of the spiritual world, and on the other a contempt
for people inasmuch as they have presented themselves to
them in a childish and contemptble light, and fnally a vanit
and self-importance which revels in its own excellence.
÷1|i|so d,C). A a child, the human being must have lived wth his
parents in a circle oflove and tst, and the ratonal must appear in him as
m own most personal '·|go·si·}subjectvty. In te period of infancy, the
mother's role in the child's upbringg is of primary importance, for [the
principles of] ethics must be implanted in the child in the form of feeling
'£¬p]··é·og}. It should be noted tat, on the whole, children love their
parents less than their parents love them, for the children are increasingly
independent and gain in stengt, thereby leaving their parents behind
them, whereas the parent possess in their children the objectve and
concrete form 'é|·s/;·lia·6·g···si»·é/|c/l·|i} of their union.
Marriage Lstlonly the immediate [form of the] ethical Idea and thus
has its objectve actualit in the inwardness of subjectve dispositon
and feeling |£¬p1oéoogJ.This accounts for the basic contngency of
it exstence |£¬sio·zJ.Just as there can be no compulsion to marry,
so also can there be no merely legal |r·clihd··sJor positve bond which
could keep the parters together once their dispositons and actons
have become antagonistc and hostle. A third ethical authorit is,
however, required in order to uphold the right of marriage - i.e. of
etical substantalit - against the mere opinion that a hostle disposi­
ton L present, and against the contngency of merely tansient
moods, etc. , to distnguish these fom total estangement, and to
make sure that the parters are totally estanged before é|vsrc· is
÷éé|i|so d).Since marriage is based only on subjectve and contgent
feeling, it may be dissolved. The state, on the other hand, is not subject to
partton, for it is based on law. Marriage certainly sog/ito be indis­
soluble, but this indissolubilit remains no more than an s//|gci|so.Since,
however, marrage is an ethical insttuton, it cannot be dissolved by the
2 13
Philosophy of Right
arbitary will but only by an ethical authority, whether this be the Church
or a court of law. If a total estangement has occurred - e.g. through
adultery - then even te religious authorit must permit divorce.
The ethical dissoluton of the family consists in the fact that the
children are brought up to become free personalites and, when they
have cs¬·s1og·, are recogned as legal |r·cl·i/ic/·J persons and as
capable both of holding free propert of their own and of founding
their own families - the sons as heads of families and the daughters as
wives. In this family they now have their substantal determinaton,
and in relaton to it, their original family recedes in importance as
merely their original basis and point of departure, while the abstact
category |éos÷/sirolio¬Jof the kinship group has even fewer rights.
The natural dissoluton of the family through the death of the parents,
partcularly of the husband, results in io/·riiooc· of the family's
resources. Inheritance is essentally a taking possession by the
individual as his own propert of what i·· i/·¬s·/v·s are common
resources - an acquisiton which, in the case of more distant relaton­
ships and with the increasing self-sufficiency of persons and families
as a result of the dispersal of civil societ, becomes more indetermi­
nate as the dispositon of unit declines and as every marriage leads to
the renunciaton of previous famiy relatonships and the establish­
ment of a new and self-sufficient family.
The noton |£io1mthat inheritance is based on the fact that,
by a person's death, his resources become s¬o·r/·sspnp·n
and as such accrue to the first person to take possession of
them, and that, since it is g·ro/h the relatves of the
deceased, as those who are osoo//rclosest at hand, who take
possession in this way, this common OCcurrence is then made
into a rule, for the sake of order, by positve legislaton - this
noton disregards the nature of the family relatonship. I
2 1 4
Ethical Li
The disintegraton [of the family] leaves the arbitary wl of the
individual fee either to expend his entre resources in accordance
wit h caprices, opinions, and individual ends |Z¬·cl·de £ioz·//·iiJ,
or to regard a circle of fiends, acquaintances, etc. so to speak as
taking the place of a family and to make a pronouncement to that
effect in a iaio¬·oiwhereby they become his rightl heirs.
The formaton [Bi/dÎMg] of such a circle as would give the wl
an ethical justficaton for disposing of resources in this way -
especially in so far as the very act of forming this circle has
testamentary implicatons - involves so much contngency,
arbitariness, intent to pursue selfish ends, etc., that the ethi­
cal moment is extemely vague; and the recogniton that the
arbitar wlis enttled to make bequests is much more likely
to lead to infingements of ethical relatons and to base aspira­
tons and equally base attachments, and to provide an oppor­
tunit and justfcaton for foolish arbitariness and for the
insidious practce of attaching to so-called benefactons and
gifs vain and oppressively vexatous conditons which come
into efect afer the benefactor's death, in which event his
propert in any case ceases to be his.
61 80
1 80
The principle that the members of the family become self-sufficient
and rightl persons (see § 1 77) allows something of this arbitariness
and discriminaton to arise within the family circle among the natural
heirs; but it must occur only on a very limited scale i the basic
relatonship is not H be damaged.
The simple direct arbitariness of the deceased cannot be
made the principle of the ng/iis¬ol·o¬ih,especially if it is
opposed to the substantal right of the family; for the love and
veneraton of the family for its former member are primarily
the only guarantee that his arbitary wlwlbe respected afer
his death. Such arbitarness in itself contains nothing which
deseres greater respect than the right of the family itself - on
the contary. Otherwise, the validit of a testamentary disposi-
21 5

Philosophy of Right
ton would reside solely in its arbitary recogniton by others. 1
But a validit of this kind can be admitted primarily only when
the family relatonship of which the dispositon fonus an
integral part grows more remote and ineffectve. But ineffec­
tveness in a family relatonship, when the latter is actually
present, must be classed as unethical, and to extend the
validit of arbitary dispositons at the expense of family rela­
tonships is implicitly to weaken the latter's ethical standing. -
To make m arbitariness the main principle of ineritnce
within the family was, however, part of that harsh and unethi­
cal aspect of Roman law referred to above, whereby a son
could even be sold by his father and, i he was given h
feedom by others, again came under his father's authorit
|6·¬o/iJand did not actually become free untl he had been
given his feedom for the third tme.2 According to these laws,
the son never attained his majorit écior·,nor did he become
a legal |r·c/i/|c/·J person, and the spoils of war ¡·a/|o¬
ccir·os·)were the only propert which he could own;3 and if
he escaped from his father's authorit by being sold and
liberated on three occasions in the manner described above,
he could not inherit along with those who remained in
servitude to the family unless he was expressly included in the
wl. In the same way, a wife (in so far as she entered marriage
as a ¬oirso, and not as one who io ¬ooo¬ cs··v·oir·i, io
¬oocipis·ss·i,·as on entering a state of slavery) contnued to
belong to the family from which she came, rather than to the
family which, by her marriage, she had in part founded and
which was now actually /·rs¬o,and she was therefore debar­
red from inheritng the resources of those who were ocioo/h
/·r1¬ih, just as the latter could not inherit from their wife
and mother.4 - We have already notced (see Remarks to § 3
above) how the unethical aspects of these and other such laws
|R·c/i·J were circumvented in the administaton of justce,
e.g. with the help of the expression /sosm¬psss·ssisinstead of
/·r·éiios, and through the fcton of giving a 1/|o the desig­
naton 1/ios (the fact that /sosnm·psss·ssisis in tum distnct
fom psss·ssis /sosm¬ belongs to that kind of knowledge
"Translator's note: 'entered into marriage and W3 thereby enslaved'.
21 6
Ethical Li
7i··iss·oJ which characterizes the expert on legal mat­
ters).s This, as we noted, was the sad necessit H which the
judge had to resort, in the face of bad laws, in order to
smuggle ratonalit, /,ormd¬·oos,into at least some of their
consequences. This was associated with the terrible instabilit
of the main insttutons [of the state], and with a frantc
actvit of legislaton designed to counteract the outbreak of
evils [U·l which resulted from it. - The unethical conse­
quences which thjs right of arbitariness in testamentary dis­
positons had among the Romans are familiar enough from
history, and fom the account of Lucian and other writers.6 -
It lies in the nature of marriage itself, as the immediate [form
of] ethical life, that it is a mixture of substantal relatonship,
natural contngency, and inner arbitariness. If, then,
arbitariness is given precedence over the right of the sub­
stantal as a result of the servitude of children and the other
determinatons referred to above or associated with these, and
not least because divorce was easy to obtain in Rome - so that
even Cicero (and what fne things he has written about
/so·sio¬and éccsm¬·in his D·0fciis and everywhere else
in his works!) could divorce his wife as a speculaton in order
to pay his debts out of his new wife's dowry -then a legal way
is open to ethical corrupton, or rather the laws make such
corrupton inevitable.7
That insttuton of the law of inheritance which, in order to
pr·s·n· the 1¬i/r and to enhance its r·os¬o by means of
so/siiioiis··s and 1¬i/ri·sio¬·oio¬i·usis,³either favours the
sons by excluding the daughters fom inheritance or favours
the eldest son by excluding the remaining children (or allows
any other kind ofinequality to arise) on the one hand infringes
the principle of the feedom of propert (see § 62), and on the
other depends on an arbitariness which in and for itself has
no right to recogniton - or more precisely, it depends on the
intenton to uphold not so much i/is family, as i/is kinship
group or house. Not i/ishouse or kinship group, however, but
the 1¬i/rossoc/ is the Idea which has this right [to recog­
niton], and freedom [to dispose] of resources and equalit of
"Tralls!alors 1I0e: 'morality' and 'proprict'.
Trlls/alors Iwle: u/Dillies (ttle of a work by Ciccro).
21 7
§ 1 80
Philosophy of Right
inheritance are much more likely than their opposites to
preserve both the shape [GestaltungJ of ethics and the fmilies
themselves. - Insttutons like those of Rome totally misap­
prehend the right of marriage (see § 1 72), for marriage entails
the complete foundaton of a distnct and actual family, in
comparison with which what is called the family in a general
sense - i.e. the stirps or ges - becomes only an abstacton
which grows ever more remote and less actual as one gener­
aton succeeds the other (see § 1 77). Love, the ethcal
moment in marriage, is, as love, a feeling [Empfndlmg] for
actual individuals in the present, not for an abstacton. - On
this abstacton of the understanding as the world-historical
principle of the Roman Empire, see below (§ 3
6). - The
higher sphere of politcs brings with it a right of primo­
geniture and an inflexble entailment of resources - not,
however, in an arbitary manner, but as a necessary conse­
quence of the Idea of the state; but this wlbe dealt wth later
(see § 306).
Additiol (H,G). In Rome, te father in earlier tmes could disinherit his
children, and could even kill tem;9 later, this was no longer permitted.
Attempts were made to create a system out of this incongruit between
the unethical and its ethical adaptatons, and it is adherence to this system
which consttutes the difcult and inadequacy of our own law of
inheritance. Wills may certainly be permitted; but in allowing them to be
made, our point of view must be that this right of arbitariness arises or
increases with the disintegraton of the family and the distance between
its members; and the so-calledfmio, ofdship which a will brings into
exstence can arise only in the absence of the closer family of marriage
and children. Wills in general have a disagreeable and unpleasant aspect,
for in making my will, I identf those for whom I have an affecton. But
affecton is arbitary; it may be gained in various ways under false
pretences or associated with various foolish reasons, and it may lead to a
beneficiar being required to submit to the greatest indignites. In Eng­
land, where all kinds of eccenticity are endemic," innumerable foolish
notons are associated with wills.
"Translator's note: The preceding seven words appear to be Gans's interpolaton, since
they have no counterpart m te sectons of Hotho's and Griesheim's notes (P R 1II,
558-562 and W,466-468) on which tis Additon is based.
21 8

Ethical Li § § 1 801 81
§ 1 8 1
The family disintegrates, in a natural manner and essentally through
the principle of personality, into a pluralit of famlies whose relaton
to one another is in general that of self-suffcient concrete persons
and consequently of an exteral kind. I other words, the moments
which are bound together in the unit of the family, as the etical Idea
which is stll in its concept, must be released from the concept to
[attain] self-suffcient realit. This is the stage of diere1lce [D@re1z].
To put it frst in abstact terms, this gives the determinaton of
particularty which is related to universality, but in such a way that the
latter is its basis - though stll only its imler basis; consequently, this
universalit is present only as a formal appearance in the partcular [auf
fnne/le, in das Besondre 1zur scllei1le1lde Weise]. This relaton of reflec­
ton accordingly represent in the frst instance the loss of ethical life;
or, since the latter, as the essence, necessarily appear (see
Encclopaedia ofthe Philosophical Sciences, §§ 64f. and 8I ff.)/ this rela­
ton consttutes the world ofappearance of the ethical, i.e. civil socet.
The expansion of the family, as its tansiton to another
principle, is, in [the realm of exstence [Existe1lz], either a
peacefl expansion whereby it becomes a people or nation,
which thus has a common natural origin, or a coming together
of scattered family communites under the infuence of a
dominant power or in a voluntary union prompted by inter­
dependent needs and their reciprocal satsfacton.
Additi01 (. The point of departure of universality here is the self­
sufciency of the partcular, so tat ethical life appears to be lost at U
level, for it is in fact the identt of the family which consciousness regards
as the primary, divine, and obligatng factor. But a relaton now arises
whereby the partcular is to be my primary determining principle, and the
ethical determinaton is thereby superseded. But I am in fact simply
under a misapprehension, for while I believe that I am adhering to the
partcular, the universal and the necessit of the [wider] context neverthe­
less remain the primary and essental factor. I am thus entrely on the
level of semblance, and while my partcularit remains my determining
principle - that is, my end - I am thereby serving the universal which in
fact retains ultmate power over me.
2 I 0
¸ Î
t 1
'. '
Civ Societ
The concrete person who, as a poriia/orperson, as a totalit of needs
and a mixture of natural necessit and arbitariness, is his own end, is
so·priocip/·of civil societ. But this partcular person stands essen­
tally i r·/oiiso |8ei·l··ugJ to other similar partculars, and their
relaton is such that each asserts itself and gains satsfacton through
the others, and thus at the same tme through the exclusive ¬·éioiiso
of the form of ooiv·no/in,which is i/·s·csoépriocip/·.
÷éé|i|so d,C).Civil societ is the [stage of diference [Dierenz] which
intervenes between the family and the state, even if its fll development
[ubildtmg] occurs later than that of the state; for as diference, it presup­
poses the state, which it must have before it as a self-sufcient entt in
order to subsist [bestelen] itself Besides, the creaton of civil societ
belongs to the modem world, which for the ft tme allows all
determinatons of the Idea to attain their rights. If the state is represented
Ü a unit of diferent persons, as a unit which is merely a communit [of
interests], this applies only to the determinaton of civil society. Many
modem exponents of consttutonal law have been unable to offer any
view of the state but this. In civil societ, each individual i his own end,
and all else means nothing to m. But he cannot accomplish the fl
extent of his ends without reference to oters; these others are therefore
means to the end of the partcular [person]. But through its reference to
others, the partcular end takes on the form of universalit, and gains
satsfacton by simultneously satsfng the welfare of oters. Since par­
tcularit is ted to the conditon of universalit, the whole [of civil societ]
i the sphere [Boden] of mediaton in which all individual characteristcs
'£ioz·//·iio| , all apttudes, and 8 accidents of birth and fortune are
liberated, and where the waves of all passions surge forth, govered only
by the reason which shines through them. Partcularit, limited by univer­
salit, is the only standard by which each partcular [person] promotes his
The selfsh end in its actualizaton, conditoned in this way by univer­
salit, establishes a system of all-round interdependence, so that the
subsistence |So/sisi·ozJ and welfare of the individual |éa£im·/o·oJ
and h rightl exstence |Dc·ioJare interwoven with, and grounded
on, the subsistence, welfare, and rights of æ ,and have actualit and
securit only in this context. - One may regard msystem in the first
instance as the oi¬o/ sioi·, the sioi· s1 o·c·ssin
and s1 i/·
When it is divided in this way, the Idea gives a éisii··cioisi·oc·|Dos·ioJ
to its ¬s¬·ois-to poniæ/onnit gives the right to develop and exress
itselfin æ directons, and to universalit the right to prove itself both
as the ground and necessary form of partcularit, and as the power
behind it and its ultmate end. - It i the system of ethical life, lost in
its extemes, which consttutes the abstact moment of the r·o/in of
the Idea, which is present here only as the r·/oiiv·isio/inand im·e
o·casinof ts exteral opp·orooc·.
÷ééiiiso (. Here, the ethical is lost in its extemes, and the immediate
unit of the family has disintegrated into a pluralit. Realit here is
exteralit, the dissoluton of the concept, the self-sufciency of it
liberated and exstent moment. Although partcularit and unersalit
have become separated in civil societ, they are nevertheless bound up
with and conditoned by each other. Although each appears to do pre­
cisely the opposite of te other and imagines that it can exst only by
keeping the other at a distance, each nevertheless has the oter as it
conditon. Thus, most people regard the payment of taxes, for example, as
Ü igement of their partcularit, Ü a hostle element prejudicial to
their own ends; but however tue Umay ov·or,the partcularit of their
own ends cannot be satsfed without the universal," and a county in
"Translator's note: The remainder of this sentence has no counterart m the secton of
Hotho's notes (PR U. 570574) on which m Additon u based.
' |
' l
'' ` ·
Philosophy of Right
which no taxes were paid could scarcely distnguish itself in stengthening
its partcular interests [Bes01zderleitJ. It might likewise appear that the
universal would do better to absorb the stength of the partcular, as
described, for example, in Plato's Rwo//ic,but this agai is only apparent,
for the two exst solely through and for one anoter and are tansformed
into one another. In furthering my end, I further the universal, and this in
tur frthers my end. ·
1 8
Partcularit in itself mìrsid·J,on the one hand indulging itself in all
directons as it satsfies its needs, contngent arbitariness, and sub­
j ectve caprice, destoys itself and its substantal concept in the act of
enjoyment; on the other hand, as innitely agitated and contnually
dependent on exteral contngency and arbitariness and at the same
tme limited by the power of universalit, te satsfacton of both
necessary and contngent needs is itself contngent. I these opposites
and their complexty, civil societ affords a spectacle of exavagance
and misery as well as of the physical and ethical corrupton common
to both.
The self-sufcient development of partcularit (cf Remarks
to § 1 24) is the moment which appears in the states of the
ancient world as an mu of ethical corrupton and as the
ultmate reason |6nuéfor their dowfall. These states, some
of which were based on the patiarchal and religious principle
and others on the principle of a more spiritual, though sim­
pler, ethical life, but all of which were based on sngioo/
natural intuiton, could not withstand the division which arose
witin the latter as self-consciousness became infinitely
refected into itself. As this reflecton began to emerge, frst as
a dispositon and then in actualit, they succumbed to it,
because the simple principle on which they were stll based
lacked the tuly ite power which resides solely in that
unit which allows the sppssiiisowithin reason ||·moofJ is
éc·/spisiis]//sir·ogt/,and has overcome it so as to preserve
itself within it and ¬/s//rcssioio ii¬ii/ioiis·h¯ Plato, in his
Rwo//|c, presents the substance of ethical life in its ideal
/·ooi, and imi/, but he cannot come to terms with the
principle of self-suffcient partcularity, which had suddenly
Ethical Li
overtaken Greek ethical life in his tme, except by settng up
his purely substantal state in oppositon to it and completely
excluding it [from this state], fom its very begn gs in
pnvoi·pr@·n (see Remarks to § 4W and the 1¬ilto its
subsequent development ,os/i/é·ugJ as the arbitary wl of
individuals and their choice of social positon 'é·s Sio··é·sJ,
etc.3 This deficiency also explains why the great so/sio:·iio/
tuth of his Rwo/hcis imperfecdy understood, and why it is
usually regarded as a dream of abstact thought, as what is
indeed ofen called an iéco/.The principle of the s·/sofomi
osé i··/·rmi/r i··1sii· p·ns··o/in of the individual [écs
£i··z·/··mJ,the principle of subjectve feedom, which arose in
an inward form in the 6/risiio·· religion and in an exteral
form (which was therefore linked with abstact universalit) in
the Rs¬o··world, is denied its right in that merely substantal
form of the actual spirit [in Plato's Rwo//icJ.This principle is
historically later than the Greek world, and the phlosophical
reflecton which can fathom these depths is lkewise later tan
the substantal Idea of Greek philosophy.
÷ééiiis··d.Partcularit in itself 'ûrsid·Jis boundless '¬o]/ssJextava­
gance, and te fors of this exavagance are temselves boundless.
Through their representatons '|s·si·/·og···J and reflectons, human
beings expand their desires, which do not form a closed circle like animal
instnct, and extend them to false 's:/·/·d·i·J infnit. But on te other
hand, deprivaton and want are likewise boundless, and this confsed
situaton can be restored to harmony only trough te forcible interen­
ton of te state. Altough Plato's state sought to exclude partcularit,
tis is of no help, because such help would contadict te infinite right of
the Idea to allow partcularity its feedom. It was primarily in the
Christan religion that te right of subjectvit arose, along wit the
infinit of being-for-itself; and in this situaton, te totalit must also be
endowed wit sufcient steng to bring partcularit into harmony wit
the ethical unit.
I 86
But in the very act of developing itself independendy !rsic/J to
totalit, the principle of partcularit passes over into o··iv··so/ii,,and
only in the latter does it have its tuth and its right to positve actualit.
This unit is not that of ethical identt, because at this level of

' *·+
· ·`
' u
' t¦

· '
l ¦
Philosophy of Right
division (see § 1 84), the two principles are self-sufcient; and for the
same reason, it is present not as 1··éo¬,but as the o·c·ssinwhereby
the po·tia/ormust rise to the 1-os]ooiv·no/ii,and seek and find its
subsistence in this form.
Individuals, as citens of this state, are p·ivoi·p··ssoswho have their
own interest as their end. Since this end is mediated through the
universal, which thus opp·o·sto the individuals as a ¬·o··s,they can
attai their end only in so far as they themselves determine their
knowledge, voliton, and acton in a universal way and make them­
selves /iols in the chain of this csoiiooo¬ |Zoso¬¬·o/oogJ. In this
situaton, the interest of the Idea, which is not present in the con­
sciousness of these members of civil societ as such, is the prsc·ss
whereby their individualit |£ioz·//·iiJ and naturalness are raised,
bot by natural necessit and by their arbitary needs, is 1mo/ 1··éo¬
and formal ·uiv··so/in s] los¬/·ég· ooévs/iiiso, and subjectvt i
·éocoi·éin its partcularit.
The ideas ||s·si·//·:og···Jof the ioosc·oc·of the state of nature
and of the ethic:.l simplicit of uncultured |·ug·/iuci·rJ
peoples imply that ·éocoiiso |8i/é·ugJ wl be regarded as
something purely oi·n·o/and associated with corrupton.J On
the other hand, if one believes that needs, their satsfacton,
the pleasures and comforts ofindividual mo·tilo/o·c··Jlife, etc.
are o/ss/oi·ends, educaton wlbe regarded as merely a ¬·oos
to these ends. Both of these views show a lack of familiarit
with the nature of spirit and with the end of reason. Spirit
attains its actualit only through interal division, by imposing
this limitaton and finitude upon itselfin [the shape of natural
needs and the contnuum |Zoso¬¬·o/oogJ of this exteral
necessit, and, iot/·v·¬p·oc·sss]cácpiiogiis·/isi/·s·limi­
tatons, by overcoming them and gaining its s/;·ciiv·exstence
|Dcs·ioJ within them. The end of reason is consequently
"Translator's note: ebetl dmit, daf O sich in sie hineinbilet. In this secton, Hegel plays
repeatedly on various fonus of the verb bilde (to cducatc, shape, or cultvate) morder to
underline their semantc afnites. He eX'loits various forms of the verb sdintim (to
appear) to similar effect in § 1 81 .

Ethical Li
neither the natural ethical simplicit referred to above, nor, as
partcularit develops, the pleasures as such which are
attained through educaton. Its end is rather to work to
eliminate ooioro/si¬p/icin,whether as passive selfessness or
as barbarism of knowledge and voliton - i.e. to eliminate the
i¬¬·éioo and ioéiviéoo/in |£ioz·//·iiJ in which spirit is
immersed, so that this exteralit may take on the ratonalit s1
¬/ic/ ii is copo//·, namely the 1m· s1 ooiv·rsohn srs1 i/·
ooé·niooéiog. Only in this way is the spirit oi/s¬·and ¬ii/
iis·/in tis oi¬o/ii, as such. Its freedom thus has an
exstence |Dos·ioJ within the latter; and, in this element
which, io iis·/is alien to its determinaton of feedom, the
spirit becomes 1riis·/ and has to do only with what it has
impressed its seal upon and prséoc·é itself. - By this very
means, the 1m·s1·uiv·rso/incomes into exstence |£xisi·ozJ
for itself in thought, the only form which is a worthy element
for the exstence |£xisi·ozJ of the Idea. £éocoiiso, in its
absolute determinaton, is therefore /i/·miiso and ¬srl
towards a higher liberaton; it i the absolute tansiton to the
infinitely subjectve substantalit of etical life, which is no
longer immediate and natural, but spiritual and at the same
tme raised to the shape of universalit. Within the subject,
this liberaton i the /oré¬srlof opposing mere subjectvit of
conduct, of opposing the immediacy of desire as well as the
subjectve vanit of feeling |£¬p1oéoogJ and the arbitariness
of caprice. The fact that it is such hard work accounts for
some of the disfavour which it incurs. But it is through this
work of educaton that the subjectve wl attains s/;·aivin
even within itself, that objectvit in which alone it is for it
part worthy and capable of being the oaao/ii,of the Idea. -
Furthermore, this form of universality to which partcularit
has worked its way upwards and cultvated |/·roo1·/iu·iJ
itself, i.e. the form of the understanding, ensures at the same
tme that partcularit /·cs¬·s the genuine /·iog-1r-iis·/of
individualit |£ioz·//·iiJ,and, since it is from partcularity that
universalit receives both the content which flls it and its
infinite self-determinaton, partcularit is itself present in
ethical life as free subjectvity which has infinite being-for-
§ § r 86-r 87

' ll
Philosophy of Right
itself. This is the level at which it becomes plain that ·éocciiso
is an immanent moment of the absolute, and that it has
infinite value.
÷ééiiiso d.By educated people, we may understand in the first place
those who do everg as others do it and who do not faunt their
partcular characteristcs 'Pc·tilo/c·iiëi|, whereas it is precisely these
characteristcs which the uneducated display, since their behaviour is not
guided by the universal aspects of its object '6·go:sic». Similarly, in his
relatons wit others, the uneducated man can easily cause ofence, for he
simply let himself go and does not refect on the feelings '£» v]oé·æg·o|
of others. He does not wish to hurt others, but his conduct is not i
harmony with his wl. Thus, educaton irons out partcularit to make it
act in accordance with the nature of the thing '8ccl·| .True originality, by
which the [universaW thing is produced, requires tue educaton, whereas
false originalit assumes tasteless forms which occur only to the
" TrallSlalor's note: The te"", as exacted by Gans from Hotho's notes, reads so/he . . . die
alle mache1 kime1, was andere Iln ('those who can do everg that others do').
Hotho's notes in fact read daj sie alles mache1 w[ieJ Andere ('that they do everg 8
others do it'; VR Ill, S8z). I have adopted the latter reading as more authentc and 3
giving a better sense, and have modifed it to ft the stucture of Gans's sentence.
Trallslator's lIole: In Hotho's notes, on which this Additon is based, the term Sache is
here defined as 'the universal in ever form' (VP R III, 583). I have accordingly added
'universal' in bracket.
1 88
Civil societ contains the foUO\ving three moments:
A. The mediaton of o··éand the satsfacton of the ioéiviéoc/'écs
£ioz·/o·oJthrough his work and through the work and satsfacton
of the needs of chil·sil··s¯ the system of o··és.
B. The actualit of the universal of 1··és¬ contained therein, the
protecton of propert through the cé¬ioisi·oiiess1;osiic·.
C. Provisions against the contngency which remains present in the
above systems, and care for the partcular interest as a ceo¬es
interest, by means of te vs/|c·and the cs·psmiiso.
Ethical Li
A. The System of Needs
§ 1 8
Partcularit, in its primary detenninaton as that which is opposed to
the universal of the wlin general (see § 60)," is so/;·aiv·o··é,which
attains its objectvit, i. e. its soiis1octiso, by means of (o) exteral
things |Diog·J, which are likewise the prsp·n and product of the
needs and ¬ihsof others and of (�) actvit and work, as the mediaton
between the two aspects. The end of subjectve need is the satsfac­
ton of subjectve poni:u/orin,but in the relaton |8ei·/oogJbetween
this and the needs and free arbitar wlof others, ooiv·no/inasserts
itself, and the resultant manifestaton |Sc/·io·oJ of ratonality in the
sphere of fnitude is i/·ooé·siooéiog. This is the chief aspect which
must be considered here, and which itself consttutes the conciliator
element within this sphere.
Ps/iiico/·csos¬,is the science which begins with the above
viewpoints but must go on to explain mass relatonships and
mass movements in their qualitatve and quanttatve
detenninacy and complext. - This is one of the sciences
which have originated in the modem age as their element
|8sé·oJ.The development of science is of interest in showing
how i/sog/iextacts from the endless multtude of details with
which it is initally confonted the simple principles of the
thing |Sod··J , the understanding which works within it and
contols it (see Smith, Say, and Ricardo).1 - To recognize, in
the sphere of needs, tis manifestaton |Sc/·iooJof ratonalit
which is present in the thing |Soc/·J and actve within it has,
on the one hand, a conciliatory effect; but conversely, this is
also the field in which the understanding, with its subjectve
ends and moral opinions, gives vent to its discontent and
moral irritaton.
÷ééiiiso d,C).There are certain universal needs, such as food, drink,
cloting, etc., and how these are satsfed depends entrely on contngent
circumstances. The soil is more or less fertle in diferent places, the years
a Translator's note: The frst editon, and the Suhrkamp editon, refer to § 60, but Iltng's
editon refers to § 6, which makes much better sense (PR II, 640). T. M. Knox's
suggeston of § 59 (nox, p. 1 26) is less plausible.
Ἳ i
Philosohy of Right
are more or less productve, one man is industious and the other lazy.
But this proliferaton of arbitariness generates universal determinatons
fom within itelf, and this apparently scattered and thoughtless actvity is
subject to a necessity which arises of its own accord. To discover the
necessity at work here is the object |6·g···sics of politcal economy, a
science which does credit to thought because it fnds the laws underlying
a mass of contngent occurrences. It is an interestng spectacle to obsere
here how all the interconnectons have repercussions on others, how the
partcular spheres fall into groups, influence others, and are helped or
hindered by these. This interacton, which is at frst sight incredible since
everything seems to depend on the arbitary w of the individual |âs
£i··z·/o···J,is partcularly worthy of note; it bears a resemblance to the
planetary system, which presents only irregular movements to the eye, yet
whose laws can nevertheless be recognized.
a. The Nature of Needs and their Satsfacton
I 9
The ways and means by which the c··i¬c/can satsf its needs are
limited in scope, and it needs are likewise limited. Though sharng
this dependence, the /o¬co/·i··gis at te same tme able to tanscend
it and to show his universalt, frst by ¬o/iiphioghis needs and means
[of satsfing them], and secondly by éiviéiogand ém ·r·oiiciiogthe
concrete need into individual parts and aspect which then become
dif erent needs, pcriia/criz·éand hence ¬sr·c/sircci.
I right, the object |6·g···sicoéJ is the p·nso, at the level of
moralit, it is the so/;·ci,in the family, the 1¬ih-¬··o/e,and
in civil societ in general, the ciiiz···(in the sense of /sorg·sis).
Here, at the level of needs (cf. Remark to § 1 23), it is that
concretum s1rwr·s·oiciisoc/i/sog/iwhich we call i/·/o¬co
/·iog,tis is the first, and in fact te only occasion on which
we shall refer to i/·/o¬co/·iogin this sense.
÷1iiisod.The animal is a partcular entt |·ioPcnilo/cr·sJwhich has
its instnct and the means of satsfing it, means whose bounds cannot be
exceeded. There are insect which are ted to a specific plant, and other
animals whose sphere is wider and which can live in diferent climates;
but there is always a liznitng factor in comparison with the sphere which
is open to the human being. The need for food and clothing, the necessit
Ethical Li
of renouncing raw food and of making it fi t to eat and destojg its
patural immediacy, means that the human being's life is less comfortable
tan thioffueanimal - as indeed it ought to be, since man is a spitual
being. The understanding, which can grasp distnctons, brings multpli­
cit into these needs; and sh taste and utlity become criteria of judge­
ment, the needs themselves are also afected by them. In the end, it is no
longer need but opinion which has to be satsfied, and it is a distnctve
feature of educaton tat it resolves the concrete into its partculars. The
very multplicaton of needs has a restaining iuence on desire, for if
people make use of many things, the pressure to obtain any one of these
which they might need is less stong, and this is a sign that necessit 'é|·
Asi| in general is less powerful.
§ I
In the same way, the ¬·oosemployed by partcularized needs, and in
general the ways i which these are satsfed, are éivié·éand ¬o/iip/i·é
so that they in tum become relatve ends and abstact needs. It is an
infnite process of multplicaton which is in equal measure a ém ·reo-
iioiisoof these determiatons and a ;oég·¬eoion the suitabilit of the
means to their ends - i.e. [a process of rqo·¬eoi.
÷éé|i|so d. What the English call 'comfortable'· is something utterly
inexhaustble; its ramificatons are infnite, for every comfort in m
reveals its less comfortable side, and the resultng inventons are endless.
A need is therefore created not so much by those who experience it
directly as by those who seek to profit fom its emergence.
"Translator's lzote: Hotho, on whose notes this Additon u based, cites mword mthe
French form confrtable, and makes no reference to the English (P R 1Il, 593).
Needs and means, as exstng in realit |o/sr··0·sDos·ioJ,become a
/·iog |S·ioJ for si/··s by whose needs and work their satsfacton i
mutually conditoned. That abstacton which becomes a qualit of
both needs and means (see § 1 91 ) also becomes a determinaton of
the mutual relatons |8cti·/s·gJ between individuals. This univer­
salit, as the ooo/ii,s1/·iogr·caoiz·é, is the moment which makes
isolated and abstact needs, means, and modes of satsfacton into
csocr·i·, i.e. sscio/ones.


' |

! -
' 1
÷ééitiso (m. The fact that I have to ft in with other people brings the
fonn of universality into play at this point. I acquire my means of satsfac­
ton from others and must accordingly accept their opinions. But at the
same tme, I am compelled to produce means whereby others can be
satsfed. Thus, the one plays into the hands of the other and is connected
with it. To this extent, everything partcular 'c//csPc·tils/c·c| takes on a
social character; in the manner of dress and tmes of meals, there are
certain conventons which one must accept, for in such matters, it is not
worth the touble to seek to display one's own insight, and it is wisest to
act as others do.
This moment thus becomes a partcular end-determinant for te
means themselves and their ownership, and also for the way in which
needs are satsfed. In additon, it immediately involves the require­
ment of cosc/inin this respect with others. On the one hand, the need
for this equalit, together with i¬iiciisoas the process whereby people
make themselves like others, and on the other hand the need of
pc·tia/crii, (which is likewise present here) to assert itself through
some distnctve qualit, themselves become an actual source of the
multplicaton and expansion of needs.
Within social needs, as a combinaton of immediate or natural needs
and the spiritual needs of ·w·cscsiciis··c/ i/ssg/i ||s·sich·ug| , the
spiritual needs, as the universal, predominate. This social moment
accordingly contains the aspect of /i/c·ciiso,because the stict natural
necessit of need is concealed and man's relaton is to /is00B spioiso,
which is universal, and to a necessit imposed by himself alone,
instead of simply to an exteral necessity, to inner contngency, and to
The noton ||s·sic//sog| that, in relaton to his needs, man
lived in 1ìscés¬in a so-called state of nature in which he had
only so-called natural needs of a simple kind and in which, to
satsf these, he employed only tose means with which a
contngent nature immediately provided himl this noton,
even if we disregard the moment of liberaton which is present

Ethical Li
in work (and which will be discussed below), is mistaken. For
a conditon in which natural needs as such were immediately
satsfed would merely be one in which spiritualit was
immersed in nature, and hence a conditon of savagery and
unfreedom; whereas feedom consists solely in te reflecton
of the spiritual into itself, its distncton from the natural, and
its reflecton upon the latter.
§§ 1 92-196
This liberaton is 1m·o/,because the partcularit of the ends remains
the basic content. The tendency of the social conditon towards an
indeterminate multplicaton and specifcaton of needs, means, and
pleasures -i.e. /o¬¯a tendency which, like the distncton between
natural and educateda needs, has no limits [Greze], involves an
equally infnte increase in dependence and want. These are confon­
ted with a material which offers infnite resistance, i.e. with exteral
means whose partcular character is that they are the property of te
free wl [of others] and are therefore absolutely unyielding.
÷1|i|ss d. Diogenes, in his whole character as a Cynic,I is in fact
merely a product of the social life of Athens, and what determined him
was the opinion against which his entre way oflife reacted. His way oflife
was therefore not independent, but merely a consequence of these social
conditons, and itself an unprepossessing product of luxury. Where, on
the one hand, luxury is at its height, want and depravit are equally great
on the other, and Cynicism is then evoked by the opposite exteme of
aTranslator's note: The frst editon, and the Suhrkamp editon, read Ingebiidetem
('uneducated'). I folow Hrng's editon (VPR II, 644), whose reading gebildetem ('edu­
cated') makes better sense.
b. The Nature of Work
The mediaton whereby appropriate and portia/oriz·é means are
acquired and prepared for similarly portia/oriz·é needs is ¬srl.By
the most diverse processes, work specifcally applies to these
numerous ends the material which is immediately provided by nature.
23 1
Philosophy of Right
This process of formaton gives the means their value and appropri­
ateness, so that man, as a consumer, is chiefly concered with /o¬oo
products, and it is human effort which he consumes.
÷ééitis··(m.There are few immediate materials which do not need to be
processed: even air has to be eared - inasmuch as it has to be heated -
and perhaps water is unique in that it can be drnk as it is found. It is by
the sweat and labour of human beings that man obtains the means to
satsf his needs.
The variet of determinatons and objects |6·g·osiö··éJ which are
worthy of interest is the basis from which i/·sr·iico/ ·éocoiie··
develops. This involves not only a variet of representatons ||srsi·/-
lo·g·oJ and items of knowledge |K ·ioiss·oJ, but also an abilit to
form such representatons |écs |srsi·//·osJ and pass fom one to the
other in a rapid and versatle manner, to grasp complex and general
relatons T·zi·lnug···J,etc. - it is the educaton of the understanding
in general, and therefore also includes language. - Prociico/·éocoiie··
through work consists in the self-perpetuatng need and /o/iis]/·iog
scapi·éin one way or another, in the /i¬iioiisos]so·'scciivii,to suit
both the nature of the material in queston and, in partcular, the
arbitary wl of others, and in a habit, acquired through this disci­
pline, of s/;·ciiv·actvit and ooiv·rso//ropp/|co//·skills.
÷ééitiss(m.The barbarian is lazy and differs fom the educated man in
his dull and solitary brooding, for practcal educaton consists precisely in
the need and habit of being occupied. The clumsy man always produces
someting other than what he intended, because he is not in contol ofhis
own actons. But a worker can be described as skilled if he produces the
thing '8cd·c| as it ought to be, and if, in his subjectve actons, he
encounters no resistance to the end he is pursuing.
The universal and objectve aspect of work consists, however, in that
[process of o/sirociisowhich confers a specifc character on means
and needs and hence also on producton, so giving rise to the éivisiso
s] /o/sor. Through this division, the work of the individual |é·s
£ioz·hu·J becomes si¬p/·r, so that his skill at his abstact work
Ethicl Li
§ § 196-200
becomes greater, as does the volume of his output. At the same tme,
this abstacton of skill and means makes the éw·oé·oc·and r·ciprscin
of human beings in the satsfacton of their other needs complete and
entrely necessary. Furthermore, the abstacton of producton makes
work increasingly ¬·c/ooico/, so that the human being is eventually
able to step aside and let a ¬oc/io·take his place.!
c. Resources [and Estates]
In this dependence and reciprocit of work and te satsfacton of
needs, so/;·ciiv·s·hs/o·ssturs into a csoiri/oiis··is¬orési/·soiis1c-
iisos1i/·o··éss1·v·¬so··/s·.By a dialectcal movement, the partcu­
lar is mediated by the universal so that each individual, in earng,
producing, and enjoying on his own account !rsic/J,thereby ears
and produces for the enjoyment of others.! This necessit which is
inherent in the interlinked dependence of each on all now appears to
each individual in the form of iioiv·no/ooép·nooowir·ssorc·s (see
§ 1 70) in which, through his educaton and skill, he has an opportun­
it to share; he is thereby assured of his livelihood, just as the univer­
sal resources are maintained and augmented by the income which he
ears through his work.
The psssi/i/ii, s1s/oriogin the universal resources - i.e. of holding
poriia:/orresources - is, however, aoéiiisoo/upon one's own immedi­
ate basic assets (Le. capital) on the one hand, and upon one's skill on
the other; te latter in tum is itself conditoned by the former, but also
by contngent circumstances whose variet gives rise to é[ ·r·oc·s in
the é·/sp¬·oi of natural physical and mental ,·isiig·oJ apttudes
which are already unequal in themselves |ûìrsic/J. In this sphere of
partcularity, these differences manifest themselves in every directon
and at every level, and, in conjuncton with other contngent and
arbitary circumstances, necessarily result in io·ooo/iii·sioi/·r·ssorc·s
ooéslihsof individuals.
The spirit's objectve rig/is1porii..:/orii,,which is contained
within the Idea, does not cancel out |sic/i osjl·/iJ the
Philosophy oj Right
inequality of human beings in civil societ - an inequalit
posited by nature, which is the element of inequality but in
fact produces it out of the spirit itelf and raises it to an
inequality of skills, resources, and even of intellectual and
moral educaton. To oppose this right with a demand for
·ooc/i(r is characteristc of the empt understanding, which
mistakes this abstacton and s//igciisoof its own for the real
and the ratonal. This sphere of partcularity imagines that it is
universal, but in its merely relatve identty with the universal,
it retains both natural and arbitary partcularit, and hence
the remnants of the state of nature. In additon, that reason
which is immanent in the system of human needs and their
movement artculates this system into an organic whole com­
posed of different elements (see § 201).
§ 20I
The infnitely varied means and their equally infinite and intertwined
movements of reciprocal producton and exchange csov··g·,by virtue
of the universalit inerent in their content, and become '·0` ·r·oiici·é
into ·uiv·rsc/¬css·s.In consequence, the whole complex |Zosc¬¬·o-
/cogJevolves into vcriia/crs,si·¬sof needs, ,vith teir corresponding
means, varietes of work, modes of satsfacton, and theoretcal and
practcal educaton - into systems to which individuals are separately
assigned, i.e. into different ·sici·s.
÷ééitiss (H). The manner in which the universal resources are shared
depends on every partcular characteristc of the individuals concered;
but the universal differences into which civil societ is partcularied are
necessary in character. While the family is the primary basis of the state,
the estates are the second. The latter are of special importance, because
private persons, despite their selfshness, fnd it necessary to have
recourse to others. This is accordingly the root which links selfshness
with the universal, i.e. ,vth the state, which must take care to ensure that
this connecton is a frm and solid one.
§ 202
The estates are determined, in accordance ,vth i/· csoc·vi, as the
so/sicotic/ or immediate estate, the reflectng or 1r¬c/ estate, and
lastly, the ooi:·rsc/estate.

Ethical Li §§ 200-20
(a) The so/stootio/estate has its resources in th� natural products of
the ssi/which it cultvates - soil which is capable of being exclusively
private propert, and which requires not just indeterminate exploi­
taton, but fonnaton of an objectve kind. Given the associaton of
work and acquisiton with fed ioéiviéoo/ seasons, and the
dependence of the yield on the varying character of natural processes,
the end to which need is directed in this case becomes that of prsvisiso
for the fture. But because of the conditons to which it is subject, this
provision retains the character of a [mode of subsistence |So/sist·ozJ
in which reflecton and the wlof the individual play a lesser role, and
thus its substantal dispositon in general is that of an immediate
ethical life based on the family relatonship and on tust.
The proper beginning and original foundaton of states has
rightly been equated \vith the intoducton of c/tor·and of
¬ornog·. For the fonner principle brings with it the cultva­
ton of the soil, and in consequence exclusively private prop­
ert (cf. Remarks to § 1
0), and it reduces the nomadic life of
savages, who seek their livelihood in constant movement, to
the tanquillit of civil law |Privotr·c/·tJ and the secure
satsfacton of needs. This is accompanied by the resticton
|8·sc/röol·ugJ of sexual love to marriage, and the marriage
bond is in tum'eXended to become a /ostiogand inherently |io
sic/J universal unon, while need becomes cor·1rt/·1¬i/r
and possession becomes 1¬i/,prsp·n,. Securit, consolida­
ton, lastng satsfacton of needs, etc. - qualites by which
these insttutons primarily recommend themselves - are
nothing but fonns of universality and shapes assumed by
ratonality, the absolute and ultmate end, as it asserts itself in
these objects |6·g·ostöoé·oJ . - What can be more interestng
in tis connecton than the ingenious and leared ·¬/oootisos
which my highly esteemed friend, Herr Creuzer, has given of
the ogrorioo festvals, images, and shrines of the ancients
(especially in the fourth volume of his M,t/s/sg·ooéS,¬/s/-
?In the consciousness of the ancients, the intoducton of
agriculture and of the insttutons associated with it were
divine acts, and they were accordingly treated with religious
l ·

¹ .
· ,uo ¹
Philosophy of Right
veae:auea. A u:the:ceaseeueace,whichalseeccu:siathe
ethe: estates, is thatthe substaaual cha:acte: eithis estate
eatailsmeaibcaueaswith:eca:atecivillaw- esteciallvtethe
aamiaisuaueaeiiusuce- aaali|ewisewith:eca:ateeauca-
aeosiaiiecttheso/siooiio/cssi·oi, butealvits1noaaathe
÷ééiiis·· (H). laeu:ames, the 'ac:icul(u:all eceaemv, tee,is:uaiaa
:eãecuvemaaae:,li|eaiacte:v, aaaitacce:aiaclvta|eseaacha:acte:
liieaaathe subs(aaual aistesiuea asseciateawiu it.Ihehumaabeiac
:eactshe:ewi(himmeaiate ieeliac '£»¡1·:1·oel asheaccettswhathe
ie: it wl be :etleaishea. Ihis is a simtle aistesiuea which is aet
eithe s/é os/i/·i,, which ceasumeawhateve:ithaa. la mis estate, the
theseceaaestate,heveve:,itisueuaae:s(aaaiacitseliv:ochi essea-
(b) The·sioi·s1iroácooéioéosi¬|Siooéé·s6w·r/·sJhasthetas|ei
eweschieüvteiis·/aaateitsewacuviu.- its busiaessisiaD
|£ioz·h··rJ (i/· ·sioi· s1crofs¬oos/ip), me:e absuactwe:| eimass
aemaaa(i/··sioi·s1¬ooo1cior·n), aaathebusiaesseiexchaa¬ac
seta:ate cemmeaiues |Miii·/J ie: eae aaethe:, chieüvth:euch the
uaive:salmeaas eiexchaace, aamelvmeaev, iawhchthe absuact
Ethical Lm ¡¡ zo¡-zoc
÷1|i|so d. In the estate of tade and indust, the individual
'Ioé|c|éoo¬| has to rely on himself, and tis feeling of selfhood is
intmately connected with the demand for a conditon in which right i
upheld. The sense of feedom and order has therefore arisen mainly in
towns. The fst estate, on the other hand, has little need to think for
itself:a what it gains i an alien gift, a gif of nature. This feeling of
dependence is fndamental to it, and may easily be coupled with a will­
ingness to accept whatever may befall it at the hands of other people. The
fst estate is therefore more inclined to subserience, the second estate to
aTranslator's 1ote: hat . . . wenig selbst;1 denkel; mseems to be a misreading by Gans of
the equivalent phrase in Hoto's notes (VP R ttt, 630), hat weig sidl selbst ;1 danke
('owes little to its own eforts').
(c) The ooic·no/·sioi·has i/·ooic·rso/io·r·sisof societ as its busi­
ness. It must therefore be exempted from work for the direct satsfac­
ton of its needs, either by having private resources, or by receiving an
indemnit fom the state which calls upon its services, so that the
private interest is satsfed through working for the universal.
On the one hand, the ·sioi·s,as partcularit become objectve to itself,
are divided in this way into different general categories in accordance
with the concept. But on the other hand, the queston of which
partcular estate the ioéiciéoo/ will belong to is influenced by his
natural dispositon, birth, and circumstances, although the ultmate
and essental determnant is so/;·ciic·spioiso and the ponico/oror/i-
iro¬¬i//,which are accorded their right, their merit, and their honour
in this sphere. Thus, ¬/oi happens in this sphere through ioo·r
o·casinis at the same tme ¬·éioi·é/, i/·or/iiro¬¬ü/,and for the
subjectve consciousness, it has the shape of being the product of its
own wl.1
In this respect, too, in relaton to the principle of partcularit
and subjectve arbitariness, a difference emerges beteen the
politcal life of east and west, and of the ancient and modem
worlds. In the former, the division of the whole into estates
· .
· .
| .¦
| '
. |'
. ¶
· Î
.· |

Philosophy of Right
came about s/;·ciiv·h ooé s1 iis s¬o occs·é, because it is
ratonal io iis·l but the principle of subjectve partcularit
was at the same tme denied its rights, as when, for example,
the allocaton of individuals to specific estates was lef to the
rulers, as in Plato's Rwo//|c (Book iii, p. 320, Zweibriicken
editon, Vol. ½ [41 5 a-d]), or to birth o/so·,as in the Ioéioo
cci·-s,si·¬.²Thus subjectve partcularit, excluded fom the
organizaton of the whole and not reconciled within it, conse­
quently shows itself - since it likewise appears as an essental
moment - as a hostle element, as a corrupton of the social
order (see Remarks to § 1 85). It either overthrows the latter,
as in the Greek states and in the Roman Republic; or i the
social order survives as a ruling power - or perhaps as a
religious authorit - it appears as inner corrupton and com­
plete degeneraton, as was to some extent the case in Spo·to
and as is now entrely the case in Ioéio.- But if it is supported
by the objectve order, conforming to the latter and at the
same tme retaining its rights, subjectve partcularit becomes
the sole animatng principle of civil societ and of the
development of intellectual actvit, merit, and honour. The
recogniton and right according to whch all tat is ratonally
necessary in civil societ and in the state should at the same
tme come into effect i/·sog/ i/·¬·éioiisos1i/·o·/ii·o¬¬i//
is the more precise defniton |8·sii¬¬·ugJ of what is
primarily meant by the universal idea ||sni·heogJ of 1··éo·s
(see § 1 21).
The individual attains actualit only by entering into oi···c·|Dos·ioJ
in general, and hence into é·i·m·iooi·po·tico/oni,, he must accord­
ingly llinit himself ·xdosiv·/rto one of the po·tico/o·spheres of need.
The ethical dispositon within this system is therefore that of ··ctiioé·
and the /e··so·s1so·'s·sioi·, so that each individual, by a process of
self-determinaton, makes himself a member of one of the moments
of civil societ through his actvit, diligence, and skill, and supports
himself in this capacit; and only through this mediaton with the
universal does he simultaneously provide for himself and gain ··csg-
oiiisoin his own eyes ||s·si·//e··gJand in the eyes of others. -Ms·o/ii,

Ethical Lm § § zoc-zo8
has its proper place in this sphere, where reflecton on one's own
actons and the ends of welfare and of partcular needs are dominant,
and where contngency in the satsfacton of the latter makes even
contngent and individual help into a dut.
Initally - i.e. especially in youth - the individual balks at the
noton '|sni·//oogJ of committng himself to a partcular
estate, and regards this as a limitaton imposed on his univer­
sal detenninaton and as a purely oi¬o/necessit. This i a
consequence of abstact tg, which stops short at the
universal and so does not reach actuality; it does not recognize
that the concept, in order isoisi,must frst of all enter into the
distncton between the concept and its realit, and hence into
detenninacy and partcularit (see §
), and tat only thus can
abstact thinking attain actualit and etical objectvit.
÷1iiiso d.When we say that a human being must be ss±·/sé,'·izosJ,
we mean that he must belong to a partcular estate; for being somebody
means that he has substantal being. A human being with no estate i
merely a private person and does not possess actual universalit. On the
other hand, the individual 'éer£isz·/:·Jin his partcularit may see him­
self as the universal and believe that he would be lowering himself uhe
became a member of an estate. This is the false noton '|sai·/ls·:gJthat, if
something attains an exstence 'Dos·|sJ which is necessary to it, it is
thereby limitng and surrendering itelf.
The principle of this system of needs, as that of the personal '·ig·o·J
partcularit of knowledge and voliton, contains within itself that
universalit which has being ioooé1riis·/ i.e. the universalit of
1··é¬,but only o/sirocih and hence as the rig/is1prsp·n. Here,
however, this right is present no longer merely ioiis·/but in its valid
actualit as the prsi·ciiss s1prsp·ru through the c¬ioisiroiiso s1
' . ·
Philosophy of Right
B. The Administrtion of Justice
The r·/oiivinof the reciprocal relaton between needs and work to
satsf these needs includes in the frst place its rm·ciisoioisiis·/as
infite personalit in general, i.e. as (abstact) ng/i.But it Lmvery
sphere of relatvit - as that of ·éocoiiso-which gives right an oisi·oc·
[DaseiTl] in which it is ooiv·no/hr·csgoiz·é,los¬o, and ¬i//·é,and in
which, through the mediaton of this qualit of being known and
willed, it has validit and objectve actualit.
It is part of educaton, of iki··liogas consciousness of the
individual |é·s£ioz·/o·oJin the form of universalit, that I am
apprehended as a ooiv·no/person, in which [respect] o//are
identcal. A /o¬oo/·iogcsooisas soc/ /·coos·/·iso/o¬oo
/·iog,not because he is a Jew, Catholic, Protestant, German,
Italian, etc. This consciousness, which is the aim of i/sog/i,is
of infnite iportance, and it is inadequate only if it adopts a
fxed positon -for example, as css¬spshioois¬- in oppositon
to the concrete life of the state.
÷ééiiies d.On the one hand, it is through the system of partcularit
|Po·tils/oniëi|that right becomes exterally necessar as a protecton for
partcular interests |éi· 8·ssséer/·ii| . Even if its source is the concept,
right comes into exstence |£sio·z|only because it is useful in relaton to
needs. In order to conceive of right in terms of thought, one must be
educated in how to mm, and not remain confined to the merely sensuous
realm; one must adapt the form of universalit to the objects |6·go·-
sië:·é¬|, and likewise regulate one's wl according to a universal
[principle]. Only after human beings have invented numerous needs for
themselves, and the acquisiton of these needs has become entwined wit
teir satsfacton, is it possible for laws to be made.
2 1 0
The objectve actualit of right consists partly in its being present to
the consciousness and being in some way los¬o, and partly in its
possessing the power of actualit, in having vohéinand hence also in
becoming los¬oosooiv·no//rvohé.
Ethica Lm ¡ ¡ 209-21 1
a. Right as Law
§ 2 I I
When what is rigt ioiis·his pssii·éin its objectve exstence |Dos·ioJ
-i.e. detenined by thought for consciousness and los¬o|/·lom·iJas
what is right and valid - it becomes /o¬,·and through mdetennina­
ton, right becomes pssiiiv·right in general.
To posit something as ooiv·no/- i.e. to bring it to the con­
sciousness as a universal - is, as everyone knows, isi/iol(cf.
Remarks to §§ 1 3 and 21 above); when the content Lreduced
in this way to its simplest form, it is given its fnal éci·noiooo.
Only when it becomes law does what is right take on both the
1n of its universalit and its tue deteninacy. Thus, te
process of legislaton should not be represented merely by
that one of its moments whereby something is declared to be a
rule of behaviour valid for everone; more important tan this
is the inner and essental moment, namely csgiiiso s1 i/·
csoi·oiin its éi·miooi·ooiv¬o/in. Since only animals have
their law as instnct, whereas only human beings have theirs as
custom |6·¬s/o/·iiJ,o:sis¬o¬ng/is contain the moment of
being i/sog/is and of being los¬o ,·¬o1iJ. The difference
between these and laws consists |/·si·/iJsimply in the fact that
the former are known in a subjectve and contngent manner,
so that they are less detenninate for themselves and the
universalit of thought is more obscure; and in additon,
cognizance |éi·KwoioisJof this or that aspect of right, or of
right in general, is the contngent propert of ony a few
people. The view that such rights, since they take the form of
asis¬s |6·¬s/o/·ii·oJ,are privileged in having become part
of /mL an illusion, for the valid laws of the naton do not
cease to be its customs merely because they have been written
down and collected. (Besides, it is precisely in those areas
which involve the most lifeless material and the most lifeless
thoughts that there is most talk nowadays of /mand /·cs¬iog
"Translator's note: Hegel u once again exploitng the etmological afnit of words to
suggest a semantc afnitj'. In this case, the noun Geel ('law') echoes the verb geelt
·· ··.
Philosophy of Right
po·¡s1/m.) When customary rights are eventually collected
and put together -which must happen at an early stage among
a people which has attained even some degree of educaton -
this collecton is a /·go/csé·,and since it is merely a collecton,
it wl be characterized by 1m·/·sso·ss, indeterminacy, and
incompleteness. The main difference between this and a legal
code in the proper sense i that in the latter, te principles of
right in their ooiv··so/ii,, and hence in their �e
(or common law) s1£og/ooéis contained, as everyone
knows, in sioioi·s(formal laws) and in so-called oo¬·iii·o/o¬,
this u¬ally, is likewise recorded in writ­
ing, and knowledge |K··mioisJof it can and must be acquired
solely through reading (of the many quarto volumes which it
�s confsion which prevails in England
both in the administaton of justce and in the matter |Soc/·J
itself has, however, been described by those most familiar
with it. ·They note in partcular the circumstance tat, since
this unwritten law is contained in the verdicts of courts oflaw
and judges, the judges constantly act as /·gis/ois·s,² they are
both dependent on te au orit of their preaecessors - since
the latter merely gave expression to the unwritten law - and
ioJ·oéoi of it, because they themselves incorporate the
unwritten law and are accordingly enttled to judge whether
earlier decisions were compatble with the unwritten law or
not. - A similar confsion which could have arisen in the
administaton of justce during the later Roman Empire
because of the differing authorites of all the famous jurists
was averted when an emperor devised the ingenious
expedient, known as the /o¬s1oioiisos,which intoduced a
kind of college of /sog-écc·os·é lawyers with a majorit vote
and a president (see Hugo's Hisis¬ s1Rs¬oo Lo¬ | r ;ee
editon], § 35
). * To deny a civilized naton, or the legal
profession |é;o·isiisc/···Siooéc]within it, the abilit to draw
up a legal code would be among the greatest insults one could
offer to either;4 for this does not require that a system of laws
with a o·¬csoi·oishould be created, but only that the present
content of the laws should be recogned in its determinate
Ethical Li
universality - i.e. grasped by means of thought ¯ and sub­
sequently applied to partcular cases.
§ § 2 I I-21 2
Additiol (H,G). The sun and the planets also have their laws, but they are
unaware of them. Barbarians are govered by drives, customs [Sittm],
and feelings, but they have no consciousness of these. When right is
posited and known [ewtlt], all the contngencies of feeling [Elpfldtlg]
and opinion and the forms of revenge, compassion, and selfishness fall
away, so that right only then attains its te determinacy and is duly
honoured. Only through the discipline of being apprehended does it
become capable of universalit. Collisions arise in the applicaton of the
law, where the understanding of the judge has its place; this is entrely
necessar, for the implementaton of the law would otherwise be a com­
pletely mechanical process. But to go so far as to eliminate such collisions
altogether by relying heavily on the discreton of the judge is a far worse
soluton, because collisions are also inherent in thougH, in the thinking
consciousness and its dialectc, whereas the mere decision of a judge
would be arbitar. It is usually argued in defence of customary right that
it has a living qualit, but this living qualit, i.e. the identt of the
determinaton with the subject, is not the whole essence of the matter
[Sache]; right must be known by thought, it must be a system in itself, and
only as such can it have any validity among civilized [ebildetm] natons. If
it has lately been denied that natons have a vocaton to legislate, this is
not only offensive but also foolish, for it does not even credit individuals
[dm Eilzebzm] wit the skill to reduce the infnite mass of exstng laws to
a coherent system, despite the fact that the infnite urge of our tmes is
precisely to systematze, i.e. to raise to the universal. It has likewise been
held that collectons of verdicts such as are found in the corpus jur
much more valuable than a legal code worked out in the most general
way, on the grounds that such verdicts always retain a certain partcularit
and associaton with histor which people are reluctant to part with. But
the practce of English law shows clearly enough how percious such
collectons are.
§ 21 2
In this identt o f beilg il itsel and beilg posited, only what is /o¬has
binding force as rght. Since being posited consttutes the aspect, of
exstence [Daseil] in which the contngency of self-will and of other
partcular factors may also intervene, what is law may differ in content
from what is right in itself.
Philosophy of Right
In positve right, what is /·go/ ,·s·iz¬ë1igJ is therefore the
source of cogniton of what is rig/i|R·c/iJ,or more precisely,
of what is /o¬1:l|R·d·i·osJ, the positve science of right is to
that extent a historical science whose principle is that of auth­
orit. Whatever else may arise is a matter |Soc/·J for the
understanding and concer the exteral classifcaton, com­
pilaton, consequences, and frther applicaton etc. [of laws].
When the understanding becomes involved with the nature of
the thing |Soc/·Jitself, its theories (e.g. of criminal law) show
what mischief it can do wit its deductve reasoning |Rëssoo·-
¬·oioos 6·io·é·oJ . - On te one hand, positve science has
not only the right, but also the necessary dut to deduce in
every detail from its positve data both the historical develop­
ments and the applicatons and ramcatons of the given
determinatons of right, and to follow up their consequences;
but on the other hand, i it is then asked whether, afer all
these demonstatons, a determinaton of right is roiisoo/,
those who occupy themselves wit this science should at least
not be absolutely astonished, even if they regard the queston
as /·siéi/·psioi.- On ooéeniooé|og[the law], cf. Remarks to
§ 3 above.
While right comes into exstence |Dos·i··J primarily in the fonn of
being posited, it also comes into exstence in tenns of cs·n·oiwhen it
is opp/i·é to the ¬oi·no/ of civ societ ~ H its relatonships and
varietes of propert and contacts in their endlessly increasing diver­
sit and complext - and to ethical relatonships based on emoton,
love and tust (but only in so far as these contain the aspect of abstact
right - see § 1 59). Since moralit and moral precepts concer the wl
in its most personal |·æosi·oJsubjectvit and partcularit, they can­
not be the object |6·g·osiooéof positve legislaton. Further material
[for the positve content of right] is fshed by the right and dutes
which emanate fom the administaton of justce itelf, fom the
state, etc.
÷éé|i|so (C).In the higher relatonships of marriage, love, religion, and
the state, only those aspects which are by nature capable of having an
exteral dimension can become the object of legislaton. Nevertheless,
Ethical Li ¡¡21 2-214
te legislaton of diferent peoples vares greaty in tis respect. For
example, the Chinese state has a law to te efect tat a husband must
love his fst wife more than m other wives. If he is convicted of having
done the opposite, he is subjected to corporal punishment. In older
legislatons, there are likewise numerous rules concerg loyalt and
honest which are out of keeping with te nature of law, because they
apply entrely to the realm of inwardness. It is only in the case of oaths,
where thiaas |Diog·] are referred to the conscience, that honest and
loyalt must be taken into account as substntal issues.
But apart fom its applicaton to the ponia/or, the fact that right is
posited also makes it opphco//· to the ioéiviéoo/ |·ioz·/r····J cos·. It
thereby enters the sphere of the ooooiiioiiv·,which is not determined
by the concept (i.e. the quanttatve in itself }ir sicl·J, or as the
determinaton of value when one qualitatve item is exchanged for
another). Determinaton by the concept imposes only a general limit
|Cro·z·Jwithin which varatons are also possible. But such variatons
must be e1iminated if anything is to be actualied, at which point a
contngent and arbitary decision is arrived at within the limit referred
It is in m1asiogof the universal, not just on the partcular
but on an individual case - i.e. in it i¬¬·éioi·opp/icoiiso ¯
that te por·hpssiiiv· aspect of the law chiefly lies. It is
impossible to determine by r·osso,or to decide by applying a
determinaton derived fom the concept, whether the just
penalt for an ofence is corporal punishment of fort lashes
or t-nine/ a fine of fve dollars |Io/·rJ as distnct fom
four dollars and twent-three groschen or less/ or imprison­
ment for a year or for
days or less, or for a year and one,
two, or three days. And yet an injustce is done if there is even
one lash too many, or one dollar or groschen, one week or one
day i prison too many or too few. - It is reason itself which
recoges that contngency, contadicton, and semblance
have teir (o//·ii /i¬ii·é sphere and right, and it does not
attempt to reduce such contadictons to a just equivalence;
here, the only interest present is that of ooo/coiiso, te
interest that some kind of determinaton and decision should

Philosophy oj Right
be reached, no matter how this is done (within given limits
|io··r/o//·i···r6r·oz·J). This decision belongs to formal self­
certainty, to abstact subjectvity, which may rely either on its
ability - ¬ii/i·· i/·gic··· /i¬iis - to stop short and settle the
matter simply in order that a settlement may be reached, or on
such grounds for determinaton as the choice of a rso··énum­
ber, or of the number fort minus one. - It makes no dif­
ference if the law does not specif this ultmate determinaton
which actualit requires, but leaves it to the judge to decide
and simply limits |/·s.l·n·liJ h to a maxmum and
minimum; for the maxmum and minimum wlthemselves be
round numbers of this kind, and they do not remove |/·/i·s
·:ic/io·:ûthe need for the judge to arrive at a fnite and purely
positve determinaton of the kind referred to, but assign it to
has a necessary task.
÷ééiiis··(H,G). There is essentally one aspect oflaw and te administa­
ton of justce which is subject to contngency, and tis derives from the
fact tat the law is a universal determinaton which has to be applied to
the individual case. If one were to object to this contngenc, the objecton
would be merely abstact. For example, the magitude of a punishment
cannot be made to correspond with any conceptual defniton |8·of-
/·sii¬¬·og|,and whatever is decided will in this respect always be arbi­
tary. But this contngency is itself necessary; and if one uses it as a
general argument against a code oflaws, for example, on the grounds that
the latter is therefore imperfect, this overlooks the very aspect in which
completeness is impossible to attain, and which must therefore be
accepted as it stands.
b. The Exstence |Dos·i··J of the Law
§ 21
For the law to have binding force, it is necessary, in view of the right
of self-consciousness (see § 1 3 2 and its appended Remarks) that the
laws should be made ooiv··so//,l··s¬·:.
To hang the laws at such a height that no citen could read
them, as Dionysius the Tyrant did,! is an injustce ||·:r·c/iJof
exactly the same kind as to bury them in an extensive
apparatus of leared books and collectons of verdicts based
Ethical Li
on divergent judgements, opinions, practces, etc., all expres­
sed in a foreign language, so that knowledge |K·ooioisJof the
laws currently in force is accessible only to those who have
made them an object of scholarly study. - Those rulers who
have given their peoples a collecton of laws - if ony a form­
less collecton like that ofustnian, or better stll, a /o¬s1i/·/ooé
embodied in an orderly and specifc legal code2 - were not
only the greatest benefactors of thei peoples, who duly
praised and thanked them; what they did was at the same tme
a great «s1;osiic·.
§§ 2 14-21 6
Addition (G). The legal profession [uristenstand, which has special
knowledge of the laws, often regards this as its monopoly and no concer
of those who are not among its members. Thus, the physicists took
excepton to Goethe's theory of colours1 because he did not belong to
teir profession and was a poet into te bargain. But just as one need not
be a shoemaker to know whether one's shoes ft, so is there no need to
belong to a specifc profession in order to know about matters of universal
interest. Right is concered with freedom, the worthiest and most sacred
possession of man, and man must know about it uit is to have binding
force for him.
aTranslator's note: The past tense is Gans's, for Griesheim's notes read 'does not belong
to their profession and is even a poet' (PR W. 543); Goethe, who died in 1832, was stll
alive when Grieshei made h notes fom Hegel's lectures.
§ 2
I 6
On the one hand, si¬p/·and universal determinatons are required for
the public legal code, but on the other, the nature of i/·1··ii·¬oi·no/
in queston leads to endless frther determinatons. The scope of the
law ought on the one hand H be that of a cs¬p/·i·and self-contained
whole, but on the other hand, there is a constant need for new legal
determinatons. But since this antnomy is merely a product of the
sp·oo/izoiis·· of universal principles which themselves remain
unchanged, the right to a complete legal code remains intact, as does
the right [which requires] that these simple and universal principles
should be capable of comprehension and formulaton without
reference to, and in distncton fom, their specializaton.
One of the main sources of the complext oflegislaton is that
¹ l
. + ` '
. Í ··
| ' l·

Philosophy of Right
the ratonal, i.e. that which is rightl in and for itself, may
gradually inftate primitve insttutons which contain an
unjust element |·io |or·c/iJ and are therefore of merely
historical sigcance. This took place with Roman insttu­
tons, as already mentoned (see Remarks to § 1 80), and with
the old feudal law, etc. But it is essental to realize that the
ver nature of the fnite material entails an infnite progression
when determinatons which are universal in themselves and
ratonal in and for themselves are applied to it. -It is therefore
mistaken to demand that a legal code should be comprehen­
sive in the sense of absolutely complete and incapable of any
frther determinatons (this demand L a predominantly Ger­
¬oo aficton) and to refse to accept, i.e. to actualie, some­
thing allegedly imperfect on the grounds that it is incapable of
such completon. Both of these errors are based on a misap­
prehension of the nature of fnite matters such as civil law
|Pnvoir·c/iJ,whose so-called perfecton is a p·r·ooio/opprsx-
i¬oiisa to perfecton, and on a misapprehension of the dif­
ference between the universal of reason and the universal of
the understanding, and of the opphcoiiso of the latter to the
material of fnitude and individualit |£iozel/·iiJ,whose extent
Lite. - 'Le plus grand ennemi du bien c'est Ie mieux'· is
an exression of tue common sense, as opposed to the com­
mon sense of empt ratocinaton and refecton.I
÷1iiieod,C).Completeness means the comprehensive collecton of all
individual items belonging to a given sphere, and no science or area of
knowledge [Kellt1lis] can be complete in this sense. Now if it is said that
philosophy or any other science is incomplete, it is easy to conclude that
one ought to wait for the remaining part to be added, for it may be that the
best is yet to come. But this is not the way in which progress is made,
whether in geomety, in which new determinatons contnue to emerge
despite the fact that it appears to be a closed subject, or in philosophy,
which is always capable of further specialiaton, even if it i concered
with the universal Idea. The universal law always used to be the Ten
Commandments; and it is manifestly absurd not to promulgate the law
'Thou shalt not kill' on te grounds tat a legal code cannot be complete.
"Transltor's note: 'The greatest enemy of the good uthe better.' I folow the Suhrkamp
editon (Werke VII, 369) and VP R (II, 663) mreading 'mie', as against the ft editon's
Ethical Li §§ 2 1 621
Even idle refecton may conclude that every legal code is capable of
improvement, for it is possible to imagine what is most glorious, exalted,
and beautfl as being more glorious, exalted, and beautful stll. But a
large and ancient tee puts out more and more branches without thereby
becoming a new tee; yet it would be foolish to refuse to plant a tee just
because it might produce new branches.
Just as right io iis·/becomes law in civil societ, so too does my
individual |·ioz·/···J right, whose exstence |Dos·ioJ was previously
i¬¬·éioi·and o/siroci,acquire a new significance when its exstence is
recognized as part of the exstent |oisii·r·oé·oJ universal wl and
knowledge. Acquisitons of property and tansactons relatng to it
must therefore be undertaken and expressed in the 1m·which that
exstence gives to them. Propert is accordingly based on csoimciand
on those 1m·o/iii·swhich make it capable of proof and valid before
the law.
The original, i.e. immediate, modes of acquisiton and tdes
(see §§ 54ff.) are in fact abandoned in civil societ, and occur
only as individual accidents or limited moments. - Both feel­
ing, which remains confned to the subjectve, and reflecton,
which clings to its abstact essences, reject such formalites,
whereas the dead understanding may for its part hold on to
them in preference to the thing |Sod··J itself and multply
them indefnitely. - Besides, the process of development
|8iu·ugJ begins with a content whose form is sensuous and
immediate and, by means oflong and arduous work, arrives at
the form of thought appropriate to this content and thereby
gives it simple and adequate expression. It is in the nature of
this process that, at the stage when the development of right is
only just beginning, ceremonies and formalites are extemely
elaborate, and count rather as the thing itself than as its
symbol; this is why, even in Roman law, a multtude of
determinatons, and especially turs of phrase, was retained
from earlier ceremonies instead of being replaced by
determinatons of thought and adequate means of expressing
Philosophy of Right
÷éé|i|s·· (H,G). When right is posited as what it is in itself, it is law. I
possess something or own a propert which I took over as ownerless; tis
propert must now also be recognized and posited as mine. This is why
there are 1nsc/·i|csin societ with reference to propert: boundary stones
are erected as symbols for oters to recognize, and mortgage books and
propert registers are compiled. Most propert i civil societ is based on
contact, whose fonnalites are fed and determinate. One may well view
such fonnaltes with antpathy and believe that they exst only in order to
bring i money for the authorites '0/·iglc|il ,they may even be regarded
as ofensive and as a sign of mistust, on the grounds that they invalidate
the saying that a man's word is his bond; but the essental aspect of such
fonns is that what is right in itself should also be posited as right. My will
i a ratonal will; it has validit, and this validity should be recognized by
others. Here is the point at which my subjectvit and that of others must
be put aside, and the wlmust attain a security, stability, and objectvit
which fonn alone can give it.
Since propert and personality have legal recogniton and validit in
civil societ, cn¬c is no longer an injury ||cncizoogJ merely to a
so/;cctivc io1oiic, but to the ooivcnc/cause |Scd·cJ whose exstence
|£xsicozJis inherently |iosic/Jstable and stong. This gives rise to the
viewpoint that an acton may be a éogcrto societ. On the one hand,
this increases the magnitude of the crime; but on the other, the power
of societ has now become sure of itself and this reduces the exteral
i¬psncocc of the injury and so leads to greater leniency in its
The fact that an injury to socmember of societ is an injury to
c//the others does not alter the nature of crime in terms of its
concept, but in terms of its outward exstence 'LicozJ, for
the injury now affects the atttudes ||snichoogJ and con­
sciousness of civil societ, and not just the exstence |DcscioJ
of the immediately injured part. In heroic ages - see the
tagedies of the ancient - the citzens do not regard the
crimes which members of royal houses commit against each
other as injuries to themselves. - Crime ill iisc/is an infinte
injur, but as an oisicocc |DcscioJ , it must be measured in
terms of qualitatve and quanttatve differences (see § 96);
and since its exstence is essentally determined as a rwrcsco-
Ethical Li
tation [ Vorstelltwg] and consciousness ofthe validit ofthe laws, its
danger to cvil society is a determinaton of its magnitude, or
even one of its qualitatve determinatons. - This qualit or
magnitude vares, however, according to the condition of civil
societ, and this is the j ustfcaton both for attaching the
death penalt to a theft of a few pence or of a turp, and for
imposing a lenient punishment for a theft of a hundred and
more tmes these amounts. Although the view that they are a
threat to civil societ may appear to aggravate crimes, it has in
fact been chiefly responsible for a reducton in punishments.
A penal code is therefore primarily a product of its tme and of
the current conditon of civil society.
§§ 2 I
Addition (. That a crime committed in society should appear greater
and yet be punished more leniendy i an apparent contadicton. But
whereas it would be impossible for society to leave a crime unpunished -
since the crime would then be posited as right - the fact that societ is
sure of itself means that crime, in comparison, is always of a purely
individual character, an unstable and isolated phenomenon. The very
stability of societ gives crime te status of something merely subjectve,
which seems the product not so much of the deliberate wlas of natural
impulse. This view makes crime appear in a milder light, so that its
punishment also becomes milder. If society i stll inwardly unstable,
punishments must be made to set an example, for punishment is itself a
counter-example to the example of crime. But in a societ which is
interally stable, the positedness of crime is so weak that the cancellaton
[Atlebtwg] of this positedness must itself assume similar proportons.
Thus, harsh punishments are not unjust in and for themselves, but are
proportonate to the conditons of their tme; a criminal code cannot be
valid for every age, and crimes are semblances of exstence [Scheill­
eiStetle 1 which can meet with greater or lesser degrees of repudiaton.
c. The Court of Law
§ 21
Wen right has come into exstence [Dasein] in the form oflaw, it has
being for itself; as opposed to particlar volitio1ls a1ld opi1lions with
regard to right, it is self-suffcient and has to assert itself as universal.
This conition and actualization of right in the partcular case, \vitout
the subjectve feeling [Empfndtmg] of partiadar interest, is the
25 1
. . .~ ....

f ·
! ·
Philosophy of Right
responsibilit of a public authorit |Moc/iJ,namely the csons1/o¬.
The historical origin of judge and lawcourts may have taken
the form of a patiarchal relatonship, of coercion |6·¬o/iJ,or
of free choice; but this is irrelevant as far as the concept of the
ting |Soc/·J is concered. To regard the intoducton of
jurisdicton by sovereign princes and goverent as merely a
matter |Soc/·Jof or/iiro¬groc·ooé 1vsor,as Herr von Haller
does (in his R·sisroiiso s1Ps/iiico/Sci·oc·),
is an example of
that thoughtlessness which fails to reale that, since legal and
politcal insttutons in general are ratonal in character, they
are necessary in and for temselves, and that the form in
which they frst arose and were intoduced has no bearing on
a discussion of their ratonal basis. - The opposite exteme to
this view is the crude noton that the admnistaton of justce,
as in te days of the right of private warfare |Foosir·c/iJ,is an
improper use of force, a suppression of freedom, and a rule of
despotsm.2 The administaton of justce should be regarded
both as a dut and as a right on the part of the public auth­
orit, and as a right, it is not in the least dependent on whether
individuals choose to entust it to an authorit or not.
§ 220
When the right against crime takes the form of rw·og·(see § 102), it
is merely right ioiis·hnot in a form that is lawfl |R·chi·osJ,i.e. it is
not just æ·r·c/iJin its exstence |£xisi·ozJ.Instead of the injured part,
the injured ooiv··so/now makes its appearance, and it has its distnc­
tve actualit in the court of law. It takes over the prosecuton and
penalaton of crime, and these thereby cease to be the merely so/·c-
iiv· and contngent retibuton of revenge and are tansformed into
the genuine reconciliaton of right with itelf, i.e. into ps·:is/¬wi.
Objectvely, m reconciliaton applies to the /o¬,which restores and
thereby ocioo/iz·siis·/Ü vo/iéthrough the cancellaton ,o1·/·oJof
the crime; and subjectvely, it applies to the criminal in that /isu¬,
¬/ic/ is ¬s¬o /, /i¬ and is vo/iéfor him and 1r/isprsi·aiso, is
enforced upon him in such a way that he himself fds in it the
satsfacton of justce and merely the enactent of ¬/oiispr@·ris/i¬
|ésS·ioigwJ .

Ethical Li § §
§ 221
A member of civil societ has the ng/iissiooéioocsons1/o¬and also
the éonisso/¬iiisi/·csort'sooi/snnand to accept it decision alone
when h own right is in dispute.
÷ééiiiso (. Since every individual has the right to stand in court, he
must also know the laws, oterwise this enttlement would be of no use to
m. But the individual also has the dut to submit to te court's aut­
orit. Under the feudal system, the powerfl ofen refsed to do so,
challenging the court and teatng it as an injustce ||··r·c/iJ on the
court's part if they were sumoned before it. But conditons such as these
contadict the purpose of a court. In more recent tmes, sovereign princes
have had to recoge the authorit of te court in private matters, and in
fee states, they usually lose their cases.
§ 222
In the court, right takes on the determinaton that i t must be copo//·
s1prss)The prscass1/o¬puts the partes in a positon of having to
substantate their evidence and their legal arguments |R·c/isçoéJ,
and to acquaint te judge and themselves wit the matter |Soc/·J in
queston. These siwsor·i/·¬s·/v·sng/is,their course must therefore
be determined by law, and they also form an essental part of theoret­
cal jurisprudence |R·d:is¬iss·osc/ofJ.
÷ééiiiso (. It may be infriatng to know that one has a right and ten
be denied it on the grounds that it cannot be proved. But the right which I
have must also be a posited right: I must be able to describe it and prove
it, and a right which has being in itself cannot be recoged by society
untl it has also been posited.
The fagmentaton of these actons into more and more separate
actons with their separate rights has no inherent limit |6n z·J.
Through m fagmentaton, the process of law, which io iis·/is
already a means, stands out i oppositon to it end as something
exteral to it. - The partes have a right to go through these lengthy
formalites, which are i/·irright. But sice these may also be ted
into an evil |
·h and even into an instument of injustce ||or·c/iJ,

i +

| ·
Philosophy of Right
the partes must be obliged by law to submit themselves to a simple
court (a court of arbitaton or court of the first instance) in an attempt
to settle their differences before they proceed any frther. This is
necessary in order to protect them - and right itself, as the substantal
matter |Scc/·J at issue - against the process of law and its misuse.
£ooininvolves a departure fom formal right in the light of
moral or other consideratons, and relates primarily to the
cs··i·oi of the legal acton. The fncton of a csorts1·ooin,
however, wl be to reach a decision on the individual case,
without adhering to the formalites of the legal process and in
partcular to the objectve evidence as the law may interpret it;
it wl also reach its decision in te interests of the individual
case in its s=o right, and not in te interests of making a
universal legal dispositon.1
The rights of the subjectve consciousness include not only that of
making the laws publicly known (see § 2 1 5), but also the possibilit of
knowing 'sl·oo·oJhow the law is caochz·éin partcular cases, i.e. of
knowing the course of the exteral proceedings, legal arguments
|R·c/isçì··écJ,and so fort ¯i/·po//icii,s1i/·cé¬ioisirciisowosiic·,
for the course of law is in itself an occurrence of universal validit,
and although the partcular content of the case may be of interest only
to te partes themselves, its universal content (i.e. the right within it
and the decision on this right) is of interest to everyone.
The deliberatons of the members of the court among them­
selves on the judgement they are to deliver are expressions of
opinions and views which are stll pcrtia/crand hence not of a
public nature.
÷ééiiiso d. Staightorward common sense sees it as right and proper
tat the admistaton of justce should be public.1 A major obstacle to
ths has always been the high staton of those with powers of jurisdicton,
since they are reluctant to appear before the general public, seeing them­
selves as guardians of a right to which the lait should not have access.
But a primary characteristc of a right is that the citens should have
confdence in it, and it is this aspect which requires that justce should be
dispensed in public. The right of publicit is based on the fact that the
Ethical Li
end of the court is right, which U a universal should also core /q··the
universal, and also on te fact tat te citzens are tereby convinced that
justce 'R·cli| is actually being done.
§§ 223-226
The dispensaton of justce, as the applicaton of the law to the
ioéiviéoo/ cos·, involves i¬s éisiioci osp·cts. 1rsi, a knowledge
|£rl··:oioisJ of the nature of the case in its i¬¬·éioi· ioéiviéoo/ii,
|£ioz·l/··iiJ- e.g. whether a contact etc. has been made, whether an
offence has been committed and who the culprit is, and in ¬¬i··o/
law, whether the so/siooiio/, criminal character of the deed was
determined by premeditaton (see Remarks to § i i e);and secondly,
the subsumpton of the case under the /o¬of the restoraton of right,
which, in criminal cases, includes the punishment. The decisions on
these two distnct aspects are also distnct fnctons.
In the judicial system of Rome, the distncton between these
two fnctons took the form that the praetor gave his decision
soi/·osso¬piiso that the facts of the matter |So./··J were so
and so, and then appointed a special ioéoto inquire into these
facts. J - In te English legal system, it is left to the insight or
arbitary wlof the prosecutor to categorize an act in terms of
its specific criminal character (e.g. as murder or
manslaughter), and the court cannot determine otherwise if it
finds his conclusion incorrect.2
In the first place, the supervision of the whole course of the inquiry,
and of the legal actons between the partes (which are themselves
rights - see § 222), and in additon te second aspect of legal judge­
ment (see § 225), are the proper task of the professional judge. Since
he is the organ of the law, the case must be prepared for him to enable
it to be subsumed [under the law in queston]; tat is, it must be
raised out of its apparent empirical character to become a recognized
fact of a universal kind.
Philosophy of Right
The first of these aspects - the los¬/·ég·|£rl·ooioisJof the case in its
i¬¬·éioi·individuality |£ioz·//·iiJ,and its categorizaton - does not in
itself involve any legal dispensaton. It is a knowledge to which ee
·éscoi·ép·nso may aspire. The essental factor in categorizing an
acton is the subjectve moment of the agent's insight and intenton
(see Part Two above); besides, proof is concered not with object
|6·g·osiö··é·J of reason or abstact objects of the understanding, but
only with details, circumstances, and objects of sensuous intuiton and
subjectve certainty, so that it does not involve any absolutely objectve
determinaton. For these reasons, the ultmate factors in such a deci­
sion are ss/;·ciiv·csovi:tiso and conscience (ooi¬is·oi·oiis),'and in
the case of the proof, which rests on the statements and afrmatons
of others, its ultmate (though subjectve) guarantee is the soi/.
I dealing with this subject, it is of great importance to bear in
mind the kind of prss1here in queston, and to distnguish it
fom other varietes of cogniton and proof. To frsh a proof
of a determinaton of reason like the concept of right - i.e. to
recogne its necessit - requires a different method from that
required to prove a theorem in geomety. Besides, in the latter
case, the fgure is determined by the understanding and
already made abstact in accordance with a law. But with an
empirical content such as a 1cci |Ioisoc/·J, the material of
cogniton is a given sensuous intuiton and the subjectve
certaint of the senses, along with depositons and afrma­
tons concerg such material; and fom these statements,
testmonies, circumstances, and the like, conclusions and
inferences are subsequently drawn. The objectve tuth which
emerges fom such material and from the method appropriate
to it leads, when the attempt is made to determine it objec­
tvely for itself, to /o/prss] and also, as a perfectly logical
consequence which at the same tme contains a formal illogi­
calit, to oircoréioo¬psois/¬·ois.This objectve tuth means
something quite different fom the tut of a determaton of
reason or of a propositon whose content the understanding
has already determined abstactly for itself. To show that the
recogniton of this kind of empirical tuth about an event lies

Ethical Li
within the proper legal determinaton of a court, and that this
determinaton also gives it a proper qualifcaton, and hence
an exclusive right |o |is·/ to perform this task and makes it
necessary for it to do so - m is an important factor in
considering te extent to which j udgement on facts [da Fol-
io¬J, as well as on legal questons, shoud be assigned to
formal courts of law.
§§ 22
÷1|i|sod. There is no reason '6n:o1to assume tat the professional
judge alone should establish the fact of the case '1oi/oios1,for anyone
with a general (as distnct fom purely legal) educaton is competent in
this matter '8oc/·| .A assessment of the facts of the case wlbe based on
empirical circumstances, on testmonies concerg the deed 'Hosé/·og|
in queston and similar intuitve perceptons |Aosc/oo·og·o|,but also on
facts '1oisoc/·o| fom which conclusions can be drawn concerg the
deed itself and which make it appear probable or improbable. The aim
here is to attain c·no|on,not tth in te higher sense, which is invariably
eteral in character. This certaint is subjectve convicton or conscience,
and the queston here is: what for should this certaint assume in a
court of law? The requirement coÜ nly encountered in German law
'|¬eoisc/·oR·d·i·|that the criminal should confess his guilt has tuth on
its side inasmuch as the right of subjectve self-consciousness is thereby
satsfed; for what the judges pronounce must not differ fom what is in
the consciousness, and only when the criminal confesses does the judge­
ment no longer contain anyting alien to m. But the difcult arises
here that the criminal may deny his guilt, with the result that the interest
of justce is prejudiced. If, on the other hand, the subjectve convicton of
the judge is to prevail, an element of harshess is again intoduced, for
the person in queston is no longer teated as a fee individual. The
mediaton [between these possibilites] is the requirement that the verdict
of guilt or innocence should emanate fom the soul of the criminal -as i
Wen judgement is pronounced - in the sense that the case in ques­
ton is thereby so/so¬·éunder the /o¬- the right of self-conscious­
ness of the [afected] part is presered in relaton to the /o¬,
inasmuch as the law is known and is consequendy the law of the part
concered; and it is preserved in relaton to the so/so¬pi|so,
inasmuch as the process of law is public. But as far as the decision on
t |


Philosophy of Right
the portio/orsubjectve and exteral ce··t·oi of the matter |SoJ··J is
concered (knowledge |£rlw··ioisJof which belongs to the fst of the
two aspects referred to in § 225 above), this right is satsfed by the
cssc·which can be placed in the subjectvit of those who arrive at
the verdict. This confdence is based primarily on their equalit with
the part concered in respect of their partcularit - their social
status |SiooéJ and the like.
The right of self-consciousness, the moment of so/;·ciiv·
1ì··éo¬,can be regarded as the substantal viewpoint when we
consider the necessit for publicit in the administaton of
justce and for so-called irio/s/,;o¬.'What may be said in
favour of these insttutons on the grounds of tei oii/inis
essentally reducible to this right. Other consideratons and
reasons concerng their various advantages and disadvanta­
ges may generate arguments and counter-arguments; but like
all grounds for reasoning |Röse·m·¬·oiJ,these are secondary
and inconclusive, or else derived fom other and possibly
higher spheres. It is possible that the administaton of justce
in itself cso/ébe managed well by purely professional courts,
perhaps better than by other insttutons. But even if this
possibilit could be increased to probabilit - or indeed to
necessit - it is of no relevance, for on the opposite side there
is always the rig/is1s·/csoscisoso·sswhich retains its claims
and fnds that they are not satsfed. - Given the nature of the
entre corpus oflaws, knowledge |K·o··toisJof right and of the
course of court proceedings, as well as the abilit to pursue
one's rights, may become the prsp·rnof a class |Sioo1which
makes itself exclusive even by the terminology it uses,
inasmuch as this terminology is a foreign language for those
whose rights are at stake. In this situaton, members of civil
societ, who depend for their livelihood on i/·iroaivin, i/·ir
s¬··los¬/·ég· |Uiss·oJ ooévs/iiiso,remain o/i·ooi·énot only
fom their own most personal interest but also from the
substantal and ratonal basis of these, namely ng/i, and they
are reduced to a conditon of ioi·/og·,or even a kind of serf­
dom, in relaton to the class |Sioo1 in queston. Even if they
have the right to be physically present in court, to have a
1siiogin it (i··ioéiossior·),this counts for lttle if they are not
Ethical Li
to be present iospiniand with their own los¬/·ég· |Uiss·oJ,
and the right which they receive wl remain an exteral 1i·
for them.
§§ 228-23
In the administaton of justce, civil societ, in which the Idea has lost
itself in partcularit and split up into the division between inward and
outward, returs to its csocwi,to the unity of the universal which has
being in itself with subjectve partcularit (although the partcularit
in queston is tat of the individual case, and the universal is that of
c/sircci rig/i). The actualzaton of this unit in its extension to the
entre range of partcularit, first as a relatve union, consttutes the
determinaton of the ps/ic·, and secondly, as a limited but concrete
totalit, it consttutes the csnsrciie··.
÷ééiiiso d).In civil society, universalit is merely necessit. A far Ü
needs are concered, right as such is the only fied point.a But this right,
which is only a limted sphere, relates solely to the protecton of what I
possess; welfare is someting exteral to right as such. Nevertheless, this
welfare is an essental determinaton in the system of needs. Hence the
unersal, which in the first instance is merely right, has to be extended
over the entre field of partcularity. Justce is a major factor in civil
societ: good laws wlcause the state to fourish, and fee ownership is a
fndamental conditon of its success. But since I am completely involved
in partcularity, I have a right to demand that, within this context, my
partcular welfare should also be promoted. Account should be taken of
my welfare, of my partcularity, and this is the task of the police and the
"Trnslator's note: ist nur das Recht als solches das Peste. In Hotho's notes, the equivalent
phrase reads ist mlr das Recht al solche das Erste NPRIll, 689), i.e. 'right as such ualone
C Te Police and the Corporation
In the s,si·¬ s1o··és, the livelihood and welfare of each individual
¡·é·s£ioz·/o·oJ are a psssi/i/inwhose actualizaton L conditoned by
the individual's own arbitary wland partcular nature, as well as by
Philosophy of Right
the objectve system of needs. Through the admstaton of justce,
io1og·¬wis of propert or personality are annulled. But the right
¬/ic/isocioo/hpr·s·oiioponico/orinmeans not only that csoiimeoci·s
which interfere with this or that end should be co··c·//·é|oo)·/s/·oJ
and ' that the ooéisior/·é s·ann of p·nsos and pr@·n should be
guaranteed, but also tat the livelihood and welfare of individuals
should be s·cor·é- i.e. that ponia/or¬·hr·should be ir·oi·éÜ orig/i
and duly ocioo/iz·é.
a. The Police
In so far as the principle by which this or that end is govered Lstll
that of the partcular wl, that authorit |Moc/iJof the universal which
guarantees securit remains, on the one hand, primarily limited to the
sphere of csoiiog·oci·s,and on the other, it remains an oi¬o/srér.
Apart fom crimes which the universal authorit |Moc/iJmust prevent
or bring to justce -i.e. contngency in the shape of arbitar evil -the
permissible arbitariness of inherendy !rsic/Jrightl actons and of
the private use of propert also has exteral relatons |8ei·/oog·oJ
wit other individuals |£i··z·/o·J,as well as with oter public arrange­
ments designed to frther a common end. Through this universal
aspect, private actons become a contngent matter which passes out
of my contol |6wo/iJand which can wrong or harm oter people or
actually does so.
There is admittedly s·:ha psssi/i/inthat harm may be done. But the
fact that no harm is done is, as a contngency, likewise no more than
that. This is the aspect of ¬rsogwhich is inherent in such actons, and
which is consequendy the ultmate reason |6nuéJfor penal justce as
implemented by the police.
Ethical Li
The relatons |8·z|·/oog·oJ of exteral exstence |Dos·|oJ fall within
the infnite of the understanding; consequently, no boundary is
present |o itselbetween what is harmfl and what is harmless (even
with regard to crime), between what is suspicious and what is not
suspicious, or between what should be prohibited or kept under
surveillance and what should be exempted fom prohibitons, surveil­
lance and suspicion, inquiry and accountabilit. The more precise
determinatons wl depend on custom, the spirit of the rest of the
consttuton, prevailing conditons, current emergencies, etc.
÷éé|i|so d.No fxed determinatons are possible here, and no absolute
boundaries can be drawn. Everything here is personal; subjectve opinion
comes into play, and the spirit of the consttuton and current dangers wl
determine the more precise circumstances. In tmes of war, for example,
various things which are otherwise harmless must be regarded as harmfl.
Because of these aspect of contngency and arbitary personalit, the
police takes on a certain character of ¬o/|c|ssso·ss. When reflecton is
highly developed, the police may tend to draw everthing it can into its
sphere of influence, for it Lpossible to discover some potentally harmfl
aspect in everything. On such occasions, the police may proceed ver
pedantcally and disrupt the ordinary life of individuals. But however
toublesome this may be, no objectve boundary line can be drawn here. i
I the indeterminate multplicaton and interdependence of daily
needs, the prscor·o··oiand oc/oog·s1¬·o··sto satsf these (a process
on whose unimpeded contnuance everyone relies) and the need to
make the requisite inquiries and negotatons as short as possible give
rise to aspects of common interest in which the business s1so·is at
the same tme carried out on behalf of o//,they also give rise to means
and arrangements which may be of use to the communit. These
oo|v··so/1:oci|e··sand arrangements s1po//|coi|/|i,require oversight
and advance provision on the part of the public authorit |Moc/iJ.
The difering interests of producers and consumers may come into
collision with each other, and even if, e·· i/· ¬/s/·, their correct
Philosophy oj Right
relatonship re-establishes itself automatcally, its adjustent also
needs to be consciously regulated by an agency which stands above
both sides. The right to regulate individual matters in this way (e.g. by
deciding the value of the commonest necessites of life) is based on
the fact that, when commodites in completely universal everyday use
are publicly marketed, they are offered not so much to a partcular
individual |Ioéiviéoo¬J as such, as to the individual in a universal
sense, i.e. to the public; and the task of upholding the public's right
not to be cheated and of inspectng market commodites may, as a
common concer, be entusted to a publc authorit |MccliJ .¯ But
the main reason why some universal provision and directon are
necessary is that large branches of industy are dependent on exteral
circumstances and remote combinatons whose fl implicatons can­
not be grasped by the individuals |Ioéiviéo·oJ who are ted to these
spheres by their occupaton.
At the opposite exteme to feedom of tade and commerce in
civil societ are public arrangements to provide for and
determine the work of everyone. These included, for exam­
ple, the building of the pyramids in ancient tmes, and other
enonnous works in Egpt and Asia which were undertaken for
publc ends, and in which the work of the indivdual |é·s
£ioz·/o·oJwas not mediated by his partcular arbitary wland
partcular interest. This interest invokes the freedom of tade
and commerce against regulaton fom above; but the more
blindly it immerses itself in its selfish ends, te more it
requires such regulaton H bring it back to the universal, and
to moderate and shorten the duraton of those dangerous
convulsions to which its collisions give rise, and which should
retur to equilibrium by a process of unconscious necessit.
÷ééi/ieo0.The aim of oversight and provisions on te part of the police
is to mediate between the individual |Ioéiviéooo}and the universal possi­
bilit which is available for the attainment of individual ends. The police
should provide for steet-lightng, bridge-building, the pricing of daily
necessites, and public health. Two main views are prevalent on this
subject. One maintains that the police should have oversight over every­
thing/ and the other maintains that the police should have no say in such
matters, since everyone ,viII be guided in his actons by the needs of
oters. The individual |é·rEioz·ht·}must certainly have a right to earn his
living in this way or that; but on the other hand, the public also has a right
Ethical Li
u expect that necessary tasks will be performed in the proper manner.
Both viewpoints must be satsfed, and the freedom of tade should not be
such as to prejudice the general good.
Now even if the possibilit exsts for individuals to share in the
universal resources, and even if this possibilit is guaranteed by the
public authorit |Mcc/iJ,it remains - apart from the fact that such a
guarantee must always be incomplete - open to contngencies of a
subjectve kind. This is increasingly the case the more it takes such
conditons as skill, health, capital, etc. for granted.
Initally, the family is the substantal whole whose task it is H provide
for this partcular aspect of te individual, both by giving uthe
means and skills he requires in order to ear his living fom the
universal resources, and by supplying his livelihood and maintenance
in the event of his incapacit to look afer himself But civil societ
tears the individual |Ioé|v|éoo¬Jaway from family tes, alienates the
members of the family from one another, and recoges them as self­
sufCient persons. Furthermore, it substtutes its own soil for the
exteral inorganic nature and pateral soil fom which the individual
|écr£|oz·h··J gained his livelihood, and subjects the exstence |8·si·-
/wJ of the whole family itself to dependence on civil societ and to
contngency. Thus, the individual |I·é|v|é·:s¬Jbecomes a sso s1c|v|/
ssc|·n,which has as many claims upon him as he has rights in relaton
to it.
÷éé|i|es(. Admittedly, the family must provide food for its individual
members |£|sz·/s·sJ,but in civil society, the family is subordinate and
merely lays the foundatons; its effectveness is no longer so comprehen­
sive. Civil societ, on the other hand, is the immense power which draws
people to itself and requires them to work for it, to owe everg to it,
and to do everything by its means. Thus, ua human being i to be a
member of civil society, he has rights and claims in relaton to it, just as he
had in relaton to his family. Civil society must protect its members and
defend their rights, just as the individual |éc·£|s:·/s·| owes a dut to the
rights of civil societ.
I .
Philosophy of Right
In this character as a ooiv·no/1¬ih,civil societ has the dut and
right, in the face of or/iirorio·ss and contngenc on the part of i/·
por·ois, to supervise and influence the ·éocoiiso |£ni·/s··gJ of chil­
dren in so far as this has a bearing on teir capacit to become
members of societ, and partcularly i this educaton is to be com­
pleted not by the parents themselves, but by others. In so far as
communal arrangements can be made for this purpose, it is likewise
incumbent upon civil societ to make them.
÷1iiiso(H,C).It is difcult to draw a boundary here between the rights
of parents and those of civil society. A far as educaton is concered,
parent usually consider that they have complete freedom and can do
whatever they please. With all public educaton, the main oppositon
usually comes fom the parents, and it is they who protest and speak out
about teachers and insttutons because their own preference goes against
them. Nevertheless, societ has a right to follow its own tested views on
such matters, and to compel parents to send their children to school, u
have them vaccinated, etc. The contoversies which have arisen in France
between the demands for feedom of instucton (i.e. for parental choice)
and for state supervision are relevant in this context.a
aTranslator' ,zote: This fnal sentence has no counterart mthe sectons of Hotho's and
Griesheim's notes on which this Additon is based (cf. VPR ttt, 70If and W¡ 602f.).
In the same way, societ has the dut and right to act as guardian on
behalf of those who destoy the securit of thei own and their family's
livelihood by thei extavagance, and to implement their end and that
of society in their place.
÷ééiiiso(C).In Athens, the law obliged every citen to give an account of
his means of support; te view nowadays i that this is a purely private
matter. J On the one hand, it is tue that every individual has an
independent exstence 'isi;·esI·éivié·u¬1|rsic/|,but on the other, the
individual is also a member of the system of civil societ, and just as every
human being has a right udemand a livelihood from societ, so also must
societ protect m against himself. It is not just starvaton which is at
stake here; the wider viewpoint is te need to prevent a rabble from
emergng. Since civil societ is obliged to feed its members, it also has the
right to urge them to provide for their own livelihood.

Ethical Li
Not only arbitariness, however, but also contngent physical factors
and circumstances based on exteral conditons (see § 200) may
reduce individuals to psv·rt,. In this conditon, they are lef with the
needs of civil societ and yet - since societ has at the same tme taken
fom them the natural means of acquisiton (see § 21 7), and also
dissolves |o·m·/tJ the bond of the family in its wider sense as a
kinship group (see § 1 81) - they are more or less deprived of all the
advantages of society, such as the abilit to acquire skills and educa­
ton in general, as well as of the administaton of justce, health care,
and often even of the consolaton of religion. For the pssr,the univer­
sal authorit |Moc/tJtakes over the role of the family with regard not
only to their immediate deficiencies, but also to the dispositon of
laziness, viciousness, and the other vices to which their predicament
and sense of wrong give rise.
The subjectve aspect of povert, and in general of every kind of want
to which all individuals are exposed, even in their natural environ­
ment, also requires so/;·ctiv·help, both with regard to the portico/or
circumstances and with regard to ·¬stisoand /sv·.This is a situaton
in which, notwithstanding all universal arrangements, ¬sro/it,fnds
plent to do. But since this help, both in itself |f·ìrsic/J and in its
efects, is dependent on contngency, society endeavours to make it
less necessary by identfing the universal aspects of want and taking
steps to remedy them.
The contngent character of almsgiving and charitable dona­
tons (e.g. for burg lamps before the images of saints, etc.)
is supplemented by public poorhouses, hospitals, streetlight­
ing, etc. Charity stll retains enough scope for acton, and it is
mistaken if it seeks to restict te alleviaton of want to the
poniat/ont, of emoton and the csotiog·ooof its own disposi­
ton and knowledge |K·toisJ, and if it feels injured and
offended by universal rulings and precepts of an s//igots¬
kind. On the contary, public conditons should be regarded
as all the more perfect the less there is left for the individual to
Philosophy oj Right
do by himself |ûr sic/J in the light of his own partcular
opinion (as compared with what is arranged in a universal
manner). 1
When the actvit of civil societ is unresticted, it is occupied inter­
nally wit ·¬ooéiogitsvsvo/otisoooéioéost¬.- On the one hand, as
the associaton |Zoso¬¬w/oogJ of human beings through their needs
is ooiv··so/iz·é,and \vith it the ways in which means of satsfing these
needs are devised and made available, the oca¬o/otiso s1 ¬·o/t/
increases; for the greatest proft is derived from this twofold univer­
salit. But on the other hand, the sv·cio/izotiso ||·r·ioz·l·ugJ and
/i¬itotiso of partcular work also increase, as do likewise the
é·vwéwc· and ¬ootof the class I which is ted to such work; this in
tum leads to an inabilit to feel and enjoy the wider feedoms, and
partcularly the spiritual advantages, of civil societ.
When a large mass of people sinks below the level of a certain
standard of living - which automatcally regulates itself at the level
necessary for a member of the societ in queston - that feeling of
right, integrity |R·cl·t/|c/l·itJ,and honour which comes from support­
ing oneself by one's own actvit and work is lost. This leads to the
creaton of a ro///·,which in tum makes it much easier for dispropor­
tonate wealth to be concentated in a few hands.
÷ééitiso (G). The lowest level of subsistence |8o/sist·szJ, that of the
rabble, defnes itself automatcally, but this minimum varies greatly
beteen different peoples. In England, even the poorest man believes he
has his rights; tis differs from what the poor are content with in other
counties. Povert in itself does not reduce people to a rabble; a rabble is
created only by the dispositon associated with povert, by inward rebel­
lion against the rich, against society, the goverent, etc. It also follows
that those who are dependent on contngency become frivolous and lazy,
like the /oz-orssiof Naples, for example. This in tum gives rise to the evil
that the rabble do not have sufcient honour to gain their livelihood
through their own work, yet claim that they have a right to receive their
livelihood. No one can assert a right against nature, but within the condi-
Ethical Li
isonc which agìtatcs and tormcnts modcrnsocicocs cspcciaIIy´
Ifthcdircctburdcn |ofsupportj wcrc H fallonthcwcalthicrclass,or
ifdircct mcans wcrc availablc in othcr public ínsutuuons |such as
wcalthy hospitals, foundauons, or monastcrics) to maintain thc
incrcasinçly impovcrishcd mass atitsnormalstandard oflívinç, thc
livclihood ofthc nccdywould bc cnsurcdw¡thout thc mcdiauon of
work, thiswould bcconuaryto thc principlc ofciv¡! socicnand thc
Altcmauvcly, thcirlivclihoodmiçhtbcmcdiatcdbywork|i.c.bythc
butitis prcciscly inovcrproducuonand mc lack ofaproporuonatc
numbcr ofconsumcrs who arc thcmsclvcs producuvc that thc cv¡l
/·l consists |/·si·/iJ, and this is mcrcly cxaccrbatcd by thc two
cxpcdicnts in qucsuon. Jhis shows that, dcspitc an oc·ss s1¬·c/i/,
civil socicnis oei¬·c/i/,·osog/ ¯ i.c.its own disunct rcsourccs arc
notsufhcicnt- toprcvcntancxccssofpovcrtyandthcformauonofa
by poor-ratcs, boundlcss donauons, and cqually límitlcss
corporauons. Jhcrc |cspcciallyin 5cotland), ithas cmcrçcd
thatthc mostdircctmcansofdcalinçwíth povcrty, andpar-
ucularlyvvith thc rcnunciauon ofshamc and honour as thc
subiccuvc bascsofsocicnandw¡th thclazincss and cxuava-
çanccwhichçivc risc to arabblc, istolcavcthc poorto thcir
fatc and dircct thcm to bcç fromthcpublic.
Jhis inncr dialccuc ofsocicty drivcs it- orin thc nrstinstancci/is
sp·ci1cssci·i,¯ toçobcyondits ownconnncsandlookforconsumcrs,
andhcncc thcmcansitrcquircs forsubsistcncc |8o/sisi···zJ,inothcr
Philosophy oj Right
natons H ·m|which lack those means of which it has a surplus or
which generally lag behind it in creatvity, etc.
Just as the earth, the f and ss/iégrsooé, is a preconditon of the
principle of family life, so is the s·othe natural element for industy,
whose relatons ,vith the exteral world it enlivens. By exposing the
pursuit of gain to danger, industy simultaneQusly rises above it; and
for the tes of the soil and the limited circles of civl life with its
pleasures and desires, it substtutes the element of fuidit, danger,
and destucton. Through tis supreme medium of communicaton, it
also creates tading m between distant countes, a legal |r·c/i-
/|c/·o|relatonship which gives rise to contacts; and at the same tme,
such tade ||·rl·/r| is the greatest educatonal asset |8i/Joogs¬iii·/}
and the source from which commerce derives its world-historical
Rivers are osiociom//sooécri·s,which they have been taken
to represent in modem tmes. On the contary, both they and
the oceans mhuman beings together. It is also inaccurate on
Horace's part to say:
deus c/sc|é|t
Prudens Oceano dissociabili
This can be seen not only from the fact that river basins are
inhabited by a single tibe or people, but also, for example,
fom the relatons which exsted in former tes between
Greece, Ionia, and Magna Graecia, between Brittany and
Britain, between Denmark and Norway, Sweden, Finland,
Livonia, etc.; it is also partcularly clear when we contast this
with the lesser degree of contact between the inhabitants of
coastal territories and those of the interior. - But in order to
appreciate what an educatonal asset is present in the mwith
the sea, one should compare the relatonship to the sea of
those natons in which creatvit has flourished with those
which have shunned navigaton and which, like the Egyptans
"Translator's note: 'A prdent god searated the lands by the dividing ocean'.

Ethical Li
and Indians, have stagnated interally and sunk into the most
appalling and miserable superstton; one should likewise note
how all great and enterprising natons push their way to the
This extended malso supplies the means necessary for cs/soizciiso
- whether sporadic or systematc - to which the flly developed civil
societ is driven, and by which it provides part of its populaton with a
retur to the family principle in a new county, and itself with a new
market and sphere of industial actvit.
§§ 246-249
÷1iiiso(G). Civil societ is driven to estblish colonies. The increase of
populaton alone has this effect; but a partcular factor is the emergence
of a mass of people who cannot gain satsfacton for their needs by their
work when producton exceeds the needs of consumers. Sporadic col­
onizaton is found partcularly in Germany. The colonists move to
America or Russia and retain no mwith their home count, to which
tey are consequently of no service. The second variet of colonizaton,
quite different fom the frst, i systematc. It is initated by te state,
which is aware of the proper way of carrg it out and regulates it
accordingly. This mode of colonizaton was frequently employed by the
ancients, especially the Greeks. Hard work was not the concer '8cd·c|of
the Greek citzen, whose actvit was directed rather towards public
affairs 'ucoiüc/c··Diogco| . Accordingly, whenever the populaton gew to
a point at which it could become difcult to provide for it, the young
people were sent of to a new region, which was either specically chosen
or left to be discovered by chance. In more recent tmes, colonies have not
been granted the same rights as the inhabitants of the mother count,
and this situaton has resulted in wars and eventual independence, as the
history of te English and Spanish colonies shows. The liberaton of
colonies itelf proves to be of the greatest advantage to the moter state,
just as the emancipaton of slaves is of the greatest advantage to the
What the police provides for in the frst instance is the actualiaton
and preservaton of the universal which is contained within the par­
tcularit of civil societ, [and it does so] as co oicmc/ srécr coé
Philosophy of Right
o·roog¬coifor the protecton and securit of the masses of partcular
ends and interests which have their subsistence |8csic/coJ in this
universal; as the higher guiding authorit, it also provides for those
interests which extend beyond the societ in queston (see § 246). I
accordance with the Idea, partcularit itself makes m universal,
which is present in its immanent interest, the end and object |6cgco-
siooéJ of its wl and actvit, with the result that i/cci/ico/rciomsto
civil societ as an immanent prnciple; this consttutes the determina­
ton of the csnsroiiso.
b. The Corporaton
§ 250
The og·ia/ioro/csioic, in view of the substantalit of its natural and
family life, has within itself, in im ediate form, the concrete universal
in which it lives. The s··ivc·so/csioic, by definiton |iosciocr8csii¬-
¬oogJ, has the universal for itself as its basis and as the end of its
actvit. The intermediate estate, i.e. the estate of tade and industy,
is essentally concered with the ¡onico/or, and the corporaton L
therefore specially characteristc of it. J
The work performed by civil societ is divided into diferent branches
according to its parcular nature. Since the inherent likeness of such
parculars, as the qualit cs¬¬so to them all, comes into exstence
|£xsicozJ in the csscioiiso, the schs/ end which pursues its own
partcular interest comprehends |m1iJ and expresses itself at the same
tme as a universal end; and the member of civil societ, in accordance
with h ¡oni:u/orsli//,L a member of a corporaton whose universal
end is therefore wholly csoocic, and no wider in scope than the end
inherent in the tade which is the corporaton's proper business and
§ 2
By m defniton |8csii¬¬·ugJ,the corporaton has the right, under
the supervision of the publc authorit |Moc/iJ,to look afer its own
Ethical Li § § 249-2
interest within its enclosed sphere, to admit members in accordance
wit their objectve qualificaton of skill and recttude and in numbers
determined by the universal context, to protect its members against
partcular contngencies, and to educate others so as to make them
eligible for membership. In short, it has the right to assume the role of
a s·csoé family for it members, a role which must remain more
indeterminate in the case of civil societ in general, which is more
remote from individuals and their partcular requirements.
The tadesman |6·=·r/s¬oooJ i distnct from the day
labourer, as he is from someone who is prepared to perform
an occasional |·ioz·/o·oJcontngent service. The former, who
is - or wishes to become - a ¬osi·r, is a member of an
associaton not for occasional contngent gain, but for the
=/s/· range and universalit of his partcular livelihood. -
Privi/·g·s, in the sense of rights of a branch of civil societ
which consttutes a corporaton, are distnct fom privileges
proper in the etmological sense, I in that the latter are con­
tngent exceptons to the universal law, whereas the forer
are no more than legally fed determinatons which lie in the
ponia/orooior·of an essental branch of societ itself.
I the corporaton, te family not only /osits f basis in that its
livelihood is goorooi··é- i.e. it has secure r·ssorc·s (see § 1 70) - on
conditon of it [possessing a certain] copo/i/ii,, but the two [i.e.
livelihood and capabilit] are also r·csgoiz·é,so that the member of a
corporaton has no need to demonstate his competence and h
regular income and means of support -i.e. the fact that he isss¬·/sé,
-by any frther oi¬o/wiéoc·.I tis way, it is also recognized tat
he belongs to a whole which is itself a member of societ in general,
and that he has an interest in, and endeavours to promote, te less
selfsh end of this whole. Thus, he has /is/sosorio/is·sioi·.
Aa guarantor of resources, the insttuton of the corporaton
corresponds to the intoducton of agriculture and private
propert in another sphere (see Remarks to § 203). - When
complaints are made about that luxury and love of extava­
gance of the professional æ·=·r/·ir·i/wé·oJ classes which is
Philosophy of Right
associated with the creaton of a rabble (see § 244), we must
not overlook, in additon to the other causes [of this
phenomenon] (e.g. the increasingly mechanical nature of
work), its ·ilico/basis as implied in what has been said above.
If the individual [der £ioz·h··J is not a member of a legally
recognized |/·r·c/iiç·oJ corporaton (and it is only through
legal recogniton that a communit becomes a corporaton),
he is without the /sosors1/·/s··giogisoo·sioi·, his isolaton
reduces Hto the selfish aspect of his tade, and h liveli­
hood and satsfacton lack sio/i/in.He wl accordingly t to
mr·csgoiiisothrough the exteral manifestatons of success
in his tade, and tese are without limit |·u/·gr·oziJ,because it
is impossible for uto live in a way appropriate to his estate if
his estate does not exst; for a communit can oisi in civil
societ only if it is legally consttuted and recognized. Hence
no way of life of a more general kind appropriate to such an
estate can be devised. - Within the corporaton, the help
which povert receives loses its contngent and unjustly |¬ii
|or·d·iJ humiliatng character, and wealth, in flfilling te
dut it owes to its associaton, loses the abilit to provoke
arrogance in its possessor and envy in others; recttude also
receives the tue recogniton and honour which are due to it.
In the corporaton, the so-called ooioro/rig/ito practse one's skill
and thereby ear what there is to ear is limited only to the extent
that, in this context, the skill is ratonally determined. That is, it is
feed fom personal opinion and contngenc, fom its danger to
oneself and others, and is recognized, guaranteed, and at the same
te raised to a conscious actvit for a common end.
The 1¬i/ris the fst ·i/ico/root of the state; the csns·oiie··i s the
second, and it is based in civil societ. The former contains the
moments of subjectve partcularity and objectve universality in so/-
siooiio/unt; but in the latter, these moments, which in civil society
are at fst divided into the i··i¬o//rrm·ct·épartcularit of need and
Ethical Li
satsfacton and abstact legal |r·c/i/|c/mJ universalit, are inwardly
united in such a way that partcular welfare is present as a right and is
actualized withn this union.
The sanctt of marriage and the honour attaching to the
corporaton are te two moment round which the dis­
organizaton of civil societ revolves.
÷éo|i|sod. When the cororatons were abolished |oo1·/s/mJin recent
tmes, it was with the intenton that the individual [t £|oz·lo·J should
look afer himself. But even if we accept U, the corporaton does not
afect te individual's obliga!on to ea his living. In our modem states,
the citzens have only a limited share in the universal business of the state;
but it is necessary to provide etical man wit a universal actvit in
additon to mprivate end. This universal [actvit], which the moder
state does not always ofer him, can be found in the cororaton. We saw
earlierI that, in providing for himself, the individual |éosIoéa|éoo¬J in
cv societ is also actng for others. But this unconscious necessit is not
enough; only in the corporaton does it become a knowing and tg
[art of ethical life. The corporaton, of course, must come under the
higher supervision of the state, for it would oterwise become ossied and
set in its ways, and decline into a miserable guild system.2 But the
corporaton in and for itself is not an enclosed guild; it is rather a means
of giving the isolated tade an ethical status, and of admittng it to a circle
in which it gains steng and honour.
The end of the corporaton, which is limited and fnite, has its tth in
the mé¬/|c/|soo|v·no/in and for itself and in the absolute actualit
of m end. So likewise do the separaton and relatve identt which
were present in the exteral organizaton of the police. The sphere of
civil societ thus passes over into the sioi·.
The town is the seat of civil tade and industy, of self­
absorbed and divisive |v·r·ioz·/oéoJreflecton, of individuals
who mediate teir own self-preservaton in relaton to other
legal |r·c/i/ic/mJpersons. The county is the seat of an ethical
life based on nature and the family. Town and county -these
consttute in general the two ideal moments fom which the
state ·¬·rg·s as their tue grsooé. - This development of
immediate ethical life through the division of civil societ and
Philosophy of Right
on to the state, whch Lshown to be their tue ground, is the
so·oiácprss1of the concept of the state, a proof which only a
development of this kind can frsh. - Since the state
appears as the r·so/iof the development of the scientc con­
cept in that it D out to be the im·ground [of tis develop­
ment], the ¬·éioiiso and semblance already referred to are
likewise sop··s·ééby i¬¬·éioo. I actualit, therefore, the
sioi·in general is in fact the pn¬onfactor; only within the
state does the family fst develop into civil societ, and it is
the idea of the state itself which divides into these two
moments. I the development of civil societ, te ethical sub­
stance takes on its io1oii·form, which contains within itself
the following to moments: (I) ite ém ·r·oiioiiso to the
point at which the io¬oré/·iog|Iosic/s·ioJ of self-conscious­
ness attains being-for-itself and (2) the form of ooiv¬o/in
which is present in educaton, the form of i/sog/iwhereby the
spirit is objectve and actual to itself as an srgooictotalt in
/o¬sand iosiiioiisos,i. e. in its ow wl as i/sog/i.
The State
The state is the actualit of the ethical Idea - the ethical spirit as
substantal wl, ¬oomsiand clear to itself, which t and knows
itself and implements what it knows in so far as it knows it. It has its
immediate exstence |£xisi·ozJ in asis¬and its mediate exstence in
the s·/csosososo·ssof the individual |écs£ioz·/o·oJ,in the individu­
al's knowledge and actvit, just as self-consciousness, by virtue of its
dispositon, has its so/sio··iio/1ì··é¬in the state as its essence, its
end, and the product of its actvit.
The Pwoi·sare the inner and /s¬·rgods, and the spinis1i/·
ooiie··(Athene) is the divine which los¬sand ¬i//sitself. Pi·n
is feeling |£¬p1oéoogJ and ethical life govered by feeling,
and ps/iiico/virio·is the wl g of that thought end which has
being in and for itself.
The state is the actualit of the substantal ¬il/,an actuality which it
possesses in the partcular s·/csoscisesoaswhen tis has been raised
to its universalit; as such, it is the roiisoo/in and for itself. This
substantal unit is an absolute and unmoved end in itself, and in it,
feedom enters into its highest right, just as this ultate end poss­
esses the highest right in relaton to individuals |éi·£ioz·/o·oJ,whose
/ig/·siéo(ris to be members of the state.
Philosophy of Right
If the state is confsed with civil societ and its determinaton
is equated with the securit and protecton of propert and
personal freedom, i/·ioi·r·sis1ioéiviéoo/s |écr£ioz·h··oJ a
soc/becomes the ultmate end for which they are united; it
also follows fom this that membership of the state is an
optonal matter. - But the relatonship of the state to the
individual |I·éiviéoo¬J is of quite a different kind. Since the

state is objectve spirit, it is only through being a member of
the state that the individual |Ioéiviéoo¬J himself has objec­
tvit, tuth, and ethical life. |oiso as such L itself the tue
content and end, and the destny |8·sii¬¬oogJ of individuals
|Ioéiviéo·oJ is to lead a universal life; their frther partcular
satsfacton, actvit, and mode of conduct have this substan­
tal and universally valid basis as their point of departure and
result. - Considered in the abstact, ratonalit consists in
general in the unit and interpenetaton of universalit and
individualit |£ioz·0··iiJ . Here, in a concrete sense and in
tenus of its content, it consist in the unit of objectve
feedom (Le. of the universal substantal wl ) and subjectve
freedom (as the feedom of individual |i··éiviéo·h·oJ know­
ledge and of the wlin its pursuit of partcular ends). And in
terms of its form, it therefore consists in self-deterg
acton in accordance with laws and principles based on i/sog/i
and hence ooiv·no/. - This Idea is the being of spirit as
necessar and eteral in and for itself. - As far as the Idea of
te state itself is concered, it makes no difference what is or
was te /isisrico/origin of the state in general (or rather of any
partcular state with its rights and determinatons) -whether it
frst arose out of patiarchal conditons, out of fear or tust,
out of corporatons etc., or how the basis of its right has been
understood and fed in the consciousness as divine and posi­
tve right or contact, habit, etc. I relaton to scientfic cogni­
ton, which is our sole concer here, these are questons of
appearance, and consequently a matter |Soc/·J for history. In
so far as the authorit of any actual state concers itself with
the queston of reasons, these will be derived from the forms
of right which are valid within that state. - The philosophical
approach deals only with the interal aspect of all this, with
the csoc·pia i/sog/i|¬iiéc¬g·éod·i·o8·g·i1J .As far as the
Ethical Li
search for this concept is concered, it was the achievement of
Rousseau to put forward the ¬i//as the principle of the state, a
principle which has i/sog/inot only as its form (as with the
social instnct, for example, or divine authorit) but also as its
content, and which is in fact i/ioliogitself. But Rousseau
considered the will only in the determinate form of the
ioéiviéoo/|·ioz·/o·oJwill (as Fichte subsequendy also did) and
regarded the universal will not as the will's ratonalit in and
for itself but only as the cs¬¬so ·/·¬·oiarising out of this
individual |·ioz·h··oJ will os o csoscisos ¬i/l' The union of
individuals [tr £ioz·h··oJ within the state thus becomes a
csoima,which is accordingly based on their arbitary will and
opinions, and on their express consent given at their own
discreton; and the frther consequences which follow fom
this, and which relate merely to the understanding, destoy
the divine [element] which has being in and for itself and its
absolute authorit and majest. Consequendy, when these
abstactons were invested with power, they aforded the
temendous spectacle, for the first tme we know of in human
history, of the overtrow of all exstng and given conditons
within an actual major state and the revision of it consttuton
fom frst principles and purely in terms of i/sog/i,the i··ao-
iisobehind this was to give it what was soppss·éto be a purely
roiisoo/ basis. On the other hand, since these were only
abstactons divorced fom the Idea, they tured the attempt
into the most terrible and drastc event.2 -In oppositon to the
principle of the individual will, we should remember the
fndamental concept according to which the objectve will is
ratonal in itself, i.e. in its csocwi, whether or not it is
recognized by individuals |£ioz·/o·oJ and willed by them at
their discreton - and that its opposite, knowledge and voli­
ton, the subjectvit of feedom" (which is the ss/·content of
the principle of the individual will) embodies only so·(conse­
quendy one-sided) moment of the Ié·o s1 i/· roiisoo/will,
which is ratonal solely because it has being both io iis·/and
1riis·h-Also at variance with the thought that the state may
§ 2
"Trnslator' note: The word order in the frst editon is 'the subject�it of feedom,
knowledge and voliton'; but since te following relatve clause requires S/lbjektivitit as
it antecedent, other editons have adopted the present word-order.
Philosophy oj Right
be apprehended by cogniton as something ratonal for itself is
[the practce of taking the ·xi¬c/ii,of appearance and the
contngencies of want, need of protecton, stength, wealth,
etc. not as moments of historical development, but as the
so/sicoc·of the state. Here, the principle of cogniton is once
again that of separate individualit |éi· £ioz·//·ii écr
Ioéiviéo·oJ,but not so much the i/sog/iof this individualit as
the converse of this, namely empirical individualit with all its
contngent qualites of stength and weakness, wealth and
povert, etc. This noton |£io1h of ignoring the state's
iofoinand rciie··c/inin and for itself and of /cois/iogi/sog/i
fom the apprehension of its inner nature has probably never
appeared in so unadulterated a form as in Herr von Haller's
It is oocéo/i·rci·é,because in all
other attempts to grasp the essence of the state, however one­
sided or superficial their principles may be, this very intenton
of cs¬¡r·/·oéiogthe state brings with it thoughts or universal
determinatons. Here, however, Herr von Haller not only
consciously dispenses with the ratonal content of the state
and with the form of thought, but flminates with passionate
zeal against them both. This R·sisrciisodoubtless owes part of
what Herr von Haller assures us is the widespread infuence
of its principles to the fact that it has managed, in its presen­
taton, to dispense with c//i/sog/is,and has thereby managed
to make the whole work as of so·piece in its thoughtlessness.
For in this way, it avoids the confsion and discontnuit
which diminish the impact of a presentaton in which
references to the substantal are med in wit the contngent,
and reminders of the universal and ratonal are intermingled
with the merely empirical and exteral, with the result that, in
the sphere of the empt and insignificant, we are reminded of
the higher realm of the infinite. - This presentaton is equally
csosisi·oiin one frther respect. For since the sphere of con­
tngency, rather than the substantal, is taken to be the essence
of the state, the content of such a work is consistent precisely
in the utter inconsistency of its thoughtlessness, in that it
heedlessly goes its way and is soon just as much at home with
the opposite of what it had approved a moment earlier.t
Hegel' nOle: In view of the characteristcs specifed above, the book mqueston is of an
Ethical Li § 25
Addition (G). The state in and for itselfis the ethical whole, the actualiza­
ton of feedom, and it is the absolute end of reason that feedom should
be actual. The state is the spirit which is present in the world and which
consciously realizes itself therein, whereas in nature, it actualizes itself only
as the other of itself, as dormant spirit. Only when it is present in
consciousness, knowing itself as an exstent object [Gegenstand, is it the
state. Any discussion of feedom must begin not with individualit
[Einzelheit] or the individual self-consciousness, but only with the essence
of self-consciousness; for whether human beings kow it or not, this
essence realizes itself as a self-sufcient power of which single individuals
[die einzelnetl ltldividuen] are only moments. The state consists in the
march of God in the world, and its basis is the power of reason actua1ing
itself as wl. In considering the Idea of the state, we must not have any
partcular states or partcular insttutons in mind; instead, we should
consider the Idea, this actual God, in it own right [ir sich]. Any state,
even if we pronounce it bad in the light of our own principles, and even if
we discover this or that defect in it, invariably has the essental moments
of its exstence [Existez] within itself (provided it is one of the more
advanced states of our tme). But since it is easier to discover deficiencies
than to comprehend the afrmatve, one may easily fall into the mistake of
overlooking the inner organism of the state in favour of individual
[einzelne] aspect. The state is not a work of art; it exsts in the world, and
hence in the sphere of arbitariness, contngency, and error, and bad
behaviour may disfgure it in many respect. But the ugliest man, the
criminal, the invalid, or the cripple is stll a living human being; the
afrmatve aspect - life - survives [besteht] in spite of such deficiencies,
and it is with U afrmatve aspect that we are here concered.
original kind. In itelf [jiir sich], the author's indignaton couId well have something noble
about it, for it was sparked off by te false theories referred to above (which originated
largely with Rousseau), and above all by attempt to put these theories into practce. But
in order to escape fom these, Herr von Haller has withdrawn to the opposite exteme,
which u totally devoid of thought and therefore cannot claim tE have any substance
[Gehalt] -that u,the most viruIent hated of all /als and legilation, and of allfnall and
legally detennilled rght. Hated of lal, of legally determined rght, u the shibboleth
whereby fanatcism, imbecilit, and hypocritcal good intentons manifesdy and infallibly
reveal themselves for what they are, no matter what disguise they may adopt. - Orig­
inalit like tat of Herr von Haller u always a remarkable phenomenon [Echeinzmg],
and I wlcite some examples of it for those of my readers who are as yet unfamiliar with
h book. Herr von Haller fst put forward h basic principle (Vol. I, pp. 342f.),
namely 'that just as, in the inanimate world, the larger displaces the smaller, the powerful
the weak, etc., so also among the animal, and likewise among human beings, does the
same law reappear in nobler (ofen surely also in ignoble?)" forms [Getalten)" and 'tat
this uaccordingl the eteal and unalterable ordinallce ofGod, that the more pOlerl1 rules,
must rule, and always shall rule'. It is evident even from tis, as well as fom what
"Translator's 1I0te: The words in parentheses are Hegel's own interjecton.
Philosophy of Right
follows, what is meant by power in this context: it is not the power of justce and ethics,
but the contngent power of nature. In support of this, Herr von Haller further cites,
among other reasons (pp. 365f), the fact that nature, with admirable wisdom, has
ordained that the very sense of one's own superorty irresistbly ennobles the character
and favours the development of precisely those virtues which are most necessary to one's
subordinates. He asks, with elaborate formal rhetoric, 'whether it is the stong or the
weak in the realm of the sciences who more ofen abuse their authorit and tust for base
and selh ends and to the detiment of credulous people, whether among jurists the
masters of their science are the pettfoggers and cavilling lawyers who deceive the hopcs
of credulous client, who call white black and black white, who misuse the laws as a
vehicle of wrongdoing, who make beggars out of those who need their protecton and
who, like hungry vulture, tear the innocent lamb to pieces, etc.' Herr von Haller forgets
at this point tat he is employing such rhetoric precisely in order to defend the proposi­
ton that the rle oJthe more powerll is an eteral ordinance of God, the very ordinance
whereby the vulture tears the innocent lamb to pieces, and that those whose knowledge
[Kentnis] of the law gives them greater power are therefore quite right to plunder the
credulous people who need their protecton, since they are the weak. But it would be
exectng too much for two thought to be brought together where not a single thought is
present. - It goes \vithout saying that Herr von Haller is an enemy of legal cd. Civil
laws, in h opinion; are on te one hand completely 'unnecessary, in that they follow
seleidently Jrm the law oJnature'. It would have saved much of the efort that has been
expended on legislaton and legal codes since sttes ft began, and that is stll expended
on such matters and on the study of jurisprudence [de geetzlichen Recls], upeople had
aways been content with the sound principle that all this is seleident. 'On the other
hand, laws are not in fact made for private persons, but as instrctions for lesser
magistates to acquaint them \vith the wl of the chief justce. Jursdiction is not in any
case a duty on the part of the state (Vol. t, pp. 297f. and passim), but a charitable act, a
serice provided by those \vit greater power and purely as an accessory. It is not the
most perfect means of guaranteeing right, but is in fact insecure and uncerain. It is the
only means \vith which our modem jurist have lef us, for they have robbed us of the
other three mean, the ver ones which lea most quickl and reliabl to the goal and which,
apart from the legal system,frendly nature has given to human beings in order to secure
their rghtl freedm.' And these three means are - what do you think? - '(r) peronal
obediece to, and inculcation of, the natural law; (2) resistance minjustce [Unrecht); and {}
fight, when no other help is available.' (How unfriendly the jurist are in comparison
with fiendly nature!) 'The natural and divine law, however, which all-bountful nature
has given to everyone (Vol. t,p. 292), is: honour everone as your equal' (on the author's
own principles, this ought to read: 'honour him who is not your equal, but is more
powerfl than yourself); 'give ofence to no one who ge no ofence to you; demand
nothing but what he owes to you' {but what does he owe?}; 'but more than this: love your
neighbour and serve mwhere you can.' - The implantation oJthis law is supposed to
render a legislaton and consttuton superfuous. It would be interestng to see how Herr
von Haller interprets the fact that, despite the implantaton of this law, legislatons and
consttutons have made their appearance in the world! In Volume ttt, pp. 362f., the
author comes to the 'so-called natonal libertes', i.e. the juridical and consttutonal laws
of natons. (In m wider sense, every legally determined right may be described as a
liberty.) He says of these laws, among other things, 'that their content is usually ver
insignicnt, even if great value may be placed in books on such dcumentar libertes.'
When we see then that the author is here referring to the natonal libertes of the
German Imperial Estates,' of the English naton (such as the Magna ChartaS 'which is
lillie read, however, and even less undstood on account of its archaic eresions', the Bill of
Rights6 etc.), of the Hungarian naton, etc., we are amazed to discover that these once so
Ethical Li
highly prized possessions are of no significance, and that it is onl itl books that these
natons place any value on their laws, which have had an effect on ever gannent the
individual wears and every morsel of bread he eats, and whose effects are daily and
hourly present in everthing. - If we may also menton the General Legal Code ofPmssia/
Herr von Haller speaks of it with partcular disfavour (Vol. t, pp. r8Sf) because
unphilosophical errors" (though not, at least, the Kantan philosophy, to which Herr von
Haller react with partcular bitteress) have exerted an incredible influence on it, and
above all because it refers, among other things, to te state, the resources of the state, the
end of the state, the head of state, the dlties of the head of state, servants of the state, etc.
Worst of all, in Herr von Haller's opinion, is 'the right to impose tam on the private
resources of individuals, their tade, their producton, or their consumpton in order to
pay fr the need ofthe state; for mmeans that both the king himself (since the resources
of the state are not the private propert of the sovereign, but the resources of the state
itelf) and the Pmssian citiens have nothing oftheir own, neither their persons nor teir
asset, and all subjects are ser in the cofthe law, because the may not withdraw frm
the serice ofthe state'.
On top of all m incredible crudit, perhaps the most amusing touch is te emoton
[Rihmng) with which Herr von Haller describes h inexpressible pleasure at his dis­
coveries (Vol. t, Preface [pp. xii-xv)) - 'a joy such as only the friend of tut can feel
when, afer honest enquiry, he attains the certaint that . . . he has, so to speak (es, 'so to
speak' indeed!), found the utterance of nallre, the word of God himsel. (On the
cont, the word of God quite e}pressly distnguishes its revelatons fom te
utterances of nature and of natural man.) He tells us 'how he could have fallen on his
knees in sheer wonderment, how a flood of joyf tears poured from his eyes, and living
religiosit arose from that moment within him'. - Herr von Haller's religiosit ought
rather to have bemoaned it as the harshest punishment imposed by God (for it is the
harshest judgement human beings can e""perience) that he had stayed so far from
thought and ratonalit, from respect for the laws, and from the knowledge [Erkenltis]
of how infinitely important and divine it is for the dutes of the state and te rght of the
citzens to be determined b law - that he had stayed so far fom all this that absurdit
was able to pass itself off in his eyes as the word ofGod.
"Translator' note: Haller's text reads nellphilosohiscllen Iriimer ('errors of moder
The Idea of the state
(a) has i¬¬·éioi·actualt and is the individual state as a self-related
organsm -the ce··siiioiie··or ce··siiioiis··o/ /o¬|i·····r·sSiooisr·c/iJ,
(b) passes over into the r·/oiisss/ip of the individual state to other
states - i··t¬oiis··o/ /o¬|öo1·r·sSiooisr·c/iJ,
(c) is the universal Idea as a gwos|6oiio··gJ and as an absolute power
in relaton to individual states - the spirit which gives itself its
actualit in the process of ¬sné/isis¬.
Addition (G). The state as actual is essentally an individual state, and
beyond that a partcular state. Individualit should be distnguished from
Philosophy oj Right
partcularit; it is a moment witin the very Idea of the state, whereas
partcularit belongs to history. States as such are independent of one
another, and their relatonship can consequently only be an exteral one,
so that there must be a tird factor above them to link them together. This
third factor is in fact the spirit which gives itself actualit in world history
and is the absolute judge of states. Admittedly, several states may form a
league and sit in judgement, as it were, on other states, or they may enter
into alliances (like the Holy Alliance, ' for example), but these are always
purely relatve and limited, like [the ideal of perpetual peace. The one
and only absolute judge which always asserts its authorit over the par­
tcular is the spirit which has being in and for itself, and which reveals
itself as the universal and as the actve genus in world history.
A. Constitutional Law
§ 260
The state is the actualit of concrete freedom. But csocr·i·1ì··éo¬
requires that personal individuality |£ioz·//·iiJ and its partcular
interests should reach their full éw·/sp¬·oiand gain niiis··s1i/·ir
ng/ifor itself (within the system of the family and of civil societ), and
also that they should, on the one hand, posssv·rof their own accord
into the interest of the universal, and on the other, knowingly and
wlgly acknowledge this universal interest even as their own so/-
siooiio/spirii,and oaiv·/rpo·so·iias their o/ii¬oi··oé.The effect of
this is that the universal does not attain validit or flflment without
the interest, knowledge, and voliton of the partcular, and that
individuals do not live as private persons merely for these partcular
interests without at the same tme directng their wl to a universal
end |io soé1|ìrécs÷0·io·¬s//·oJ and actng in conscious aware­
ness of this end. The principle of moder states has enormous
stength and depth because it allows the principle of subjectvit to
attain flfent in the s·/sofci·oi·xin¬·of personal partcularit,
while at the same te /nogiog ii /ocl is so/siooiio/ ooin and so
preserving this unit in the principle of subjectvit itself.
÷1iiiso(H,G). The Idea of the state in modem tmes has the distnctve
characteristc that the state is the actualizaton of freedom not in
accordance with subjectve caprice, but in accordance with the concept of
the wl , i.e. in accordance with its universalit and divinit. Imperfect
Ethical Li
§§ 2
states are those in which the Idea of the state is stll invisible '·|og·li|//i}
and where the partcular detenninatons of this Idea have not yet reached
fee self-sufciency. In the states of classical antquit, universalit was
indeed already present, but partcularit 'Pcnüo/c·iiëi}had not yet been
released and set at libert and brought back to universalit, i.e. to the
universal end of the whole. The essence of the modem state is that the
universal should be linked with the complete freedom of partcularit
'8·ssoéerl·|i}and the well-being of individuals, and hence that the inter­
est of the family and of civil society must become focused on the state; but
the universality of the end cannot make frther progress without the
personal '·|go·} knowledge and voliton of the partcular individuals 'éer
8·ssoé·rl·|i}, who must retin their rights. Thus, te universal must be
actvated, but SUbjectvity on the other hand must be developed as a living
whole. Only when both moments are present '/·si·l·o} in fll measure
can the state be regarded as artculated and tly organized.
I relaton to the spheres of civil law |P·ivcir·c/iJand private welfare,
the spheres of the family and civil societ, the state is on the one hand
an oi¬c/necessit and the higher power to whose nature their laws
and interests are subordinate and on which they depend. But on te
other hand, it is their i¬¬co·oiend, and its stength consists in the
unit of its universal and ultmate end with the partcular interest of
individuals, in the fact that they have éoii·s towards the state to the
same extent as they also have rights (see § i

As has already been noted (in the Remarks to § 3 above), it
was above all Montesquieu who, in his celebrated work
LTsprii é·s Lsis, focused on and attempted to expound in
detail both the thought that laws, including those of civil law
in partcular, are dependent on the specifc character of the
state, and the philosophical view that the part should be con­
sidered only with reference to the whole.} ¯Doi,is prary
an atttude is¬créssomething which, for me, is so/sicoiic/and
universal in and for itself. Right, on the other hand, is in
general the oisi·oc·[cs·ioJ of this substantal element, and is
consequently the latter's pcriico/craspect and that of my own
pcriia/crfreedom.z Thus, on a formal level, right and dut
appear Hbelong to diferent aspects or persons. In the state, as
an ethical entty and as the interpenetaton of the substantal
Philosophy of Right
and the partcular, my obligaton towards the substantal is at
the same tme the exstence of my partcular feedom; that
is, dut and right are ooii·éwmthe state ioso·ooéi/·so¬·
r·/oiiso |8ei·/oogJ . But frther, since the distnct moments
also attain their c/oroct·risiicshape and realit wmthe state,
so that the distncton between right and dut again arises at
ts point, these moments, although identcal ioi/·¬s·/v·s(Le.
in a formal sense) are at the same tme ém ·r·oiiocsoi·oi.I
the realms of civil law and moralit, the relaton [between
right and dut] lacks «oo/necessit, so that only an o/siroct
equalit of content is present; in tese abstact spheres, ¬/oi
is right for one person ought also to be right for another, and
¬/oiis one person's dut ought also to be another person's
dut. That absolute identty of dut and right [referred to
above] occurs here only as an equivalent identt of aoi·oi,in
that the determinaton of the content is itself wholly universal;
that is, there is a single principle for both dut and right,
namely the personal freedom of human beings. Consequently,
slaves have no dutes because they have no rights, and vice
versa. (Religious dutes do not concer us here.)1 - But in the
interal development of the concrete Idea, it moments
become differentated, and their determinacy becomes at the
same tme a diferent content: in the family, the rights of the
son are not i/·so¬·iocsoi·oias the son's dutes towards his
father, and the rights of the citen are not i/·so¬·iocsoi·oi
as the citen's dutes towards the sovereign and goverent.
- The above concept of the unon of dut and right is a factor
|8·sii¬¬:ug} of the greatest importance, and the inner
stength of states is embodied in it. - The abstact aspect of
dut consists simply in disregarding and excluding partcular
interests as an inessental and even unworthy moment. But if
we consider the concrete aspect, Le. the Idea, we can see that
the moment of partcularit is also essental, and that its
satsfacton is therefore entrely necessar; in the process of
flflg his dut, te individual must somehow attain his own
interest and satsfacton or settle his own account, and fom
his situaton wm te state, a right must accrue to h
whereby the universal cause |Soc/·}becomes /iss¬oportia/or
Ethical Li
cause. Partcular interests should certainly not be set aside, let
alone suppressed; on the contary, they should be harmonized
with the unversal, so that both they themselves and the
universal are preserved. The individual, whose dutes give
uthe status of a subject [Unteta11], fnds that, in flflg
his dutes as a citen, he gains protecton for h person and
propert, consideraton for his partcular welfare, satsfacton
of his substantal essence, and the consciousness and self­
awareness of being a member of a whole. And through h
performance of his dutes as services and tasks undertaken on
behalf of the state, the state itself L preserved and secured.
Viewed in the abstact, the sole interest of the universal would
be [to ensure] that the tasks and services whch it requires are
performed as dutes.
֎oiiieo (. Everg depends on the unit of the universal and the
partcular within the state. In the states of antquit, the subjectve end
was entrely identcal with the wlof the state; in modem tes, however,
we exect to have our own views, our own voliton, and our own con­
science. The ancients had none of these in the present sense; for them,
the ultmate factor was the wlof the state. Whereas, under the despotc
regimes of Asia, the individual has no inner life and no justfcaton within
himself, in the modem world human beings exect their inner life to be
respected. The associaton of dut and right has a dual aspect, in that
what the" state requires as a dut should also in an immediate sense be the
right of individuals, for it is nothing more than the organizaton of the
concept of freedom. The determinatons of the wl of te individual
acquire an objectve exstence through the state, and it is only through the
state that they attain their tuth and actualizaton. The state is the sole
preconditon of the attainment of partcular ends and welfare.
The actual Idea is the spirit which divides itself up into the two ideal
spheres of its concept - the family and civil society - as its fite
mode, and thereby emerges fom its idealit to become infnite and
actual spirit for itself. I so doing, it allocates the material of its fnite
actualit, i.e. individuals as a HÜ3¡ to these two spheres, and in such a
way that, in each individual case [aH £ioz·/o·oJ, this allocaton
Philosophy of Right
appears to be ¬·éioi·éby circumstances, by the individual's arbitar
wl and personal |·ig·o·J choice of vocaton |8·sii¬¬oogJ (see § 1 85
and the appended Remarks).l
÷ééiiieod. In Plato's republic, subjectve feedom is not yet recognized,
because individuals stll have their tasks assigned to them by the authori­
tes |0/·igl·iiJ.²In many oriental states, tis assignment is govered by
birth. But subjectve feedom, which must be respected, requires
feedom of choice on the part of individuals.
I these spheres in which its moments, individualit |£ioz·//·iiJ and
partcularit, have their immediate and reflected realit, spirit is
present as their objectve universalit which ¬ooüsisiis·/ioi/·¬|o/s
i/r·iosi·sc/·io·oé·e/;·liiv·÷//·¬·iol·iiJ as the power of the ratonal
in necessit (see § 1 84), i.e. as the iosiiioiieosconsidered above.1
÷1iiieo d. The state, as spirit, is divided up into the partcular
determinatons of its concept or mode of being. If we take an example
fom nature, the nervous system is, properly speaking, the system of
sensaton: it i the abstact moment of being with oneself |/·isi:/¦and of
thereby having one's own identt. But te analysis of sensaton reveals
two aspects, and these are divided in such a way that both of them appear
as complete systems: the frst is abstact feeling or self-containment, dull
interal movement, reproducton, inner self-nutiton, growth |P·e-
¬i···oJ, and digeston. The second moment i that U being-with­
oneself stands in oppositon to the moment of difference |D[···ozJ or
outward movement. This is irritabilit, the outward movement of sensa­
ton, which consttutes a system of it own, and there are lower classes of
anials which have developed this system exclusively as distnct from the
soul-govered unit of inner sensaton. If we compare these natural
relatons |Aois·/ei·l·tsg·oJwith those of spirit, we must liken the family
to sensibilit and civil society to irritability. Then the third factor is the
state, the nervous system itself |û|·sia:J,with it interal organizaton; but
it is alive only in so far as both moments -in this case, the family and civil
societ - are developed within it. The laws which gover them are the
insttutons of that ratonalit which manifests itself within them |é·siosi·
s:l·iseo |||·áeJ. But the ground and ultmate tuth of these
insttutons is the spirit, which is their universal end and known object
|6·g·osio·:1.The family, too, is ethical, but its end is not a known end; in
civil societ, however, separaton is the detennining factor.

Ethical Li §§ 262-26
Individuals as a mass are themselves spiritual natures, and they there­
fore embody a dual moment, namely the exeme of ioéiviéoo/ii,
|£ioz·//·iiJwhich knows and wills 1riis·/and the exeme of s··ivc-
so/|nwhich knows and wills the substantal. They can therefore attain
their right in both of these respects only in so far as they have actualit
both as private and as substantal persons. In the spheres in queston
[Le. family and civil societ], they attain their right in the frst respect
directly; and in the second respect, they attain it by discovering their
essental self-consciousness in [social] insttutons as that ooiv·no/
aspect of their partcular interests which has being in itself, and by
obtaining through these insttutons an occupaton and actvit direc­
ted towards a universal end wt a corporaton.
These insttutons together form the csosiiieiiso- tat is, developed
and actualized ratonalit - in the realm of poriia/orin,and they are
therefore the firm foundaton of the state and of the tust and disposi­
ton of individuals towards it. They are the pillars on which public
feedom rests, for it is wt them that partcular freedom is realized
and ratonal; hence the union of feedom and necessit is present i··
iis·/wt these insttutons.
÷ééiiiso (C).It has already been noted that the sanctt of marriage and
the insttutons in which civil societ takes on an ethical appearance
consttute the stabilit of the whole - that i, the universal i
simultaneously the concer '8oc/·J of each [individual] as a partcular
[entt] . What matters most is that the law of reason should merge with
the law of partcular feedom, and that my partcular end should become
identcal wit the universal; otherwse, the state must hang in the ai. It is
the self-awareness of individuals which consttutes the actualit of the
state, and its stabilit consists in the identty of the two aspects in ques­
ton. It has ofen been said that the end of the state i te happiness of its
citzens. This is certainly tue, for if their welfare is deficient, if teir
subjectve ends are not satsfed, and if they do not find that the state as
such is the means to this satsfacton, the state itself stands on an insecure
Philosophy of Right
§ 266
But the spirit is objectve and actual to itself not only as this necessit
and as a realm of appearance, but also as the ié·c/ii, and inner
dimension of these. Thus, this substantal universalit becomes io
s¬os/;·a |6·g·ostcoéJ and end, with the result that the necessit in
queston similarly becomes its own object and end in the s/cp· of
The o·c·ssii,in idealit is the éc·/sp¬·oiof the Idea within itself; as
so/;·aiv·substantalit, it is the [individual's] politcal éispssiiiso,and
as s/;·aiv· substantalit - in contast with te former - it is te
srgcois¬ of the state, the ps/iiicc/state proper and iis csosiitotiso.
÷éé|t|s·:(G). The unit offreedom which wills and knows itelf Lpresent
in the first instance as necessit. Here, the substantal is present as te
subjectve exstence '£xist·ozJ of individuals; but the other mode of
necessit is the organism, i.e. the spirit is a process within itself which is
interally artculated, and which posits differences within itself through
which it completes its cycle.
§ 268
The politcal éispssiiiso,i. e. pcinsiis¬in general, is certaint based on
imt/(whereas merely subjectve certaint does not originate in imt/,
but is only opinion) and a voliton which has become /c/ii·:c/. A
such, it is merely a consequence of the insttutons within the state, a
consequence in which ratonalit is caoc/hpresent, just as ratonalit
receives its practcal applicaton through acton in conformit with the
state's insttutons. - This dispositon is in general one of imsi(which
may pass over into more or less educated insight), or the conscious­
ness that my substantal and partcular interest is preserved and con­
tained in the interest and end of an other (in this case, the state), and
in the latter's relaton to me as an individual |cls£iÏηhÎC] . A a
result, tis other immediately ceases to be an other for me, and in my
consciousness of this, I am free.
Patiotsm is frequently understood to mean only a willingness
to perform ·xtrcoréioc¬sacrifices and actons. But in essence,

Ethical Li
It IS that dispositon which, in the normal conditons and
circumstances of life, habitually knows that the communit is
the substantal basis and end. It is this same consciousness,
tied and tested in all circumstances of ordinary life, which
underlies the wlgness to make extaordinary efforts. But
just as human beings ofen prefer to be guided by
magnanimit instead of by right, so also do they readily con­
vince themselves that they possess this extaordinary patot­
ism in order to exempt themselves fom the genuine
dispositon, or to excuse their lack of it. - Furthermore, i we
take this écpssiiiso to be something which can orginate
independently !rsic/J and arise out of subjectve represen­
tatons '|sni·h·ug·oJ and thoughts, we are confsing it with
opinion; for in this interpretaton, it is deprived of its tue
ground, i.e. objectve realit.
§§ 266-268
÷1iiiso d. Uneducated people delight in argument 'Rïsoi·rwJ and
fault-finding, for it is easy to find fault, but difcult to recogne te good
and its iner necessity. Educaton in its early stages always begins with
fault-finding, but when it is complete, it sees the positve element in
everg. In religion, it is equally easy to say that this or that is superst­
ton, but it is infnitely more difcult to comprehend the tth which it
contains. Thus people's apparent politcal dispositon should be dis­
tnguished fom what they genuinely will; for inwardly, they in fact wlthe
thing 'Scc/·J,but they fasten on to details and delight in the vanit of
c1ainIng superior insight. They tst that the state" wlcontue to exst
'/·si·le»Jand that partcular interests can be flfled within it alone; but
habit blinds us to te basis of our entre exstence '£«si·szJ.It does not
occur to someone who walks the steets in safet at night that this might
be otherise, for this habit of [livg in] safet has become second nature,
and we scarcely stop to thin that it is solely the effect of partcular
insttutons. Representatonal thought ofen imagines that the state is held
together by force; but what holds it together is simply the basic sense of
order which everyone possesses.
"Translator' note: The equivalent term in Hotho's notes (VP R Ill, TiS) is not der Staat
('te state'), as in Gans's version here, but die Sacle ('the thing').
Philosophy of Right
§ 26
The ¡s/iiicob dispositon takes its partcularly detennined csoi·oi
fom the various aspects of the organism of the state. This srgoois¬is
the development of the Idea in its differences and their objecte
actualit. These different aspects are accordingly the corisosps¬·n
[within the state] with thei corresponding tasks and fnctons,
through which the universal contnually prséoc·sitself. It does so in a
o·c·ssonway, because these various powers are detenined by the
ooior·s1i/·csocwi,and it pr·s·n·sitself in so doing, because it is itself
the presuppositon of its own producton. This organism is the psl|ii-
÷ééiiiso(G). The state i an organism, i.e. the development of the Idea in
its differences. These different aspect are accordingly the various powers
with their corresponding tasks and fnctons, through which the universal
contnually produces itself in a necessary way and thereby preserves itself,
because it is itself the presuppositon of it ow producton. This organ­
ism is the politcal consttuton; it proceeds perpetually fom the state, just
as it is the means by which the stte preserves itself. If the two diverge and
the different aspects break free, the unit which the consttuton produces
is no longer established. The fable of the belly and the other members is
relevant here.} It i in the nature of an organism that all it parts must
perish if they do not achieve identt and if one of them seeks
independence. Predicates, principles, and the like get us nowhere in
assessing the state, which must be apprehended as an organism, just as
predicates are of no help in comprehending the nature of God, whose life
must instead be intuited as it is in itself.
The fact that the end of the state is bot the universal interest as such
and the conservaton of partcular interests within the universal inter­
est as the substance of these consttutes (1) the o/simctoctool|nor
substantalit of the state. But this substantalit is (2) the o·c·ssinof
the state, for it divides itself up into the conceptual ém ·r·oc·swithin
the state's fnctons; and these differences, by virtue of this substan­
talit, are likewise actual and 1·édetenninatons or powers. (3) But
this very substantalit is the spirit which knows and wills itself as
having poss·éi/rsog/ i/·1ms1·éocoiiso.The state therefore los¬s
Ethical Li
what it wills, and knows it in its ooiv··so/in as something i/sog/i.
Consequendy, it acts and fnctons in accordance with known ends
and recognized principles, and with laws which are laws not only io
i/·¬s·/v·sbut also for the consciousness; and it likewise acts in deter­
minate knowledge J·ioisJ of exstng circumstances and relatons
in so far as its actons have relevance to these.
This is the point at which we must touch on i/·sioi·'sr·/oiiso
is r·/igiso,' because it has repeatedly been maintained in
recent tmes that religion is the foundaton of the state, and
has even been presumed that this asserton consttutes the
whole of politcal science. No asserton is more apt to produce
so much confsion, or indeed to set up confsion itself as the
politcal consttuton and the form which cogniton ought to
take. - It may at frst seem suspicious that people recommend
and resort to religion above all in tmes of public distess,
disrupton, and oppression, and that they are referred to it for
consolaton in the face of ¬rsogand for hope as a compensa­
ton for /sss. Wen it is frther regarded as a precept of
religion that we ought to teat worldly interests and the course
of actual events with indifference, despite the fact that the
state is the spirit ¬/ic/ ispr·s·oi io i/· ¬sné, this religious
advice does not seem calculated to promote the interest and
business of the state as an essental and serious end. On the
contary, it seems to represent the entre politcal regme as a
matter |Soc/·J of indifference and arbitariness, either
because it is formulated in such a way as to suggest that the
state is dominated by the ends of passion, unjust |oor·c/i/ic/·rJ
force, and the like, or because such religious advice attempts
to retain exclusive validit and claims authorit to determine
and administer [the process of right. Although it may seem
derisive to dismiss all resentent towards tranny by declar­
ing that the oppressed fnd consolaton in religion, it should
not be forgotten that religion can take on a form which leads
to the harshest servitude within the fetters of superstton and
to the debasement of human beings to a level below that of the
animals (as among the Egyptans and Indians, who venerate
animals as higher beings).2 This phenomenon |£·sc/·iougJ
may at least draw our attenton H the fact that we ought not to
Philosophy of Right
speak of religion in wholly general terms, and that we instead
require a power to rescue us fom it in some of the shapes it
assumes and to champion the rights of reason and self-con­
sciousness. -But the essental determinant of the relatonship
between religion and the state can be discovered only if we
recall the concept of religion. The content of religion is
absolute tuth, and it is terefore associated with a dispositon
of the most exalted kind. Aintuiton, feeling, and represen­
tatonal cogniton |vsrsi·//·oée £rl·ooi··isJ whose concer is
with God as the unlimited foundaton and cause on which
everg depends, it contains the requirement that every­
thing else should be seen in relaton |8·zi·lnogJ to m and
should receive confirmaton, justcaton, and the assurance
of certaint from this source. It is within this relatonship that
the state, laws, and dutes all receive their highest endorse­
ment as far as the consciousness is concered, and become
supremely binding upon it; for even the state, laws, and dutes
are in their actualit something determinate which passes over
ito the higher sphere as that in which its foundaton lies (see
£oo./s¡o·éio s1 i/· P/i/sss¡/ico/ Sci·oc·s, ;¡¡¸).
therefore also contains that point which, in spite of all change,
failure of actual ends and interests, and loss of possessions,
affords a consciousness of immutabilit and of the highest
feedom and satsfacton.f If, then, religion consttutes the
1·uéoiisowhich embodies the ethical realm m general, and,
more specifically, the nature of the state as the divine wl, it is
at the same tme only a 1·:··éiiso,and this is where the two
[i.e. the state and religion] diverge. The state is the divine wl
as present spirit, oo1/éi··gas the actual shape and srgooizoiiso
s1o ¬sru. - Those . who refse to go beyond the form of
religion when confonted by the state behave like those who,
Hegel's note: Religon, like cognition and sciece, has as it principle a distnct form which is
different from that of the state. Aof these therefore enter into the state, partly as means
to educaton and the [appropriate] dispositon, and party in so far as they are essentally
end in themselve inasmuch as they have an exteral exstence [Daen]. In both respect,
the principles of the state are applicble to tem. A comprehensively concrete teatse on
the state would also have to consider these spheres, as well as art, purely natural
circumstances, etc., in their relevance [Be: ielllng] to and positon within the state. In the
present teatse, however, in which it is the principle of the state which is expounded in
it own distinc sphere and in accordance wit it Idea, te principles of these other areas
and the applicatiOl/ of the right of the state to them can be mentoned only in passing.
Ethical Li
in the cognitve realm, claim to be right even i they invariably
stop at the ·ss···c·instead of proceeding beyond this abstac­
ton to exstence |Dos·ioJ,or like those who (see Remarks to
§ 1 40 above) wl only the o/simcigssé and leave it to the
arbitary wl to determne ¬/oiis good. Religon is the rela­
ton to the absolute io i/·1m· s1;·/|og, ·w··s·oioiisoo/
i/sog/i, ooé1ii/,and within its all-embracing cente, every­
thing is merely accidental and tansient. If, then, we also
adhere to this form in relaton |8ei·/s·gJto the state and act
Ü i it were the essentally valid and determining factor in this
[politcal] context, too, we thereby expose the state, as an
organism within which lastng |/·si·/·oéeJ differences, laws,
and insttutons have developed, to instabilit, insecurit, and
disrupton. The laws, as the objectve and universal element
[within the state], no longer have a lastng and valid
determinaton, but take on a negatve determaton in rela­
ton to that form [of religion] which veils over everg
determinate and thereby assumes a subjectve character. The
consequence for human behaviour is [such advice as] 'To the
righteous, no law is given', 'Be pious, and you may otherwise
do as you please', or 'You may abandon yourselves to your
own arbitariness and passion, and refer others who thereby
suffer wrong to the solace and hope of religion, or (even
worse) dismiss and condemn them as irreligious'.4 If
however, this negatve atttude does not simply remain an
inward dispositon and viewpoint, but D instead to the
actual world and asserts itself within it, it leads to religious
1ooiicis¬which, like politcal fanatcism, repudiates all polit­
cal insttutons and legal order as restictve limitatons
|Sd··oo/·oJ on the inner emotons and as incommensurate
with the infnit of these, and hence also rejects private prop­
ert, marriage, the relatonships and tasks of civil societ, etc.
as unworthy of love and the freedom of feeling. Since,
however, decisions stll have to be made in relaton to actual
exstence |Dos·ioJ and acton, the same thing happens as in
the case of that subjectvit of the wlin general whch knows
itself to be absolute (see § 1 40), namely that the decisions are
made on the basis of subjectve representatons ||srsi·hoogJ,
i.e. of spioisoand the copnc·s1i/·o·/iin¬ih.- The tuth,
however - as opposed to this tth which veils itself in the
Philosophy of Right
subjectvit of feelng and representatonal tg - is the
momentous tansiton of the inner to the outer, that
incorporaton |£is/i/é·ugJ of reason into reality which the
whole of world history has worked to achieve. Through this
work, educated humanit has actualized and become con­
scious of ratonal exstence [Dasei1], politcal insttutons, and
laws. Those who 'seek the Lord' and assure themselves, in
their uneducated opinion, that they possess everg
i¬¬·éioi·/rinstead of undertaking the work of raising their
subjectvit to cogniton of the tuth and knowledge of objec­
tve right and dut, can produce nothing but folly, outage,
and the destucton of all ethical relatons. These are necess­
ary consequences of that religious dispositon which insists
exclusively on its form, and so turs against actualit and the
tuth which is present in universal form within the laws. But
ths dispositon need not necessarily proceed to actualize itelf
in ths way. With its negatve point of view, it may well retain
its inward character, conform to [social] insttutons and laws,
and simply resign itself to these with sighs, or with contempt
and longing. It is not stength but weakness which, in our
tmes, has tured religiosit into a ps/e¬ico/ kind of piet,
whether tis is associated with a genuine need- or merely wth
unsatsfed vanit. Instead of mastering one's opinions by the
labour of study and subjectng one's voliton to discipline so as
to elevate it to fee obedience, the easiest course is to
renounce cogniton of objectve tuth, to nurse a sense of
grievance and hence also of self-conceit, and to fnd in one's
own godliess all that is required in order to see through the
nature of the laws and of politcal insttutons, to pass judge­
ment on them, and to lay down what their character should
and must be. And indeed, since these are the findings of a
pious heart, they must be infallible and indisputable; for if we
make religion the basis of our intentons and assertons, these
cannot be faulted on account of either their shallowness or
their injustce ||sr·a·i/ic/l·iiJ.´
But if the religion in queston is of a genuine kind and does
not have this negatve and polemical atttude towards the
state, but acknowledges and endorses it, it wl also have a
sioios |ZosioséJ and ¬r·ssiss of its own |ûrsic/J.The busi-

Ethical Li
ness of its worship consists in oaieosand in écirio·,for these,
it requires pess·ssis··sand prep·ru,as well as ioéiviéoo/sdedi­
cated to the s··vic· of the communit. A relatonship thus
arises between the state and the religious communit, and its
detenninaton is a simple one. It is in the nature of the case
|Soc/·J that the state flf a dut by giving the [religious]
communit every assistance and protecton in the pursuit of its
religious end. Indeed, since religion is that moment which
integrates the state at the deepest level of te dispositon [of
its citzens], the state ought even to require all its citzens to
belong to such a communit - but to any communit they
please, for the state can have no say in the content [of religious
belief] in so far as this relates to the interal dimension of
representatonal thought. A state which is stong because its
organizaton is flly developed can adopt a more liberal
atttude in this respect, and may completely overlook
individual matters |£ioz·//·ii·oJwhich might affect it, or even
tolerate communites whose religion does not recognize even
their direct dutes towards the state (although this naturally
depends on the numbers concered). It is able to do m by
entustng the members of such communites to civil societ
and its laws, and is content i they m their direct dutes
towards it passively, for example by commutaton or substtu­
ton [of an alteratve service] . t But in so far as the religious
Hegel' nole: Of Quakers, Anabaptsts, etc., it may be said that they are actve members
only of civil societ and that, as private persons, they have purely private relatons with
other people: Even in mcontext, they have been exempted fom taking oaths; they ff
their direct dutes towards the state in a passive manner, and although they reject
outight one of the most importnt of these, namely te defence of the state against it
enemies, tey may even be allowed to ff this duty by substtutng anoter service
Towards such sect, the state practses loleralion in the proper sense of the
word; for since they do not recognize their dutes towards it, they cannot claim the right
to belong to it. When, on one occasion, there was a stong movement in the American
Congress to abolish negro slaver, a member fom the souther states aptly retorted:
'Leave us our negroes and you can keep your Quakers.' - Only if the state ustong in
other respect can it overlook and tolerate such anomalies, relying above æon the power
of custom and the inner ratonalit of it insttutons to reduce and overcome the
discrepancy if the state does not stictly enforce it right in m respect. For example,
although it may well have been contary to formal right mgrant even civil right mthe
Jes, on the grounds that the later should be regarded not just as a partcular religious
group but also as members of a foreign naton [Volk], te outcry which this viewpoint and
others produced overlooked the fact that the Jews are primarily human being; this unot
just a neutal and abstact quality (see Remarks to § 209), for it consequence uthat the
Philosophy oj Right
communit owns pnp·nand otherwise performs ocisof wor­
ship with the help of individuals employed for this purpose, it
emerges from the inner realm into that of worldly affairs and
hence into the province of the state, thereby placing itself
i¬¬·éioi·/r under its laws. It L tue that the oath and te
ethical realm in general, including the marriage relatonship,
involve that inner penetaton and elevaton of the éispssiiiso
which is coned at the profoundest level by religion. [But]
since ethical relatons are essentally relatons of octoo/roiiso-
o/|n,the rights of this ratonalit must first be asserted witin
them, and the confirmaton of the Church is then added to
these rights as their purely inward and more abstact aspect. -
Afor the other ways in which the Church communit exres­
ses itself, the inward [dimension] predominates over the
outward to a greater exent in matters of éocirio·than in ocisof
worship and other related kinds of behaviour, in which it is at
once apparent that the /·go/ |r·d·i/id··J aspect at least is in
itself |ür sid·J a matter |Soc/·J for the state. (Admittedly,
Churches have also contived to exempt their serants and
propert from the authorit |Moc/iJ and jurisdicton of the
state, and have even acquired jurisdicton over laymen in
matters such as divorce proceedings, the taking of oaths, etc.,
i which religion plays a part.) - The role of the ps/|c·with
regard to such actons is, of course, more indeterminate, but
this lies in the nature of their fncton and applies equally to
other purely civil actvites (see § 23
4 above). Whenever
individuals of the same religious persuasion join together to
form a communit or corporaton, the latter wlin general be
subject to te policing and supervision of the state. -Dsctno·
itself, however, has its province within the conscience, and
grantng of chil rights gives those who receive them a se!awaretess as recognized legal
[rechrliche] persons in chiJ society, and it is from this root, infinite and free fom æother
influences, that the desired assimilaton in terms of atttude and dispositon arises.
they had not been granted civil right,] the Jews would have remained in that isolaton
with which they have been reproached, and this would rightly have brought blame
[Schuld] and reproach upon the state which excluded them; for the state would thereby
have failed to recognize it own principle as an objectve insttuton with a power of it
own (cf. the end of the Remarks to § 268). Wile the demand for the exclusion of the
Jews claimed to be based on the highest right, it has proved in practce to be the height of
folly, whereas the way in which goverent have acted has proved wise and
Ethical Li
enjoys the right of the subjectve freedom of self-conscious­
ness, that sphere of inwardness which is not, as such, the
province of the state. Nevertheless, the state, too, has its
doctine, for its insttutons and whatever it recognizes as valid
in relaton to right, to the consttuton, etc. are present essen­
tally in the form of i/sog/ias law. And since the state is not a
mechanism but the ratonal life of self-conscious freedom and
the system of the ethical world, the éispssiiiso [of its citzens],
and so also the[ir] consciousness of this dispositon in
priocip/·s,is an essental moment in the actual state. But the
doctine of the Church is in tum not just an interal matter
for the conscience; as doctine, it is in fact an ·¬r·ssis··,
indeed the expression of a content which is intmately connec­
ted, or even directly concered, with ethical principles and
with the laws of the state. Thus, state and Church are at this
point either in direct ogr··¬···i or in direct sppssiiiso. The
Church may go so far as to present te difference between
their respectve provinces as an abrupt oppositon, for it may
take the view that, since the Church embodies the absolute
content of religion, the spinioo/in general and hence also the
ethical element are part of its concer, whereas the state is a
mechanical framework serving non-spiritual and exteral
ends. The Church may look on itself as the kingdom of God,
or at least as the road and forecourt which lead to it, yet regard
the state as the kingdom of the world, i.e. of the tansitory and
finite; in other words, it may see itself as an end in itself but
the state purely as a ¬·oos.And as far as éscinoo/iosimciis··is
concered, these claims may be coupled ,vith the demand that
the state should not only grant the Church complete freedom
in such matters, but should also teat its teachings, as doc­
tines, with unconditonal respect, regardless of what they
may contain, on the grounds that the Church is alone respon­
sible for deterg them. But while the Church bases these
claims on the far-reaching argument |6ri|oé·J that the
spiritual element in general is its propert, sci·oc·and cogni­
ton in general are also represented in this province and, like a
Church, develop into a totalit ,vit its own distnct principle
which may consider itself as occupying the same positon as
the Church, but ,vith even greater justficaton. Thus, science

Philosophy of Right
may also demand the same independence from the state, and
teat the latter simply as a means which should provide for it
as an end in itself. Furthermore, it makes no difference to
this relatonship [between Church and state] whether the
individuals and heads of congregatons who devote them­
selves to the service of the religious communit have gone so
far as to lead an exstence |£xisi···zJseparate from the state, so
that only the other members of their comunit are subject to
its contol, or whether they remain in other respects within
the state and regard their ecclesiastcal vocaton |8·sii······s··gJ
merely as one aspect of their social status |Sicoéwhich they
keep separate from the state. It should in the first place be
noted that such a relatonship is associated with that view
||srsi·//oogJ of the state according to which its sole fncton
|8·sii······oogJ is to protect and secure the life, propert, and
arbitary will of everyone, in so far as the latter does not
infringe the life, propert, and arbitary wl of others; in this
view, the state is merely an arrangement dictated by necessit
|AsiJ.In this way, the higher spiritual element of what i' tue
in and for itself is placed, as subjectve religiosit or theoret­
cal science, beyond the [confines of the] state which, as the
/cinin and for itelf, should merely show respect [for this
element] and is thus completely deprived of its proper ethical
character. We do indeed know from history that there have in
the past been periods and conditons of barbarism in which all
higher spiritualit had its seat in the Church, while the state
was merely a secular regie of violence, arbitariness, and
passion and the abstact oppositon [of Church and state]
referred to above was the main principle of actuality (see
58).9 But to claim that this situaton is the one which tuly
corresponds to the Idea is to proceed too blindly and super­
ficially. On the contar, the development of this Idea has
established the tuth [of the propositon] that spirit, as free
and ratonal, is inherently |cosid·Jethical, that the tue Idea is
caoc/ratonalit, and that it is this ratonalit which exsts as
the state. It has further emerged just as plainy from this Idea
that the ethical imi/which it embodies is present for i/ioliog
consciousness as a cs··t···i on which the form of ooiv·rsc/ii,
has been conferred - i.e. as /c¬¯ and that the state in general
Ethical Li
los¬sits ends, and recognizes and implements them with a
determinate consciousness and in accordance with principles.
Now religion, as already remarked, has the tuth as its univer­
sal object |C·g·osioo, but as a gic·o content whose basic
determinatons have not been recognized in terms of concepts
and thought. In the same way, the relaton of the individual to
this object is an obligaton based on authorit, and the ¬im·ss
of his s¬o spirit and heart, as that in which the moment of
freedom is contained, is 1ii/ and 1·/iog |£¬p1oé·:sgJ. It L
philosophical insight which recognizes that Church and state
are not opposed to each other as far as their cso·oiis con­
cered, which is tuth and ratonalit, but merely differ in
form. Thus, when the Church proceeds to put forward ésc-
ino·s (although there are and have been Churches which
confne themselves to worship, and others in which worship is
the principal concer, and doctine and a more educated
consciousness are merely secondary), and its doctines relate
to s/;·aiv· pnocip/·s, to ethical and ratonal thoughts, its
expression of these doctines immediately brings it into the
province of the state. In contast with the 1ii/and ooi/srii,of
the Church in relaton to ethics, right, laws, and instWtons,
and with its so/;·ciiv·csoviaiso,the state possesses los¬/·ég·.
Within its principle, the content is no longer essentally con­
fined to the form of feeling and faith, but belongs to determi­
nate thought. When the content which has being in and for
itself appears in the shape of religion as a partcular content,
as the doctines peculiar to the Church as a religious com­
munit, they remain outside the domain of the state. (In Pro­
testantsm, there is no /oii,,so that there is likewise no clergy
to act as an exclusive depositary of Church doctine.) Since
ethical principles and the organizaton of the state in general
may be drawn into the province of religion and not only may,
but also should, be framed with reference to the latter, this
reference gives the state itself its religious accreditaton. On
the other hand, the state retains the right and form of self­
conscious, objectve ratonalit, the right to enforce the latter
and to defend it against assertons based on the so/;·ciiv·
variet |C·sio/iJ of tth, no matter what ossorooc·s and ooi/-
srii,this tuth may carry with it. Since the essental principle
Philosophy of Right
of the fonn of the state as a universal is thought, it was in fact
1so i/·sioi·that 1··éso s1i/sog/iooéso·oc·fst emerged
(whereas it was a Church which bured Giordano Bruno1o
and forced Galileo to recant on his knees for ¬so··éiogthe
6sp¬icoo theory of the solar system/I etc.).t Thus, so·oc·,
too, is to be found on the side of the state, for it has the same
element of fonn as the state, and its end is csgiiiso,by means
of thought, of s/;·ctiv·tuth and ratonalit. Thg cogni­
ton may admittedly fall fom [the level of science to [that of
opinion and deductve reasoning |Rösoi·r·o os 6woé |
and, turng its attenton to ethical subjects and the organiza­
ton of the state, set itself up in contadicton to their
principles. And it may in so doing make the same pretensions
as the Church makes for its own distnctve sphere, namely by
presentng its spioisosas reason, and as the right of the sub­
jectve self-consciousness to freedom of opinion and convic-
' Hegel' ,/Ole. See Laplace, Eositi011 ojthe System ojthe World ' T; position dll Systeme dll
monde (paris, 1796)], Book Y, Chapter 4: 'When Galileo annot.. oed the discoveries he
had made with the telescope (the phases of Venus, etc,), he showed at te same tme that
they proved beyond doubt th

� earth itself But the idea [VotStel
ng] of
this movement was pronounced heretcal by an assembly of cardinals, and Galileo, it
most famous advocat
fore the court of the Inquisiton and compelled
to recant it in order to escape a harsh prison sentence. In a man of intellect [Geist], one of
the stongest passions is the passion for tuth. Galileo, convinced of the earth's move­
ment by his own observatons, refected for a long tme over a new work in which he
intended to develop all the proofs in its favour. But in order to avoid that persecuton to
which he would otherwise cery have fallen victm, he adopted the statagem of
presentng these proofs in the form of dialogues between three individuals. It is obvious
enough that the advocate of the Copercan system has the advantage; but since Galileo
did not pronounce a verdict, and since he gave as much weight as possible to the
objectons advanced by the adherent of Ptolemy, he was enttled to expect that he would
be lef to enjoy unmolested that peace which his advanced years and labours had eared
for him. In his seventeth year, he was again summoned before the tibunal of the
Inquisiton; he was put in prison, and there required to recant his opinions for a second
tme, under threat of the penalty laid down for relapsed heretcs. He was made to sign
the follo\\iug formula of abjuraton: "I, Galileo, having appeared in person before the
court in my seventet year, on bended knee and \\;th the holy Gospels before my eyes
and in my hands, abjure, damn, and curse, \vith sincere heart and tue belief, the
absurdity, falsit, and heresy of the doctine of the earth's movement", etc. What a
spectacle, to see a venerable old man, famed throughout a long life devoted solely to the
study of nature, abjuring on his knees and against the testmony of his own conscience
that tuth which he had convincingly demonstated! A judgement of the Inquisiton
condemned him to imprisonment in perpetuit. A year later, on the intercession of the
Grand Duke of Florence, he was set at liberty. He died in 1 642. His loss was moured
throughout Europe, which his labours had enlightened and which was incensed at the
judgement passed by a hated tibunal on so great a man.'

Ethical Li
ton. The principle of this subjectvit of knowledge has
already been discussed above (see Remarks to § 1 4
0). ^that
need be mentoned here is that the atttude of the state
towards spioiso- in so far as it is merely opinion, a subjectve
content which therefore has no tue inner force and power,
however grandiose its claims - i on the one hand one of
infnite indiference, like that of the painters who stck to the
three primary colours on their palettes, regardless of te
¬isós¬s1il·sclss/which tells them that there are seven. But
on the other hand, when these opinions based on bad
principles give themselves a universal exstence [Dasein]
which undermines actualit, the state must protect objectve
tuth and the principles of ethical lfe; and it must do the same
if the formalism of unconditonal subjectvit should seek to
make science its basis and startng-point, and to tur the
state's own educatonal establishments against it by incitng
them to make pretensions akin to those of a Church. And
conversely, when confronted with a Church which claims
unlimited and unconditonal ooilsnn, the state must on the
whole assert the formal right of self-consciousness to its own
insight and convicton, and in general to thoughts concerg
what should count as objectve tuth.
The ooii,s]sioi·ooé6lorcl,a subject |8·sii¬¬oogJwhich
has likewise been much discussed and held up as an ultmate
ideal in recent tmes, may also be mentoned here.12 Although
their essental unit lies in the tuth of principles and disposi­
ton, it is just as essental that, along with this unit, the
ém ·r·oc·between their forms of consciousness should attain
ponioloroi·oc· |£xisi·ozJ. That unit of Church and state
which has so ofen been wished for i to be found in oriental
despotsm - but in this case, there is no state in the sense of
that self-conscious configuraton |C·sioli·ogJ of rght, of fee
ethical life, and of organic development which is alone worthy
of the spirit. - Furthermore, i the state i to attain exstence
[Dasein] as the s·/ks¬iogethical actualit of spirit, its form
must become distnct fom that of authorit and faith. But tis
distcton emerges only in so far as the Church for it part
becomes divided within itself. Only then, [when it stands]
above the poniolorChurches, can the state attain ooiv·no/|n
Philosophy oj Right
of thought as its formal principle and bring it into exstence
|£xist·oz},but in order to recognize this, one must know not
only what universalit is io its·/ but also what its oist·oc·
|£xist·oz} is. Consequently, far fom it being, or ever having
been, a misfortune for the state if te Church is divided, it is
t/rsog/ t/iséivisiso o/so·that the state has been able to fl
its destny |8·sti¬¬oog} as self-conscious ratonalt and ethi­
cal life. This division is likewise the most fortunate thing
which could have happened to the Church and to thought as
far as their feedom and ratonalt are concered.
÷ééitis·:d. The state is actal, and its actualit consists in te fact tat
the interest of te whole realizes itself trough the partcular ends. Act­
alit is always the unit of universalit and partcularit, the resolu�f
be self-sufcient,
although it is sustained and supported only by the whole. If U unit is
not present, noting can be oaso/, even u it may be assumed to have
oist·oc·|£xist··:z}.A bad state is one which merely exst; a sick body also
exst, but it has no tue realit. A hand which has been cut off stll looks
like a hand and exst, but it has no actualitP True actalit is necessit:
what is actal is necessary in itself. Necessit consists |/·st·/:t} in the
division of the whole into the distnctons within te concept, and in the
fact tat tis divided whole exibits a fied and enduring determinacy
which is not dead and unchanging but contnues to produce itself in its
dissoluton. A essental part of the fl y developed state is consciousness
or thought; the state accordingly knows what it wills and knows U as an
object of tought |·is 6·éoa:t·s}. Since, ten, the seat of knowledge is
witin the state, science also has it seat l·r·and not witin te Church.
This notitstanding, tere has been much L in recent tmes to te
effect that te state should grow out of religion. The state is [fully]
developed spirit and it displays its moments in te light of consciousness;
and the fact that what lies witin te Idea emerges into [the sphere of]
objectvit |6·g·»su·é/|cll·it} means that the state appears as a fite
entt and is thereby shown to be a secular realm |6·/i·t},whereas reli­
gion presents itelf as a realm of inft. The state consequenty seems
subordinate, and since the fte cannot exst on its own ;rsicl/·st·lo:},
it allegedly requires the Church as it basis. A a fte entt, it is said to
lack justficaton, and only through religion can it be sanctfied and belong
to the ite. But Uview of te matter [Sache] is exemely one-sided.
The state is indeed essentally secular and finite, and has partcular ends
and partcular powers; but its secularit is only one of its aspect, and only
a spiritess percepton can regard it as merely finite. For the state has a

Ethical Li
soul which animates it, and this animatng soul is subjectvit, which
creates distnctons on the one hand but preserves their unit on te
other. In the realm [Reich] of religion, distnctons and finite elements are
also present. God, it is said, is three in one; there are accordingly three
determinatons, and it is only the unit of these which consttutes te
spirit. Consequently, if we apprehend the divine nature in concrete terms,
this can be done only by means of distnctons. Thus, fnite elements are
to be found in the divine realm as well as in the secular, and [to contend]
that the secular spirit, i.e. the state, is purely fnite is a one-sided view, for
actualit is not irratonal. A bad state, of course, is purely secular and
finite, but the ratonal state is infinite within itelf. Secondly, it is argued
that the state should derive its justficaton fom religion. The Idea, within
[the context of religion, is spirit interalized in emoton, but it is U
same Idea which gives itself secular expression in the state and secures an
exstence [Dasein] and actualit for itself in knowledge and voliton. Thus,
to say that the state must be founded on religion may mean that it should
be based on and grow out of ratonalit. But the same propositon can also
be misunderstood to mean that those human beings whose spirit is fet­
tered by an unfee religion are best equipped to obey. The Christan
religion, however, is the religion of freedom -although it may come about
that this feedom is pererted into unfeedom under the influence of
superstton. If, then, the above propositon means that individuals must
have relgion in order that their fettered spirit can be more efectvely
oppressed within the state, it sense is a bad one; but i it is meant that
human beings should have respect for the state as that whole of which
they are the branches, the best way of achieving U is, of course, through
philosophical insight into its essence. But i this insight is lacking, the
religious dispositon may lead to the same result. Consequently, the state
may have need of religion and faith. But the state remains essentally
different fom religion, for what it requires has the shape of a legal
[recztliche] dut, and it is indifferent to the emotonal atttude wit which
this dut is performed. The field of religion, on the other hand, is inward­
ness; and just as the state would prejudice the right of inwardness if it
imposed its requirements in a religious manner, so also does the Church,
i it acts like a state and imposes penaltes, degenerate into a trannical
religion. A third diference, connected with that just mentoned, is that
the content of religion is and remains latent [ei1zgeliillt], so that emoton,
feeling [EmPfndu1zg], and representatonal thought are the ground on
which it rests. On this ground, everg has the form of subjectvit,
whereas the state actualizes itself and gives it determinatons a stable
exstence [Daein]. Thus, if religiosit sought to assert itself in the state in
the manner which it usually adopts on its own ground, it would subvert
. )
Philosophy of Right
the organizaton of the state; for the diferences within the stte are far
apart, whereas everything in religion invariably has reference to the
totalit. And if this totalit sought to take over all the relatons '8ei·-
/·og·o1 of the state, it would become fanatcism; it would wish to fnd the
whole in every partcular, and could accomplish this only by destoying
the partcular, for fanatcism is simply the refsal to admit partcular
diferences. If we may so put it, the saying 'Laws are not made for the
pious' is no more than an expression of this fanatcism. For when piet
adopts the role of the state, it cannot endure anything determinate, but
simply destoys it. It is also in keeping with this if piet leaves decisions to
the conscience, to inwardness, and is not determined by r·ossos; for
inwardness does not develop reasons and is not accountable to itelf.
Thus, if piet is to count as the actualit of the state, all laws are swept
aside and it is subjectve feeling which legislates. This feelng may be pure
arbitariness, and it is only by its actons that we can tell whether or not
this is so. But in so far as they are actons or precepts, they assume the
shape of laws, and this is in direct contadicton to the subjectve feeling
referred to. God, as the object '6·g·osioo1of this feeling, might also be
made the determinant; but God is the universal Idea which remains
indeterminate within this feeling, and which is not sufciently mature to
determine what exsts in developed form within te state. The ver fact
that everying in the state is stable and secure is a defence against
arbitariness and positve opinion. Thus, religion as such should not hold
the reins of goverent.
fhe politcal consttuton is, 1ni,the organizaton of the state and the
process of it organic life ¬ii/ro·r·oc·is iis·/ in which it differen­
tates its moments wthin itself and develops them to ·sio//is/·é
oisi·oc· |zo¬8·si·/wJ.
S·csoéh, the state in its individualit is an oc/osiv· unit which
accordingly has relatons with si/··s,it thereby turs its diferentaton
soi¬orésand, in accordance with this determinaton, posit its exstng
|/ai·/·oé·oJ diferences wthin itself in their ié·o/in.
֎oiiiso d. Just as irritabilit in te living organism is itself in one
respect an inward qualit which belongs to the organism as such, so also
in the present case is the outward reference directed towards inwardness.
The inward aspect of the state as such is the civil power, and its outward
directon is the military power, although the latter is also a specifc aspect
within the state itself. The equilibrium of these two aspects is an import-
Ethical Li
ant factor i the histor of te state. Sometmes te civil power i com­
pletely defnct and based exclusively on the militry power, as at the tme
of te Roman emperorsb and te praetorians/ and at other tmes - Ü i
the moder period - te military power is solely a product of the civil
power, as when all citens are eligble for conscripton.2
§§ 270272
"Translalor's nole: The word Geinnung ('dispositon'), which appears at mpoint in æof
tose editons of the Reehtsphilosohie which include Gans's Additons, should read
Geehic1l1e ('histor') as in Hotho's notes, used by Gans as the basis of mAdditon (see
VPR |||. 742). The eror is presumably a misreading by Gans.
Translalor's nole: The remainder of this sentence appears to be Gans's own interpola­
ton, as it has no counterpart in either Hotho's or Griesheim's notes.
I D·Ioi¬o/Csosiiioiiso´
The consttuton is ratonal in so far as te state Jm ·r·oiioi·s and
determines its actvit within itelf io occsréoc·¬iih ih·ooior·s1ih·
csocwi.It does so in such a way that ·ochof the ps¬·nin queston is in
itself the isio/|n,since each contains the other moments and has them
actve within it, and since all of them, as exressions of the different­
aton ||oi·nchi·éof the concept, remain wholly within its idealit and
consttute nothing but osiog/·ioJiviJoo/whole.
I recent tmes, ,we have heard an endless amount of empt
talk both about
he consttuton and about reason itelf. The
most vapid of tis has come fom those in Germany who have
persuaded themselves that they have a better understanding
than anyone else - especially goverents - of what a con­
sttuton is, and who believe that all their supercialites are
irreftably justfied because they are allegedly based on reli­
gion and piet. It is no wonder that such talk has made
reasonable men |Möoo·rJ sick of the words 'reason',
'enlightenment', 'right', etc., and likewise of the words 'con­
sttuton' and 'feedom', and that one is almost ashamed to
enter into any frther discussion of politcal consttutons. I
But it may at least be hoped that such excesses wllead to a
more widespread convicton that philosophical csgiiiso of
such subjects cannot come fom ratocinaton or fom [the
( Trallslalor's ,/Ole: Literally: 'The Interal Constitution for Itself[ir siehl' ¯i.e. the interal
aspect wbe considered here in their own right.
Philosophy of Right
consideraton of ends, grounds, and uttes - let alone from
emotonalit, love, and enthusiasm - but only from the con­
cept; and it is also to be hoped that those who believe that the
divine is incomprehensible and that cogniton of the tuth is a
ftle |oic/iig·sJ enterprise wl take no frther part in the
discussion. At any rate, neither the undigested chatter nor the
edifing sentments which their emotons and enthusiasm
generate can claim to merit te attenton of philosophy.
Aong ideas ||srsi·//oog·oJ now in currency, that of the
o·caso¬éivisiso |I·i/oogJ s1ps¬·rswithin the state calls for
menton (with reference to § 269).2 This is a highly important
determinaton which, i understood in its tue sense, could
righty be regarded as the guarantee of public feedom; but it
L also an idea ||sni·//o·igJ of which those very people who
believe that they speak out of love and enthusiasm know
noting and wish to know nothing, for it is in tis very idea
that the moment of roiisoo/éi·miooolies. I other words,
the principle of the division of powers contains te essental
moment of ém ·r·oc·,of r·o/ratonalit; but such is the view of
the abstact understanding that, on the one hand, it attibutes
to this principle the false determinaton of te o/ss/oi·s·/
sofo·ooof each power in relaton to the others, and on the
other hand, it one-sidedly interprets |oo]` osswJthe relaton of
these powers to one another as negatve, as one of mutual
/|¬iioiiso. In this view, the reacton of each power to the
others is one of hostt and fear, as if to an evil |
their determinaton |8·sii¬¬oogJis such that they oppose one
another and produce, by means of mcounterpoise, a general
equilibrium rather than a living unit. It is only the s·/
éei·miooiisoof the concept wthin itel not any other ends or
uttes, which contains the absolute origin of the diferent
powers, and it is solely because of ths that the organizaton of
the state Linherently |iosidiJratonal and the image of eteral
reason. - How the csocwi and subsequently, in concrete
fashon, the Idea, become determined in themselves and
thereby posit their moments - universalit, partcularit, and
individualit |£ioz·//·iiJ- in abstacton can be leared fom
logic (though not, of course, fom the logic commonly in
use).3 At any rate, to take the negatve as a startng-point and


Ethical Li
to make malevolence and distust of malevolence the primary
factor, and then, on this assumpton, to devise ingenious
defences whose effciency depends merely on corresponding
counter-defences is, as far as thought is concered, charac­
teristc of the o·goiiv·ooéciooéiogand, as far as the disposi­
ton is concered, characteristc of the outlook of the rabble
(see § 244 above). - If the powers - e.g. what have been called
the o·aiiv·and /·gis/oiiv·powers - attain s·/sofo·oo, the
destucton of the state, as has been witessed on a grand
scale4 [in our tmes], is immediately posited; or i the state is
essentally preserved, a unt of one kind or another is
established for the tme being by means of a confict whereby
one power subjugates the oters, and it is by mmeans alone
that the essental [object], the surival |8·si·/·oJof the state, is
÷ééiiiso(H). One should expect nothing fom the state except what is an
expression of ratonality. The state is the world which the spirit has
created for itself; it therefore follows a determinate course which has
being in and for itself. How often do we hear talk of the wisdom of God in
nature! But we must not for a moment imagine that the physical world of
natre is of a higher order than the world of te spirit; for the state is as
far above physical life as spirit is above nature. We should therefore
venerate the state as an earthly divinit and rea1e that, if it is difcult to
comprehend nature, it is an infnitely more arduous task to understand
the state. It is of the utost signifcance that, in recent tmes, we have
attained specifcb intuitons concerg the state in general and have been
so much occupied with discussing and faming consttutons. But this stll
does not resolve the problem; it is also necessary to bring to a ratonal
matter '8o:/·}te reason of intuiton,' to know what its essence is, and [to
rea1e] that its most conspicuous aspect is not always the essental. Thus,
while the powers of the state must certainly be distnguished, each must
form a whole in itself and contain the other moments within it. When we
speak of the distct actvites of these powers, we must not fall into the
monumental error of taking this to mean that each power should exst
independenty {|rsi:/¦ and in abstacton; on the contary, the powers
should be distnguished only as moments of te concept. On the other
aTranslator's note: ai en Irdisdl-GOlllche; Hotho's notes, on which Ga based this
Additon, read simply ai ein Gottlidles ('as something divine'): see VP R ttt, 744.
Translator's note: Hoto's notes read bestimmtere ('more specifc'): see VP R ttt, 744.
'Translator's note: Hotho's notes read (in tanslaton): 'One must also bring reason to a
ratonal intuiton' (VP R ttt, 744).
Philosophy of Right
hand, if these differences do exst '/·s/·/e}independently and in abstac­
ton, it is plain u see tat two self-sufficient enttes cannot consttute a
unity, but must certainly give rise to a confct whereby either the whole is
destoyed or unit is restored by force. Thus, during the French Revolu­
ton, the legislatve power at tmes engulfed the so-called executve, and at
other tmes the executve power engulfed the legislatve, so that it remains
an absurdit in this context to raise, for example, the moral demand for
harmony. For if we refer the matter 'Scc/·} to the emotons, we admit­
tedly save ourselves all the touble; but although ethical feeling may be
necessary, it is not qualified to determine the powers of the state on its
own. Thus, the main point to note is that, just as the determinatons of the
powers are in themselves the whole, so too do all of them, in teir
exstence '£x|sio z}, consttute the entre concept. We usually speak of
three powers -the legislatve, the executve, and the judiciary. The frst of
these corresponds to universalit and the second to partcularit; but the
judiciary i not the tird consttuent of the concept, because its [i.e. the
judiciary's] individualit '£|sz·//·|/} lies outide the above spheres.
The politcal state is therefore divided into three substantal
(a) the power to determine and establish the universal -the /·gis/oiiv·
(b) the subsumpton of ¡oriico/orspheres and individual cases under
the universal - the o·aiiv·¡s¬·r
(c) subjectvt as te ultmate decision of the wl - i/·¡s¬·rs1i/·
ssv·r·ig,in which the different powers are united in an individual
unit which is thus the apex and begng of the whole, i.e. of
csosiiioiisoo/ ¬soorc/,.
The development |1os/i/é·ug} of the state to consttutonal
monarchy is the achievement of the moder world, in which
te substantal Idea has attained infite form. The lisis¬of
tis immersion of the world spirit in itself or - and this
amounts to the same thing - this fee development in which
the Idea releases its moment (and they are only its moments)
fom itself as totalites, and in so doing contains them in that
ideal unit of the concept in which real ratonalit consists
Ethical Li
|/·si·/iJ - the history of this tue fonnaton |C·sio/ioogJ of
ethical life is the concer |Soc/·J of universal world history.
The old classifcaton of consttutons into ¬soorc/,,
on:isoog,and é¬scrogpresupposes a sii//ooéiviééooéso/-
siooiio/ooiowhich has not yet attained its ioo·rém ·r·o(ioiiso
(as an organizaton developed within itself) and which conse­
quently stll lacks éwi/and csoo·i·roiisoo/|o.²From the point
of view of the ancient world, therefore, this classifcaton is the
tue and correct one; for in the case of a unit which is stll
substantal and has not yet progressed to its absolute develop­
ment |£om/ioogJ within itself, the diference is essentally
oi¬o/and appears primarily as a diference in the oo¬/·rof
those in whom that substantal unit is supposed to be imma­
nent (see £oo./spoeéio s1 i/· P/i/sssp/ico/ Sciwc·s, ;52).a
These forms, which in this instance belong to different
wholes, are reduced, in consttutonal monarchy, to [the status
of moments. The monarch is so·[individual]; sw·ro/partci­
pate in the executve power, and the ¬oo,at large partcipate
in the legislatve power. But as already mentoned, such
purely quanttatve diferences are merely superficial and do
not convey the concept of the thing |Soc/·J.There has been
much talk in recent tmes of the democratc and aristocratc
elements i:·¬s··orc/,,but this is equally beside the point; for
in so far as the determinatons in queston do occur io
¬soorc/,, they have lost their democratc and aristocratc
character. - Some representatons ||sni·//oog·oJ of consttu­
tons merely set up the state as an o/siroaisowhich gover
and issues commands, and leave it undecided -or regard it as
immaterial - whether t state is headed by so·or sw·ro/or
o//.- '^these fons', says Fichte in his Aoioro/Lo¬(part I,
p. 1 96), 'are right and proper provided that there is an w/sr-
oi·'°(an insttuton devised by Fichte as a counterweight to the
supreme power), 'and may promote and preserve universal
right within the state'. - Such a view (like the device of an
ephorate) is a product of that superfcial concepton of the
state referred to above. If social conditons are quite simple,
these diferences are admittedly of little or no signifcance;
"Translalor's nole: The frst editon refers to § 82 of the Encclopaedia (frst editon); I
follow Knox (o 367) ad VPR tt, 730 in prefering § 52
8 more plausible.
Philosophy oj Right
thus Moses, for example, made no provision in his legislaton
for insttutonal changes in the event of the people requiring a
king, but merely added the commandment that the king
should not possess large quanttes of horses, wives, and silver
and gold (Deuteronomy 17: 1 6f.). - Furthermore, it is
certainly possible in one sense to say that the Idea is likewise
indifferent to the three forms in queston (including that of
¬soorcl,, at least in its limited meaning as an o/i¬oiiv·to
onsisoooand é¬sooo),but it is indifferent to them in the
opposite sense [to that of Fichte], because all three are out of
keeping with the Idea in its ratonal development |£oi¬icl-
/oogJ (see § 272), and the latter could not attain its right and
actualit in any of them. For this reason, it has become utterly
pointless to ask which of the three is most commendable; such
forms can be discussed only in a historical contex. - Never­
theless, in this as in so many other instances, we must
acknowledge Montesquieu's depth of insight in his famous
account of the principles of these forms of goverent. But
while acknowledging the accuracy of his account, we must not
misunderstand it. It is common knowledge that he specified
virio·as the principle of é¬socg,and such a consttuton
does indeed depend on the éispssiiiso [of the citens] as the
purely substantal form in which the ratonalit of the wl
which has being in and for itself stll exsts under this con­
sttuton. But Montesquieu6 adds that £og/ooé,in the seven­
teenth century, afforded a fne spectacle of how eforts to
establish a democracy were rendered impotent by a lack of
virtue on the part of the leaders, and further observes that,
when virtue disappears from the republic, ambiton takes hold
of those whose hearts [Geut] are susceptble to it and greed
takes possession of everyone, so that the state falls prey to
universal exploitaton and its stength resides solely in the
power of a few individuals and te unruliness of everyone. To
these remarks, it must be replied that, as the conditon of
societ grows more advanced and the powers of poriico/orin
are developed and liberated, it is not enough for the heads of
state to be virtuous; another form of ratonal law is required
apart fom that of the [individual] dispositon if the whole is to
have the stength to maintain its unit and to grant the forces
3 1 0

Ethical Li
of developed partcularit their positve as well as negatve
rights. In the same way, we must avoid the misunderstanding
of imagining that, since the dispositon of virtue is the sub­
stantal form in a democratc republic, this dispositon thereby
becomes superfluous, or may even be totally absent, in a
monarchy; and stll less should we imagine that virtue and the
l·gol/r ó·i·noio·ó actvit of an onialoi·ó organizaton are
mutually opposed and incompatble. - The view that ¬séro-
iiso is the principle of onsisoo¬' entails an incipient
divergence between public power and private interest, which
at the same tme affect each other so directly that m con:.
sttuton is intinsically liable at any moment to D immedi­
ately into the harshest conditon of tanny or anarchy - as
witess the history of Rome - and so to destoy itself. - The
fact that Montesquieu recognizes /sosoras the principle of
¬soorc/·,'is enough to indicate that the monarchy he has in
mind is neither the patiarchal or ancient variet nor that
which has developed an objectve consttuton, but ;oél
¬soorc/, as that in which the relatonships covered by its
consttutonal law |i:····rm Siooisr·c/iJ have become fly
established as rights of private propert and privleges of
individuals and corporatons. Since the life of the state is
based, under this consttuton, on privileged personalites to
whose discreton a large part of what has to be done for the
preservaton |8·si·/mJof the state is entusted, the objectve
aspect of their services consists not in óoiiabut in rwr·s¬-
ioiisos ||sm·l/·ogJ and @ioisos, consequently, the state is
held together not by dut but merely by /sosor.
Aother queston naturally presents itself here: ¬/sis is
óro¬op i/·csosiiioiiso? This queston seems clear enough,
but closer inspecton at once shows that it is nonsensical. For
it presupposes that no consttuton as yet exsts, so that only an
atomistc ogr·goi· of individuals is present. How such Ü
aggregate could arrive at a consttuton, whether by its own
devices or with outside help, through altuism |C«i·J,thought,
or force, would have to be lef to it to decide, for the concept is
not applicable to an aggregate. - But i the above queston
presupposes that a consttuton is already present, isóro¬opa
consttuton can only mean to change it, and the very fact that
7 I I
Philosophy oj Right
a consttuton is presupposed at once implies that this change
could take place only in a consttutonal manner. - But it is at
any rate utterly essental that the consttuton should osibe
regarded as ss¬·i/iog¬oé·,even i it does have an origin in
tme. On the contary, it is quite simply that which has being
in and for itself and should therefore be regarded as divine
and enduring, and as exalted above the sphere of all manufac­
tured things.9
÷ééiiiso 0. The principle of the moder world at large is freedom of
subjectvit, according to which aU essental aspects present in the
spiritual totalit develop and enter into their right. If we begin with this
point of view, we can scarcely raise the idle queston of which form,
monarchy or democracy, i superior. We can only say that the forms of aUa
politcal consttutons are one-sided if they cannot sustain within them­
selves the principle of free subjectvit and are unable to conform to fuUy
developed reason.
"Translator' note: In Hotho's notes, on which mAdditon u based, this word unot aller
('all') but alter ('ancient'), so that Hegel's observaton, which then reads 'the fonns of
ancient politcal consttutons are one-sided and cannot sustain [etc.]" applies only to the
consttutons of antquit. Gans has removed the sentence fom it context mthe notes
and given it a more general applicaton.
Since spirit is actual only as that which it knows itself to be, and since
the state, as the spirit of a naton ||s//J, is both the law which
p·no·oi·sohr·/oiis··s¬ii/ioiiand also the customs and consciousness
of the individuals who belong to it, the consttuton of a specific naton
wli general depend on the nature and development |8i/JoogJof its
self-consciousness; it is in this self-consciousness that it subjectve
freedom and hence also the actualit of the consttuton lie.
The wish to give a naton a consttuton oprisri, even if its
content were more or less ratonal, is an idea |£io1/� which
overlooks the very moment by virtue of which a consttuton is
more than a product of thought. Each naton accordingly has
the consttuton appropriate and proper to it.
÷1iiiso d,C). The consttuton of a state must permeate aU relatons
within it. Napoleon, for example, tied to give the Spanish a consttuton o
3 1 2
Ethical Li
§§ 2
priori, but the consequences were bad enough. For a consttuton is not
simply made: it is the work of centuries, the Idea and consciousness of the
ratonal (in so far as that consciousness has developed in a naton). No
consttuton can therefore be created purely subjectvely [von Subjekten].
What Napoleon gave to the Spanish was more ratonal than what they had
before, and yet they rejected it as something alien, because they were not
yet sufciently cultvated [ebildet
The consttuton of a naton must
embody the naton's feeling for its rights and [present] conditonj
otherwise it will have no meaning or value, even if it is present in an
exteral sense. Admittedly, the need and longing for a better consttuton
may ofen be present in individuals [Eilzelnen], but for the entre mass [of
people] to be fled with such an idea [Vorstelllmg] is quite another matter,
and U does not occur untl later. Socrates' principle of moralit or
inwardness was a necessary product of his age, but it took tme for this to
become [part of] the universal self-consciousness.
a. The Power of the Sovereign
The power of te sovereign itself contains the three moments of the
totalit within itself (see § 272), namely the univerality of the con­
sttuton and laws, consultaton as the reference of the pariCtlar to
the universal, and te moment of ultmate decision as the sel
detentlination to which everg else reverts and from which its
actualit orignates. This absolute self-determinaton consttutes the
distnguishing principle of the power of the sovereign as such, and
wl accordingly be dealt with frst.
Addition (. We begin with the power of the sovereign, i.e. with the
moment of individualit [Ei/ze/heit], for it contains within itself the three
moments of the state as a totality. In other words, the 'I' is simultaneously
the most individual" and the most universal [element]. On te face of it,
nature, too, i individual in character, but reality - i.e. non-idealit or
mutual exteralit - is not that which has being with itself [das Beisicll­
seied]j for in realit, the various individual units [Einzelheiten] subsist
side by side. In the spirit, on the other hand, all the various elements are
present only ideally and as a unit. Thus, the state, as spiritual in charac­
ter, is the expositon of all its moments, but individualitb is at the same
"TratlS/aIOT'S not: Hotho's notes read simply 'the indivdual' (das Eitle/t1e; VPR ttt, 756).
Tratls/aloT's t/Ole: Hotho reads 'ideality' (die idealilil; VPR ttt, 757).
3 1 3
· `'
Philosophy oj Right
tme its inner soul and animatng principle, [and this takes the form of]
sovereignt, which contains all differences within itself
I . The basic determinaton of the politcal state is the substantal
unit or |éeo/|nofits moment. (a) In this unit, the partcular powers
and fnctons of the state are both dissolved and preserved. But they
are preserved only in the sense that they are justfed not as
independent enttes, but only in such a way and to such an extent as
is determined by the Idea of the whole; their source is the latter's
authorit |Moc/iJ and they are its fluid members, just as it is their
simple self.
÷éé|i|so (C).This ideality of the moments [in the state] is like life in an
organic body: it is present at every point, there is only one life in all of
them, and there is no resistance to it. Separated fom it, each point must
die. The same applies to the idealit of all the individual estates, powers,
and corporatons, however much their impulse may be to subsist and have
being for themselves. In this respect, they resemble the stomach of an
organism which also posits itself as independent ;||·s|d:J but is at the
same tme superseded and sacrificed and passes over into the whole. J
«() The partcular fnctons and actvites of the state /·/sogis|ias its
own essental moments, and the |oé|v|éoo/s who perform and
implement them are associated with them not by virtue of their
immediate personalites, but only by virtue of their universal and
objectve qualites. Consequently, the link between these fnctons
and partcular personalites as such is exteral and contngent in
character. For this reason, the functons and powers of the state
cannot be p·|voi·pnp··i,.J
÷éé|i|s··(C).The actvit of the state is associated with individuals. The
latter, however, are not enttled by nature to perform these tasks, but
[only] by virtue of their objectve qualites. Abilit, skill, and character are
pon|a/o·qualites of an individual, who must be tained and educated for
a partcular occupaton. For this reason, an offce can neither be sold nor
inherited. In France, seats in parliament were formerly sold, as are off­
cers' commssions up to a certain rank in the English army to this day; but

Ethical Li
this practce was (or stll is) connected with the medieval consttutons of
certain states, and these consttutons are now gradually disappearing."
'Trans/alor's nole: The second half of this sentence is an exemely fee paraphrase of
much fuller refectons in Griesheim's notes on the confict mEngland between nobility
and cro\\T (PR ¡. 668).
The above two determinatons - i.e. that the partcular functons and
powers of the state are not self-sufcient and fied, either on their
own account !|rsic/J or in the partcular will of individuals, but are
ultmately rooted in the unit of the state as their simple self -
consttute the ssv¬ns1i/·sioi·.
This is ioi·n·o/ sovereignt. The second aspect is oi·mo/
sovereignt (see below). - In te 1·oéo/ ¬soorc/, of earlier
tmes, the state certainly had exteral sovereignt, but inter­
nally, neither the monarch himself nor the state was
sovereign. On the one hand (cf. Remarks to § 273), the par­
tcular fnctons and powers of the state and civil societ were
vested in independent corporatons and comuntes, so that
the whole was more of an aggregate tan an organism; and on
the other hand, they [i.e. these fnctons and powers] were the
private propert of individuals, so that what the latter had to
do in relaton to the whole was left H their own opinion and
discreton. - The ié·o/is¬which consttutes sovereignt is the
same determinaton as that according to which te so-called
poris of an animal organism are not parts, but members or
organic moments whose isolaton and separate exstence |Fir­
si.l·-8·si·/·oJ consttute disease (see £ooc/spo·éio s1 i/·
P/i/sssp/ico/So·oc·s, ;293).
It is the same principle which
we encountered (see § 7) in the abstact concept of the will
(see Remarks to § 279) as self-referring negatvit, and hence
as universalit é·i·m·ioiogiis·/isioéiviéoo/ii,|£ioz·//·iiJ,in
which all partcularit and determinacy are superseded - i.e.
the absolute and self-deterg ground. In order to grasp
this, one must frst have understood te whole concepton of
the substance and tue subjectvity of the concept. - Since
sovereignt is the ideality of every partcular authorit |8·r·.l·-
Philosophy of Right
tigMg], it is easy to fall into the very common misunderstand­
ing of regarding this idealit as mere power and empt
arbitariness, and of equatng sovereignt wit despotsm. But
despotsm signifies the conditon oflawlessness in general, in
which the partcular wlas such, whether of a monarch or of
the people (ochlocracy), counts as law (or rather replaces law),
whereas sovereignt is to be found specifcally under lawfl
and consttutonal conditons as the moment of idealit of the
partcular spheres and fnctons [within the state]. In other
words, these spheres are not independent or self-sufcient in
their ends and modes of operaton, nor are they solely
.immersed in themselves; on the contary, in these same ends
and modes of operaton, they are determined by and
dependent on t/··oée1tl·¬/e/·(to which the indeterminate
expression 'the ¬·hr· e1 t/· stot·' has in general been
applied). This ideality manifests itself in two diferent ways. -
In tmes of p·oc·,the partcular spheres and fnctons [within
the state] pursue the course of satsfing themselves and their
ends, and it is in part only as a result of the unconscious
o·c·ssinof the thing |Soc/·Jthat their selfshness is troowo·é
into a contibuton to mutual preservaton, and to the
preservaton of the whole (see § 1 83). But it is also in part a
éir·aiofo·oc·from above which constantly brings them back
to the end of the whole and limits them accordingly (see 'The
Executve Power', § 289), and at the same tme urges them to
perfonn direct services for the preservaton of the whole. -
But in a sitootie··e1crisis[Aet] -whether in interal or exteral
affairs -it is around the simple concept of sovereignt that the
organism and all the partcular spheres of which it fonnerly
consisted rally, and it is to this sovereignt that the salvaton of
the state is entusted, while previously legitmate fnctons
|éi·s·s seost8·r·.l·tiç·J are sacrificed; and this is where that
idealism already referred to attains its distnct actualit (see
§ 321 below).
2. Sovereignt, which is initally only the ooiv·no/thought of this
idealit, can oistonly as so/;·aivinwhich is certain of itself, and as
' |

Ethical Li
te will's abstact - and to that extent ungrounded -s·hé·i·n··iooiis··
in which the ultmate decision is vested. This is the individual aspect
of the state as such, and it Lin this respect alone that the state itself is
eo·. But subjectvity attains its tuth only as a w/;·a, and personalit
only as a p··seo, and in a consttuton which has progressed to real
ratonalit, each of the three moments of te concept has its distnc­
tve |oosg·seoéert·J shape which is oaoo/1r iis·/. This absolutely
decisive moment of the whole, therefore, is not individualit in
general, but eo·individual, the ¬eoorcl.
The immanent development of a science, the éerivoiieoe1iis
·oiir· ceoi·oi fom the simple ceocwi- and without such a
derivaton it certainly does not deserve te name of a
philosophical science - has the following distnctve feature.
One and the same concept - in this case the wl - which
begins by being abstact (because it is itself the begng),
retains its character yet [at the same tme] consolidates its
determinatons, again through its ow exclusive agency, and
thereby acquires a concrete content. Thus, it is the basic
moment of personalit, initally abstact in [the sphere of]
immediate right, which has contnued to develop through its
various forms of subjectvit untl at this point, in [the sphere
of] absolute right, in the state, and in the completely concrete
objectvit of the wl, it becomes the p·neoo/ine1il·sioi·,its
c·rtoione1iis·/.This last [instance], whose simple self super­
sedes all partcularites, cuts short the weighing of argument
[Grld] and counter-arguments (between which vacillatons
in eiter directon are always possible) and rae/v·sthem by its
'I wl', thereby initatng æ actvit and actualit. - But per­
sonalit (and subjectvit in general), as infnite and self-refer­
ring, has its imil- and indeed its proxate and immediate
tth - simply and solely as a person, i.e. as a subject which
has being for itself; and that which has being for itelf L also
simply eo·.The personalit of the state has actualit only as a
p··seo,as il·¬eoorcl.- Personality exresses the concept as
such, whereas the person also embodies the actualit of the
concept, and only when it is determined in this way [i.e. as a
person] is the concept IJ·oor tuth. -A so-called ¬ero/p·neo,
[such as] a societ, communit, or family, however concrete it
Philosophy oj Right
may be in itself, contains personality only abstactly as one of
its moments. In such a person, personalit has not yet reached
the tuth of its exstence |£xist·ozJ. The state, however, is
precisely this totalit in which the moments of the concept
attain actualit in accordance with their distnctve tuth. -^
these determinatons, both in themselves |ûrsi:/]and in the
[artcular] shapes which they assume, have been discussed
throughout this entre teatse; but tey are repeated here
because, although they are readily accepted when they assume
a partcular shape, they are no longer recognized and appre­
hended precisely when they reappear in their tue positon,
i.e. no longer in isolaton, but in their tuth as ¬s¬·otsof the
Idea. - The concept of the monarch is therefore exemely
difcult for ratocinaton - i.e. the reflectve approach of the
understanding - to grasp, because such ratocinaton stops
short at isolated determinatons, and consequently knows only
[individual] reasons [Grioé·] , fte viewpoints, and éeéoaiso
fom such reasons. It accordingly presents the dignit of the
monarch as é·ricotic·, not only in its form but also in its
determinaton, whereas the very concept of monarchy is that it
Lnot deduced from something else but ·otir·hs·/sngiootiog.
The idea ||snt·//oogJ that the right of the monarch is based
on divine autorit is therefore the closest approxmaton to
this concept, because it conveys te unconditonal aspect of
the right in queston. But the misunderstandings associated
with midea are familiar enough, and the task of philosophi­
cal enquiry consists precisely in comprehending this divine
The term 'pspo/orssc¬may be used to indicate that a
people is self-sufficient for all ot¬o/purposes and con­
sttutes a state of its own, like the people of Great Britain - as
distnct fom the peoples of England, Scotland, or Ireland, or
of Venice, Genoa, Ceylon, etc., who are now no longer
sovereign because tey have ceased to have sovereign princes
or supreme goverents of their own. -We may also say that
iot·n·o/ssc·r·ælies with the p·sp/·,but only i we are speak­
ing of the ¬/s/·[state] in general, in keeping with the above
demonstaton (see § § 277 and 278) that sovereignt belongs
to the stot·.But the usual sense in which the term 'popular
Ethical Li
sovereignt' has begun to be used in recent tmes is to denote
i/·~pssii·s1i/oissv·r·æn¬/ic/oisisioi/·¬soorc/.I this
oppositonal sense, popular sovereignt is one of tose con­
fsed thoughts which are based on a gor//·énoton ||sm·/-
/oogJof the p·sp/·. Uii/soiits monarch and that ortio/oiisoof
the whole which is necessarily and immediately associated
with monarchy, i/·people is a formess mass. The latter is no
longer a state, and oso· of those determinatons which are
encountered only in an io·mo/h srgooiz·é whole (such as
sovereignt, goverent, courts of law, public authorites
|0/rigl·iiJ, estates, etc.) is applicable to it. It is only when
moments such as these which refer to an organizaton, to
politcal life, emerge in a people that it ceases to be that
indeterinate abstacton which the purely general idea
||sni·hoogJ of the p·sp/·denotes. - If 'popular sovereignt' is
taken to mean a rwo/hcoo form [of goverent], or more
specifically democrac (for the term 'republic' covers many
other empirical combinatons which are in any case irrelevant
in a philosophical discussion), then all that needs to be said
has already been said above (see Remarks to § 273), apart
from which there can be no frther discussion of such a
noton ||sni·//o··gJin face of the developed Idea. -If a people
is represented neither as a patiarchal iri/· |Sio¬¬J, nor as
exstng in an undeveloped conditon in which democratc or
aristocratc forms are possible (see Remarks to § 273) - or
indeed in any other arbitary and inorganic conditon - but is
envisaged as an interally developed and tly organic totalit,
its sovereignt wl consist in the personalit of the whole,
which wl in tur consist in the realit appropriate to its
concept, i.e. the p·rssos1i/·¬soorc/.
At that stage referred to above at which consttutons were
divided into democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy - i.e. the
point of view of substantal unit which remains \vithin itself
and which has not yet attained its infnite differentaton and
immersion in itself - the moment of the o/ii¬oi· ooés·/
é·i·mioiogé·cisisos1i/·¬ihdoes not emerge for itself in its
s¬··éisiiocioaoo/|n as an i¬¬oo·oiorganic moment of the
state. Admittedly, even when the state assumes these less
advanced shapes, there must always be an individual at its
Philosophy of Right
head. This individual is either already present as such |ûr
sic/J, as in monarchies of the tpe in queston, or, as in
aristocracies and more partcularly in democracies, he may
rise up fom among the statesmen or generals in a contngent
manner and as poriio/orcirco¬siooc·s require; for all actons
and all actualit are initated and implemented by a leader as
the decisive unit. But enclosed in a union of powers which is
stll undiferentated, this subjectvit of decision must either
be contngent in its origin and emergence or occupy an alto­
gether subordinate positon. So long as heads of state were
subject to such conditons, it was only in a sphere beyond their
own that a pure and unalloyed decision could be found in the
shape of a fate which determined [events] fom without. A a
moment within the Idea, this decision had to come into
exstence |£xisi·ozJ, but its roots lay outide the circle of
human freedom which the state encompasses. - This is the
origin of the need to derive the o/ii¬oi· decision on major
issues and important concers |Me¬·oi·J of the state fom
eroc/·s, a é·¬eo (in the case of Socrates), the entails of
animals, the feeding and fight of birds, etc.;! for when human
beings had not yet fathomed the depths of self-consciousness
or emerged fom the undifferentated conditon of substantal
unity to attain beig for themselves, they were not yet stong
enough to perceive this decision ¬ii/iotheir own being. - In
the éo·o·soof Socrates (cf. [Remarks to] § 1
8 above), we can
see how the wlwhich in the past had simply projected itself
/ceoéitelf began to tum in upon itself and to recogne itself
fom within, which is the begng of a s·/ke¬iog and
hence genuine feedom. Since this real feedom of the Idea
consists precisely in giving each of the moments of ratonalit
its own present and s·/ceoscieos actualit, it is through its
agency that the ultmate self-determining certaint which
consttutes the apex of the concept of te wl is allotted the
fncton of a[n individual] consciousness. But this ultmate
self-determinaton can fall within the sphere of human
feedom only in so far as it occupies tis supreme positon,
ise/oi·é1riis·hand exalted o/e·w·ri/iogpor¡ico/orooéceo-
éiiieoo/,for only thus does its actualit accord with its concept.
Ethical Li
§§ º)o-º8o
÷1ii|so (G). In the organizaton of the state (which in U case means
consttutonal monarchy), the one thing which we must bear in mind is
the interal necessity of the Idea; all other consideratons are irrelevant.
The state must be regarded as a great architectonic edifce, a hieroglyph
of reason which becomes manifest in actualit. Pconsideratons of mere
utlit, exteralit, and the like must terefore be excluded fom a
philosophical teatent [of this subject]. Representatonal thought can
easily comprehend tat the state is the self-deterg and completely
sovereign will, the ultmate source of decisions. But it is more difcult to
grasp this 'I w' as a person, for this [formula] does not imply that the
monarch may act arbitarily: on the contary, he is bound by the concrete
content of the advice he receives, and if the consttuton is fy
established, he ofen has nothing more to do than to sign m name. But
this oc¬·is importnt: it is the ultmate instance and os··p/os o/irc. It
could be said that an organic artculaton was already present in the
beautfl democracy of Athens, but we can see at once that the Greeks
based the ultmate decision on completely exteral phenomena |£r-
sc/·iooogw} such as oracles, the entails of sacrcial animals, and the
flight of birds, and that they regarded nature as a power which proclaimed
and expressed by these means what was good for human beings. At that
tme, self-consciousness had not yet arrived at the abstacton of subjec­
tit, nor had it yet realized that an 'I w'must be pronounced by man
himself on the issue to be decided. This 'I w ' consttutes the great
diference between ancient and moder worlds, so that it must have its
own distnct exstence |£isiwz} in te great edifce of the state.
Unfortunately, however, U determinaton is regarded" as merely
exteral and discretonar.
"Translator's nole: Griesheim's notes, fom which this Additon u exacted, read
'fequendy regarded' (hiufg. . . angesehe; VPR W, 676).
. Seen in abstacton, this ultate self of the wl of the state is
simple and therefore an i¬¬·éici·individualit |£ioz·//·iiJ,so that the
determinaton of ociorc/o·ss is inherent in its very concept. The
monarch, therefore, is essentally determined as i/is individual, in
abstacton fom every other content, and this indivdual is destned
|/·sii¬¬iJin an immediate and natural way, i.e. by h natural /in/,to
hold the dignit of the monarch.
This tansiton fom the concept of pure self-determinaton to
Philosophy of Right
the immediacy of being, and hence to the natural realm, is of a
purely speculatve nature, and its cogniton accordingly
belongs to logical philosophy. Furthermore, it is, on the
whole, the same tansiton as that which is already familiar to
us fom the nature of the will in general, as the process which
tanslates a content from subjectvit (as an end in view |o/s
vsrg·si·//i·o Z¬·clJ)into exstence [Daeil1] (see § 8). But the
distnctve form of the Idea and of the tansiton here in
queston is the i¬¬·éioi· iroownsoiis·· of the pure self­
determinaton of the wl(Le. of the simple concept itself) into
i/is[specific entt], into natural exstence, without the medi­
aton of a ponico/orcontent (such as the end of an acton). -I
the so-called soisk/prss1of the oisi·sc·s1Csé,it is this
same tansformaton of the absolute concept into being which
has given the Idea its profndit in the moder age. But this
has recendy been declared iocs¬pr·/·osi//·,which amounts to
renouncing all cogniton of the imi/, for tuth is simply te
unity of the concept and exstence (see § 23).
Since munit
is not to be found in the consciousness of the understanding,
which contnues to regard these two moments of the tuth as
sworoi·,this consciousness may perhaps, in the present [reli­
gious] context, concede the possibility of a 1ii/in this unit.
But since the idea ||sni·//·ugJ of the monarch is regarded as
entrely within the scope of ordinary consciousness, the
understanding insists all the more frmly on its separaton [of
te two moment] and on the consequences which its astute
reasoning can deduce from this. It accordingly denies that the
moment of ultmate decision in the state is linked io ooé1r
iis·/(i.e. in the concept of reason) with the immediate and
natural, and concludes from this first, that this m is cso-
iiog·oi, and secondly - since it equates ratonalit with the
absolute distnctess of the two moments - that such a mis
irratonal. From this, frther devastatng consequences ensue
for the Idea of the state.
Additi01I 0.A fequent objecton to monarchy is that it makes the affairs
of the state subject to contngency since the monarch may be ill­
educated or unworthy of holding the highest ofce -and that it is absurd
for such a situaton to be regarded as ratonal. But this objecton is based
on the invalid assumpton that the monarch's partcular character i of
Ethical Li §§ 28028r
vital importance. In a fully organied state, it is only a queston of the
highest instance of formal decision, and all that is required in a monarch
is someone to say 'yes' and to dot the 'i'; for the supreme offce should be
such that the partcular character of its occupant i of no sigcance.
Whatever other qualites the monarch has in additon to his role of
ultate decision belong to [the sphere of partcularit 'Ponils/oniëi}
which must not be allowed to affect the issue. There may indeed be
circumstances in which this partcularit plays an exclusive part, but in
that case the state is either not yet fully developed, or it is poorly constuc­
ted. In a well-ordered monarchy, the objectve aspect is solely the concer
of the law, to which the monarch merely has to add his subjectve 'I will'.2
§ 281
The two moments in their undivided unit i.e. the ultmate
ungrounded self of the wl, and its exstence |£xsi·szJ which is
consequendy also ungrounded (and which belongs by defniton
|8·sii¬¬·ugJto ooisr·)- consttute the Idea of something ·u¬e·éby
arbitary will, i.e. the ¬o;·si, of the monarch. I this unity lies the
oaso/soii, of the state, and it is only by virtue of its inward and
ssi¬oréi¬¬·éioothat this unit is saved from being dragged down
into the sphere of po·¡ia/onn with its arbitariness, ends, and
atttudes, fom the stife of factons round the throne, and fom the
enervaton and destucton of the power of the state.
The rights of birth and inheritance consttute the basis
|CmoéJ of /·giii¬oo,i.e. the basis not just of a purely positve
right but also [of a right contained] in the Idea. - If the mode
of succession is clearly defned - i.e. if the throne is inerited
- the formaton of factons is prevented when the throne falls
vacant; this circumstance has long been cited, and righdy so,
in support of hereditary succession. Nevertheless, this aspect
is merely a consequence, and if it is made into a grssoé
|CnuéJ,it debases [the monarch's] majest to the sphere of
ratocinaton and, regardless of its character of ungrounded
inunediacy and ultmate inward being, grounds it not upon the
Idea of the state which is inunanent within it, but on some­
thing ssisié·ii,on some thought of a different character such
as the welfare s1i/·sioi·srs1i/·p·sp/·.From a determinaton
of this knd, it is indeed possible, by using middle terms
Philosophy of Right
|¬·éiss i·m·iossJ, to deduce [te need for] hereditary suc­
cession; but other middle terms, and hence other conse­
quences, are equally possible, and the consequences which
have been drawn fom this ¬·hr· of the people (so/oi éo
p·o/·) are only too familiar. - For tese reasons, p/i/sssp/,
o/so·is in a positon to consider this majest [of the monarch]
by means of thought, for every method of enquiry other than
the speculatve method of the infnite and self-grounded Idea
annuls |o·:û··/iJ the nature of majest in and for itself. -
£/·aiv· »s··orc/·V may well seem the most ooioro/idea ||sr-
si·//·ugJ,i.e. the one most obvious to superficial tg; for
since it is the concers and interest of the people that the
monarch must look afer, it can be argued that the people
must also be lef to choose whom they wish to entust their
welfare to, and that it is from this tust alone tat the right to
rule arises. This view, like te ideas ||sni·//·ug·sJ of the
monarch as the frst servant of the state/ of a contactual
relatonship beteen monarch and people, etc., bases itself on
the will in the sense of the copric·,opinion, and arbitariness s1
i/·¬o··,- a determinaton which, as we notced some tme
ago, ¯ is of primary importance in csociet (or merely seeks
to assert itself as such), but is not the [basic] principle of the
family, let alone of the state, and is completely opposed to the
Idea of ethical life. - Indeed, it is even possible for ratocina­
ton to deduce from the csos·os·sc·sof electve monarchy tat
it is the worst of insttutons. But these consequences appear
to ratocinaton only as a psssi/ihnor prs/o/i/in,although tey
are in fact an essental concomitant of this isttuton. That is
to say, the nature of the situaton in an electve monarchy
whereby the ponia:/orwill is made the ultmate source of
decisions means tat the consttuton becomes an ·/·asro/
csoiroci|Uo//lopiio/oiis··J,i.e. a surrender of the power of te
state at the discreton of the partcular |ooriilo/or·sJwill; as a
result, the partcular |/·ssoer·sJ powers of the state are
tured into private propert, the sovereignt of the state L
weakened and lost, and the state is dissolved from within and
destoyed from without.4
"Translator's note: See, for example, § § 1 82-189 above.
Ethical Li §§ 28I
÷éé|t|eo(G). In order to grasp the Idea of the monarch, it is not enough to
say that kings are appointed by God, for God has made everything,
including the worst [of things].5 The point of view of utlit does not get
us far either, for it is always possible to point to disadvantages. And it is of
just as little help to regard monarchy as a positve right. The fact that I
have propert is necessary, but this [or that] partcular possession is
contngent, and the right whereby one individual must occupy the highest
ofce appears in a similar light if it is taken in an abstact and positve
sense. But this right is present as a felt need and as a need of the thing
[Sache] in and for itself. Monarchs are not exactly distnguished by their
physical powers or intellect [Geist], yet millions accept them as their
rulers. But it is absurd to say tat people allow themselves to be ruled in
defance of their own interests, ends, and intentons, for they are not as
stupid as that; it is their need, the inner power of the Idea, which compels
them to accept such rule and keeps them in this situaton, even uthey
appear to be consciously opposed to it. Thus, whereas the monarch
fnctons as head of state and as part of the consttuton, it has to be said
that a conquered people is not consttutonally identcal with it sovereign.
If a rebellion occurs in a province conquered in war, tis is not the same
thing as a revolt in a well-organized state. The conquered people are not
rebelling against their sovereign prince, and they are not committng a
politcal crime, for they are not linked ,vith their master in terms of the
Idea or through the inner necessit of the consttuton. There is only a
contact, but not a politcal associaton. 'Je ne suis pas vote prince, je suis
vote maite'" was Napoleon's reply to the delegates at Er.6
"Translator' note: '1 am not your prince, I am your master.'
§ 282
The sovereignt of the monarch i s the source of the ng/tteporéo
criminals, for only the sovereign is enttled to actualize the power of
the spirt to undo what has been done and to nullif crime by forgiving
and forgettng.
The right of pardon is one of the highest acknowledgements
of the majest of the spirit. - Furthermore, this right is one of
those instances in which a determinaton fom a higher sphere
is applied to, or refected in, a lower one. - But such appli­
catons are the concer of partcular science, which must deal
with the entre empirical range of its subject (cf. [the frst]
Philosophy oj Right
footote to the Remarks to § 270). -Another example of such
applicatons is the subsumpton under the concept of crime
(which we encountered in an earlier context - see §§ 95-1 02)
of injuries ||·r/·izoooJ to the state in general, or to the
sovereignty, majesty, and personality of the sovereign prince;
such injuries are in fact classed as crimes of the /ig/·sisré·r,
and a partcular procedure etc. [is applied to them] .
÷ééiiiso d. Pardon is the remssion of punishment, but it is not a
cancellaton of right 'éi·c/·récs R·clioicli osû·/i}. On the contary,
right contnues to apply, and the pardoned individual stll remains a
crimal; the pardon does not state that he has not committed a crime.
This cancellaton ×s·/·og} of punishment may be effected by religion,
for what has been done can be undone in spirit by spirit itself. ! But i so
far as it is accomplished in this world, it is to be found only in the majest
[of the sovereign] and is the prerogatve of [te sovereign's] ungrounded
The s·csoémoment contained in the power of the sovereign is that of
po·¡ico/orii,or of determnate content and its subsumpton under the
Universal. In so far as this moment attains a partcular exstence
|£xisi·ozJ, it does so in the highest advsor ofces and in the
individuals who hold them; these individuals submit to the monarch
for his decision the content of current affairs of state, or the legal
determinatons made necessary by present needs, along with their
s/;·ctiv· aspects, grounds for decision, relevant laws, circumstances,
etc. The appointent of ioéiviéoo/sfor this purpose and their dismis­
sal from ofce fall within the [competence of the] unresticted arbi­
tary wl of the monarch, since the individuals in queston are in
immediate personal contact with him.!
The only factors for which people can be made occssoio//·- i.e. those
which are capable of objectve proof and on which advice distnct
from the personal wl of the monarch as such can appropriately be
sought - are the s/;·ctiv· aspects of decision such as knowledge
|K·ooioisJ of the content and circumstances, and the legal and other
Ethical Li
§§ º
grounds for determinaton. It is only for matters such as these that the
advisory ofces and their incumbents can be held accountable.I But
the distnctve majest of the monarch, as the ultmate subjectvit of
decision, is raised above all accountabilit for the acts of goverent.
The i/irémoment in te power of the sovereign concers the univer­
sal in and for itself, which is present subjectvely in the csosci·oc·of
the ¬soorc/ and objectvely in the csosiiioiisoand /o¬sas a ¬/s/·.To
this extent, the power of the sovereign presupposes the other
moments, just as it is presupposed by each of them.
The s/;·ciiv·g«orooi··of the power of the sovereign and of rightl
succession to the throne by way of inheritance, etc., lies in the fact
that, just as this sphere has its own actualit distnct from that of other
ratonally determined moments, so also do these other moments have
their own distnct rights and dutes in accordance with their
determinaton. Each member [of the whole], in maintaining itself
independently !ìrsid·J, thereby also maintains the others in their own
distnct character within the ratonal organism.
One of the more recent achievements of history has been to
develop the monarchic consttuton to the point where heredi­
tary succession to the throne is fy based on primogeniture.
Monarchy has thereby reverted to the patiarchal principle in
which it had its historical origin, although it now has the
higher determinaton whereby the monarch is the absolute
apex of an organically developed state. This achievement is of
the greatest importance for public feedom and for a ratonal
consttuton, although it is ofen very poorly understood - as
we earlier notced -even if it is teated with respect. Thus, the
history of despotsms and of the purely feudal monarchies of
earlier tmes represents a succession of rebellions, acts of
violence by rulers, civil wars, the downfal of sovereign princes
and dynastes, and in consequence, general devastaton and
destucton on both interal and exteral fonts. The reason
Philosophy of Right
for this is that, in conditons such as these, the division
|I·il·ugJ of politcal business is purely mechanical, with its
different parts distibuted among vassals, pashas, etc., so that
the diference [between these elements] is not one of
determinaton and form, but merely of greater or lesser
power. Thus, each part maintains its·/olso·,and in so doing,
it promotes only itself and not the others along with it, and has
within itself the complete set of moments whch it requires for
independence and self-sufciency. I an organic relatonship,
the unts in queston are not parts but members, and each
maintains the others while flg iis00lI fncton; the sub­
stantal end and product of each L to maintain the si/·r
members while simultaneously maintaining iis·/. Such
guarantees as are required, whether for the contnuit of the
succession and of the power of the sovereign in general, or for
justce, public freedom, etc., are secured by means of iostito-
iisos.Such factors as the love of the people, character, oaths,
coercion, etc. may be regarded as so/;·ciiv· guarantees; but
when we are dealing with the csostitotiso,we are concered
solely wth s/;·ctiv·guarantees or insttutons, i.e. ,vith organ­
cally linked and mutually conditoning moments. Thus, public
feedom in general and a hereditary succession guarantee
each other reciprocally, and their associaton |Zoso¬¬·o/oogJ
is absolute, because public freedom is the ratonal consttu­
ton, and the hereditary character of the power of the
sovereign is, as has already been shown, the moment inherent
in its concept.
b. The Executve Power
The executon and applicaton of the sovereign's decisions, and in
general the contnued implementaton and upholding of earlier deci­
sions, exstng laws, insttutons, and arrangements to promote com­
mon ends, etc., are distnct from the decisions themselves. This task
of so/so¬piiso in general belongs to the o·ativ·ps¬·r,which also
includes the powers of the ;oéioo¬and the psl|c·, these have more

Ethical Li
immcdiatcrcfcrcncctothcparucu|arat!airs ofcivi|socicty, andthcy
asscrt thc unIvcrsa| intcrcstwithin thcsc |parucu|ar] cnds.
§ 288
Jhcporiico/orcommon intcrcsts whIch fa||wimIn civi| socicn, and
which |ic outsidc thc univcrsa| intcrcst ofthc statc as thc intcrcst
whichhasbcinginandforitsc|f(scc § 256), arc administcrcdbythc
corporauons (scc § 25 I) which rcprcscnt thc communiucs and thc
various profcssions |C·¬·r/·J and cstatcs, with thcir authoriucs
|0/rigl·iiJ, supcrtisors, adminisuators, ctc. On thc onc hand, thc
,oisriieiJ is bascd inpart on thc uust ofthcir fc||ow-ciuzcns and
hIghcr intcrcsts ofthc statc. Jhus, thc n||Ingofsuch ofhccs wl In
andconnrmauonand dctcrminauonbyahighcrauthorin.'
Jhc task ofop/s/éiog,withinthcsc parucu|arrights,/·go/ii, and thc
ooiv·rso/ioi·r·sts1i/·sioi·,and thatofbringingthcsc rights back to
thc univcrsa|, nccd to bc pcrformcd by dc|cgatcs of thc cxccuuvc
powcr, i.c. thc cxccuuvc civi/s·noois and thc highcr consu|tauvc
bodics. Jhc |attcr ncccssariIy work togcthcr in groups, and thcy
convcrgcinthcirsuprcmchcads who arc intouchwiththc monarch
hImsc|f. '
]ustasciviIsocicnisthc hc|dofcontIictinwhichthcprivatc
intcrcstofcach individua| comcs up against that ofcvcryonc
c|sc, so dowc hcrc cncountcr thc conmctbctwccnprivatc
intcrcsts and parucu|ar conccms of thc communin, and
ordinanccs ofthcstatc.Jhc spiritofthccorporauon,which
ariscs whcn thc parucu|ar sphcrcs gain |cga| rccogniuon
|8·r·c/iigtugJ,is now at thc samc umcInward|yuansformcd
into thc spiritofthc statc, bccausc it nnds in thc statc thc
mcans ofsustainingits parucu|ar cnds. Jhis is thc sccrctof
thc pauiousm ofthc ciuzcns in thc scnsc thatthcy know thc
Philosophy of Right
state as their substance, for it is the state which supports their
partcular spheres and the legal recogniton, authorit, and
welfare of these. In so far as the rssiiogs1i/·poriico/orioi/·
ooiv··so/is contained i¬¬·éioi·/rin the spirit of the corpora­
ton, it is in ths spirit that such depth and stength of éispssi-
iisoas the state possesses are to be found.
The administaton of a corporaton's affairs by its own
supervisors wl ofen be inept, for although they know |lw-
owJ and have before them their own distnct interests and
affairs, they have a less complete grasp of the connecton
between these and more remote conditons and universal
points of view. Besides, frther circumstances have a similar
effect, e.g. the close personal contact and other kinds of
equalit between the supervisors and those who should be
subordinate to them, the various ways in which they are
dependent on others, etc. But this personal |·igw·J sphere
may be seen as belonging to the moment of 1m·o/1ì··é¬,
which provides an arena in which personal cogniton and
personal decisions and their executon, as well as pett pas­
sions and imaginings, may indulge themselves. This is all the
more acceptable in proporton to the tiviality of the business
which is thereby vitated or conducted less effciently, more
laboriously, etc., and to its relatve unimportance for the more
general concers of the state; and the same applies the more
directly the laborious or foolish conduct of such tifling busi­
ness is related to the satsfacton and self-esteem |M·is·mgvso
sic/Jwhich are derived fom it.
§ 2
The éivisiso |I·i/oogJ s1 /o/sor (see § 1 98) likewise makes its
appearance in the business of the executve. The srgooizoiisoof off­
cial bodies accordingly faces the formal but difcult task of ensuring
that civil life shall be govered in a csoo·i·manner from below, where
it is concrete, but that the business in queston shall be divided into its
o/si·oabranches and dealt with by distnct bodies; the latter should
fncton as separate centes whose actvites should again converge
both at the lowest level and in a concrete overview on the part of the
supreme executve.

Ethical Li § § 289-290
Additi01l (G). The most important issue for the executve power is the
division of functons. The executve power is concerned ,vith the tansi­
ton from the universal to the partcular and individual, and its fnctons
must be divided in accordance ,vith its different branches. The diffcult,
however, is [that of ensuring] that they also come together again at upper
and lower levels. For although the power of the police and that of the
judiciary, for example, are divergent, they do converge in every partcular
case [Gescllif]. The expedient which is ofen employed in these circum­
stances is to appoint a State Chancellor, Prime Minister, or Cabinet
Council in order to simplif the highest level of goverent. But this may
have the result that everg i again contolled fom above by
ministerial power, and that fnctons are, to use the common expression,
centalized.2 This is associated with a high degree of facilit, speed, and
effectveness in measures adopted for the universal interest of the state. A
regime of this kind was intoduced by the French Revoluton and frther
developed by Napoleon, and it stll exsts [bestellt] in France today. On the
other hand, France lacks corporatons and comunal associatons [Ko1l-
1tl1le1l] - that is, circles in which partcular and universal interests come
together. Admittedly, these circles gained too great a degree of self­
suffciency in the Middle Ages, when they became states within the state
and behaved in an obdurate manner like independently established
bodies." But although this ought not to happen, it can stll be argued that
the proper stength of states resides in teir [interal] communites
[Gemei1ldel]. In these, the executve encounters legitmate [bereclztigte]
interests which it must respect; and since the administaton can only
encourage such interests - although it must also supervise them - the
individual fnds protecton for the exercise of his rights, so that his par­
tcular [pariklllares] interest is bound up with the preservaton of the
whole. For some tme now, organizaton has always been directed from
above, and eforts have been devoted for the most part to this kind of
organizaton, despite the fact that the lower level of the masses as a whole
can easily be lef in a more or less disorganized state. Yet it is extemely
important that the masses should be organized, because only then do tey
consttute a power or force; otherwise, they are merely an aggregate, a
collecton of scattered atoms. Legitmate power is to be found only when
the partcular spheres are organized.
"Translator's note: Gans's version, as tanslated by the nine preceding words, reads
gerier/en sich al/! harte Weise als flir sicll bestehe11de Kirerclzafetl. Grieshei's original, of
which Gans's tex" is a paraphrase, reads getlirten al/! eitle harte Weise die Allsiiblmg
allgetneiner Zwecke, i.e. 'obstucted the implementaton of universal ends in an obdurate
manner' (PR ¡V. 691). Gans appears to have misread getlirtetl as geri(e)rtel.
Philosophy oj Right
The fnctons of the executve are s/;·aiv·in character; as such |ûr
sic/J,they have already been substantally decided in advance (see
§ 287), and they must be flflled and actualized by i··éiviéoo/s.
Individuals are not destned by bith or personal nature to hold a
partcular offce, for there is no immediate and natural mbetween
the two. The objectve moment in their vocaton |8·sii¬¬o··gJ is
knowledge |£rl·····i··isJand proof of abilit; this proof guarantees that
the needs of the state wl be met, and, as the sole conditon [of
appointent], at the same tme guarantees every citzen the possibilit
of joining the universal estate'!
There is necessarily an i··é·i·m·i··oi·oo¬/·rof candidates for public
ofce, because their objectve qualifcaton does not consist i genius
(as it does in art, for example), and their relatve merits cannot be
determined with absolute certaint. The selecton of i/is partcular
individual for a given post, his appointent, and his authorizaton to
conduct public business are subjectve decisions, in that they m
together an individual and an ofce as two factors whose mutual
relaton must always be contngent. This subjectve aspect pertains to
the sovereign as the supreme |ssov·m ·····J and decisive power within
the state.
The partcular tasks within the state which the monarch assigns to the
offcial bodies form part of the s/;·aiv·aspect of sovereignty which is
inherent in u. The specifc émr···c·sbetween these tasks are like­
,vise given in the nature of the thing |Soc/·J,and just as te actvit of
the offcial bodies is the flfilment of a dut, so also does their
business consttute a right which is exempt from contngency.
The individual who has been appointed to his professional offce by
an act of the sovereign (see § 292) must flfl his dutes, which are the

Ethical Li
substantal aspect of his positon ||··/ë/i··isJ, as a conditon of his
appointent. ÷socsos·oo·:·c·of this substantal positon, his appoint­
ment provides him with resources, guarantees te satsfacton of his
partcularit (see § 26
), and fees his exteral situaton and official
actvit fom other kinds of subjectve dependence and infuence. I
The state does not count on arbitary and discretonary servi­
ces (for example, the administaton of justce by knights
errant), precisely because such services are discretonary and
arbitary, and because those who perform them reserve the
right to do so in accordance with their subjectve views, or not
to perform them at all if they so wish and to pursue subjectve
ends instead. As regards the service of the state, the opposite
exteme to the knight errant would be a civi/ s··:o:·i who
performed his work purely out of necessit [NstJwithout any
genuine dut and liewise without any right. - In fact, the
service of the state requires those who perfor it to sacrifce
the independent and discretonary satsfacton of their subjec­
tve ends, and thereby gives them the right to find their
satsfacton in the performance of their dutes, and in this
alone. It is here that, in the present context, that mis to be
found between universal and partcular interests which con­
sttutes the concept of the state and its interal stabilit (see
§ 260). - Similarly, the [civil servant's] relatonship to his
ofce i not one of cs··i·cci(see § 7
5), although the partes in
queston both give their consent and render a service. The
civil servant is not employed, like an agent, to perform a single
contngent task, but makes this relatonship [to his work] the
main interest of his spiritual and partcular exstence
|Lxisi·ozJ . Likewise, the task which he has to perform and
with which he is entusted is not a purely partcular thing
|Sod··Jof an exteral character; the vo/o·of such a thing is an
inward quality which is therefore distnct fom its exteral
nature, so that it is not impaired |v··/·iziJ i what has been
stpulated is not delvered (see § 77). But the task which the
civi servant has to perform is, in its inunediate character, a
value in and for itself. The wrong which is done by non­
performance or positve infringement (i.e. by an acton in
violaton of one's duty, which applies in both of these cases) is
§§ 29
Philosophy of Right
therefore an infringement of the universal content itself, i.e. a
negatvely ite judgement (cf § 95), and hence a mis­
demeanour or even a crime. - The guaranteed satsfacton of
partcular needs removes that exteral necessit |AsiJ which
may induce someone to seek te means of satsfing them at
the exense of his official actvites and dut. Those who are
entusted with the business of the state fnd protecton in its
universal power against anoter subjectve factor, namely the
private passions of the govered, whose private interests etc.
are prejudiced when the universal is asserted against them.
The protecton of the state and the govered against the misuse of
power on the part of the official bodies and their members is, on the
one hand, the direct responsibit ||·rcoi¬sri/|c/l·iiJ of their own
hierarchy; on the other hand, it lies with the legal recogniton |8·r·:I·-
iæ«ogJ accorded to communites and cororatons, for this prevents
subjectve arbitariness fom interfering on its own account }rsic/J
with the power entusted to ofcials, and supplements from below
that contol fom above which does not extend as far as individual
The conduct and educaton of the ofcials is the point at
which the laws and decisions of the executve come into con­
tact with individuals |éi· £ioz·//·iiJ and are tanslated into
actualt. This L accordingly the factor on which the satsfac­
ton and confdence of the citens in relaton to the executve
depend, as does the executon (or diuton and fustaton) of
the goverent's intentons - in the sense that the ¬coo·rin
which these intentons are executed may well be rated as
highly by the feelings |£¬p1oéoogJ and dispositon [of the
citens] as the csoi·oi of the intenton to be implemented,
even though this content may itself be of a burdensome
nature. Because of the immediate and personal character of
such contact, contol fom above can attain its end in this
respect only partally, and this end may also encounter
obstacles in the shape of the common interest of the officials
in maintaining solidarit amongst themselves in oppositon to
Ethical Li
their subordinates and superiors. The need to remove such
obstacles, especially in cases where the insttutons in queston
may stll be relatvely imperfect in other respects also, calls
for and justfes the higher interventon of the sovereign (as,
for example, of Frederick the Great in the notorious case
|Soc/·J of the miller Aold). J
§ § ºo
Whether or not dispassionateness, integrit |R·d·i/ic//·iiJ,and polite
behaviour become cosis¬o¬wldepend in part on direct ·éocoiisoio
·i/iaooéioi/sog/i,for mprovides a spiritual counterweight to the
mechanical exercises and the like which are inherent in learg the
so-called sciences appropriate to these [administatve] spheres, in
the required business taining, in the actual work itself, etc. But the
siz·of the state is also an important consideraton, for it both reduces
the burden of family tes and other private commitents and lessens
the power -and thereby takes the edge of -such passions as revenge,
hated, etc. These subjectve aspects disappear of their own accord in
those who are occupied with the larger interests of a major state, for
they become accustomed to dealing with universal interests, views,
and fnctons.
Members of the executve and civil servants consttute the bulk of the
middle class |éesMiii·/sioaJ,which embodies the educated intelli­
gence and legal |r·c/i/i.l··J consciousness of the mass of the people.
The insttutons which prevent this class fom adoptng the isolated
positon of an aristocracy and fom using its educaton and skill as
arbitar means of dominaton are the sovereign, who acts upon it
fom above, and the rights of the corporatons, which act upon it fom
It was in this way that the administaton of justce, whose
object is the proper interests of all individuals, was at one tme
tansformed into an instument of proft and dominaton,
because knowledge 'koioisJof right hid behind scholarship
and a foreign language, and knowledge of the legal process
hid behind complicated formalites.
Philosophy of Right
÷éé|i|s·:(H,G). The middle class, to which the civil servants belong, has a
politcal consciousness and is the most conspicuously educated class. For
this reason, it is the mainstay Qf the state as far as integrity 'R·./·ihc/l·|i|
and intelligence are concered. Consequently, the level of a state which
has no middle class cannot be high. This is tue of Russia, for example,
which has a mass of serfs and another mass of rulers. It is cental to the
interests of the state that this middle class should develop, but this can
occur only in an organizaton like the one we have just considered, i.e. in
which legal recogniton '8···d·i|oug| is given to partcular bodies which
are relatvely independent, and in which the arbitariness of ofcialdom is
broken down by insttutons of this kind. Acton in accordance with
universal right and the habit of such acton are consequences of the
oppositon offered by bodies which are self-sufcient in themselves.
c. The Legislatve Power
§ 2
The /·çs/oiiv·ps¬··has to do with the laws as such, i so far as they
are i need of new and frther determinaton, and with those interal
concers of the state whose content is wholly universal. This power is
itelf a part of the consttuton, which it presupposes and which to that
extent lies i and for itself outside the sphere which the legislatve
power can determine directly; but the consttuton does undergo
frther development through the frther evoluton of the laws and the
progressive character of the universal concers of goverent.
÷éé|i|e·: d. The consttuton must be in and for itself the frm and
recognized ground on which te legislatve power is based, so that it does
not frst have to be constucted. Thus, the consttuton |s, but it just as
essentally /·cs¬·s, i.e. it undergoes progressive development. This pro­
gression is a change which takes place imperceptbly and without posses­
sing the form of change. If for example, the resources of the German
princes and their families were originally private property but were then
tansformed, without conflict or oppositon, into crown domains, i.e. into
resources of the state, this occurred because the princes felt the need to
maintain their possessions intact and demanded guarantees to this efect
fom their county and its Estates.} Thus, the latter became involved in
the way in which the resources in queston were conserved, so that the
princes no longer had exclusive contol over them. Similarly, the Emperor
was at one tme a judge who tavelled round te Empire dispensing
justce. Then, the (merely apparent) progress of culture '8|/é:ug| made it

Ethical Li
§§ ºo)-ºo
outwardly necessary for the Emperor to delegate this judicial ofce
increasingly to others, which led to the tansfer of judicial power fom the
person of the sovereign to [judicial] colleges.2 Thus, conditons evolve in
an apparently peaceful and imperceptble manner, with the result that a
consttuton changes its character completely over a long period of tme.
These matters are more precisely determined, as far as individuals are
concered, in the following to respects: (o)in relaton to te bene­
fits which the state enables them to enjoy, and (�) in relaton to te
services which they must perform for the state. The former include
the laws of civil right |éi·privoir·d·i/ic/·o C·s·c·J in general, the
rights of communites and corporatons, all arrangements of a wholly
universal character, and indirectly (see § 298), the consttuton as a
whole. But as for services to the state, it is only when these are
expressed in terms of ¬soc, as the exstng and universal vo/o· of
uinm|Diog·J and services, that they can be determined justly and at
the same tme in such a way that the ponio/orwork and services
which the individual can perform are mediated by his own arbitar
It is possible to distnguish in general terms between what is
the object |C·g·osio··é of universal legislaton and what
should be lef to te directon |8·sii¬¬·ugJ of administatve
bodies or to any kind of goverent regulaton, in that the
former includes only what is wholly universal in content - i.e.
legal determinatons -whereas the latter includes the partcu­
lar and the ways and means whereby measures are i¬p/·¬·o-
i·é. This distncton is not entrely determinate, however, if
only because a law, in order to be a law, must be more than
just a commandment in general (such as 'Thou shalt not L`
¯ cf. Remarks to § 1
0, p. 1
"), i.e. it must be éei·miooi·in
itself; but the more determinate it is, the more nearly capable
its content wl be of being implemented as it stands. At the
same tme, however, so far-reaching a determinaton as m
would give the laws an empirical aspect which would necess­
arily be subject to alteraton when they were actually
"Translator' note: p. 176 m tis editon (Hegel's reference u m te frt editon).
Philosophy of Right
implemented, and this would detact from their character as
laws. It is implicit in the organic unit of the powers of the
state itself that so·and the same spirit decrees the universal
and brings it to determnate actualit in implementng it. - It
may at fst seem remarkable that the state requires no direct
servces from the numerous skills, possessions, actvites, and
talents [of its citens] and fom the itely varied living
r·ssorc·swhich these embody and which are at the same tme
associated with the dispositon [of those who possess them],
but lays claim only to the so· resource which assumes the
shape of ¬soc. (Services associated with the defence of the
state against it enemies belong to those dutes which wlbe
considered in the following secton.) But money is not in fact
one portia/orresource among others; on the contary, it is the
universal aspect of all of them, in so far as they express
themselves in an exteral exstence |Dcs·ioJin which they can
be apprehended as i/iogs |o/s·io·Scd··J .Only at this exteme
point of exteralit is it possible to determine services
ooooiiioiiv·h and so in a just and equitable manner. - In
Plato's Rwo//ic,it is the task of the guardians to allot individu­
als to their partcular estates and to specif what portia/or
services they have to perform (cf Remarks to § 185). In feudal
monarchies, the services required of vassals were equally
indeterminate, but these vassals also had to serve in their
ponia/orcapacit, e.g. as judges.1 Services imposed in the
Orient and in Egypt in connecton with immense architectural
enterprises etc. are likewise of a portia/orcharacter. In these
circumstances, what is lacking is the principle of so/;·ciiv·
1ì··és¬ whereby the individual's substantal actvit (whose
content is in any case of a partcular nature in the services in
queston) is mediated by his own ponia/or¬i//. This right
cannot be enjoyed untl the demand for services is expressed
in terms of the universal value, and it is itself the reason
[Grnd why this change was intoduced.
÷éé|i|ssd.The two aspects of the consttuton relate respectvely to the
rights and services of individuals. As far as services are concered, nearly
all of them have now been reduced to money. Military dutes are now
almost the only personal service required. In earlier tmes, far more
claims were made on individuals in a concrete sense, and they were called

Ethical Li §§
upon to work according to teir skills. m our tmes, the state po·c/os·s
what it needs. This may at fst seem an abstact, lifeless, and soulless
procedure, and it may also look as uthe state has become decadent if it is
satsfed with abstact services. But it is iherent in the principle of the
moder state that all of an individual's actons should be mediated by his
wl. The justce of equalit, however, can be achieved far more effectvely
by means of money. Otherwise, uthe criterion were concrete abilit, the
talented individual would be taxed much more heavily than the untalen­
ted. But the ver fact that people are now required to delier only what
tey are able to deliver is a sign that public feedom is respected.
In the legislatve power as a whole, the other two moment have a
primary part to play, namely the ¬soorc/, as the power of ultate
decision, and the o·aiiv·ps¬·ras the advisory moment which has
concrete knowledge |K··nioisJ and oversight of the whole with its
numerous aspects and the actual prciples which have become
established within it, and knowledge of the needs of the power of the
state in partcular. The final element [in the legislature] is the £sioia.
÷1|i|so (H,C). One of the misconceptons concerg the state is the
view that members of the executve should be excluded fom the legislat­
ive bodies, as happened, for example, in te Consttuent Assembly [of
FranceV m England, ministers must be Members of Parliament, and
rightly so, since those who partcipate in goverent should be associated
with, rather than opposed to, the legislatve power. The idea '|soi·//oogJ
of te so-called independence of powers contains the basic error [of
supposing] that the powers should be independent yet mutually limitng.
If they are independent, however, the unit of the state, which is the
supreme requirement, is destoyed 'oo;·ls/·oJ.²
The role |8·sii¬¬oogJof the Estates is to bring the universal interest
|Aog·/·g···l·iiJ into exstence |£xisi·ozJ not only io iis·/but also 1r
iis·/ i.e. to bring into exstence the moment of subjectve 1r¬o/
1ì··é¬, the public consciousness as the mpinco/ ooiv¬o/in of the
views and thoughts of the ¬oo,.
The expression 'i/· ¬oo,
(oi uo11o:) denotes empirical
universality more accurately than the usual term 'oll.For if it
Philosophy of Right
is said to be obvious that the term 'cllexcludes fom the start
at least children, women, etc., it is by the same token even
more obvous that the entrely specifc expression 'cll ought
not to be used ,vith reference to somethng else which is
entrely unspecifc. I - I fact, such untold numbers of warped
and erroneous ideas ||s·si·//oog·oJ and turs of phrase con­
cerg 'the people', 'the consttuton', and 'the Estates' have
passed into current opinion that it would be a ftle endeavour
to ty to enumerate, discuss, and rect them. The idea wth
which the ordinary consciousness usually begins when it con­
siders the necessity or useflness of a conventon of the
Estates will generally be, for example, that delegates of the
people, or indeed the people themselves, ¬osilos¬/·siwhat
is in their own best interest, and that their own will is
undoubtedly the one best equipped to pursue the latter. Afor
the first of these propositons, the reverse is in fact the case,
for i .the term 'the people' denotes a partcular category of
members of the state, it refers to that category of citzens ¬/s
ésosi¬s¬i/·irs¬o¬i//.To know what one wills, and even
more, to know what the will which has being in and for itself -
i.e. reason - wills, is the fuit of profound cognton and
insight, and this is the very thing |Scd··J whch 'the people'
lack. - It can be seen with a little reflecton tat the guarantee
which the Estates provide for universal welfare and public
freedom does not lie in any partcular insight they may pos­
sess. For the hghest officials within the state necessarily have
a more profound and comprehensive insight into the nature of
the state's insttutons and needs, and are more familiar with
its fnctons and more skilled in dealing with them, so that
they cr·c//·to do what is best even without the Estates, just as
they must contnue to do what is best when the Estates are in
session. The guarantee doubtless lies rather in the exta
insight which the delegates have, frst of all into the actvtes
of those offcials who are less visible to their superiors, and in
partcular into the more urgent and specialized needs and
deficiencies which they [the delegates] see in concrete form
before their eyes; and secondly, it lies in the effect which the
expectaton of critcism, indeed of public critcism, at the
hands of the many has in compelling the ofcials to apply their
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best insights, even before they start, to their fnctons and to
the plans they intend to submit, and to put these into effect
only in accordance with the purest of motves. (This compul­
sion is equally effectve for the members of te Estates them­
selves.) But as for the [belief that there is] partcular gssécá
on the part of the Estates towards the universal welfare, we
have already noted (see Remarks to § 272) that it is character­
istc of the rabble, and of the negatve viewpoint in general, to
assume il wl, or less good wl, on the part of the gover­
ment. If this assumpton were to be answered in kind, it would
invite the counter-accusaton that, since the Estates have their
origin in individualit |£ioz·//·iiJ,in the private point of view
and in partcular interests, they are inclined to direct their
eforts towards these at the exense of the universal iterest,
whereas the other moments in the power of the state are by
their very nature |sc/so1ììrsid·Jdedicated to the universal end
and disposed to adopt the point of view of the state. Afor that
general guarantee which is supposed to lie in the Esttes in
partcular, each of the other insttutons within the state shares
with them the qualit of being a guarantee of public welfare
and ratonal freedom; and in some of these insttutons -such
as the sovereignt of the monarch, hereditary succession, the
consttuton of the court, etc. -this guarantee is present to a
much greater degree. The proper conceptual defniton
|B·çif/·sii·······ugJ of the Estates should therefore be sought
in the fact that, in them, the subjectve moment of universal
feedom - the personal |·ig····J insight and personal wl of
that sphere which has been described in this work as civil
societ - comes i··isoisi···c·io r·/oiiso |B·zi·l·i:··gJ isi/·sioi·.
A in every other case, the philosophical viewpoint here
enables us to conclude that this moment is a determinaton of
the Idea when the latter has reached its total development,
and the inner necessit of this moment should not be con­
fsed with oi¬o/o·c·ssiii·sand oiihii·s.
÷éé|iisod.The atttude of the goverent towards the Estates should
not be essentally hostle, and the belief that this relatonship is necessarily
a hostle one is a sad mistake. The goverent is not a par opposed to
another party in such a way that both have to fght for major concessions
fom each other; and if a state does get into a predicament of this kind,
Philosophy of Right
this cannot be described as healt but only as a misfortune.2 Besides, the
taxes which the estates approve should not be regarded as a gift presented
to the state; on te contary, they are approved for the beneft of those
who approve them. The proper signifcance of the Estates is that it is
through them that the state enters into the subjectve consciousness of the
people, and that the people begins to partcipate in the state.
Viewed as a ¬·éiciiogorgan, the Estates stand between the gover­
ment at large on the one hand and the people in their division into
partcular spheres and individuals |Ioéiviéo·oJ on the other. Their
determinaton requires that they should embody in equal measure
both the s·os· and éis¡ssiiiso of the sici· and gsv·m¬·ot and the
ioi·r·sis of ¡cnia/crcircles and ioéiviéoc/ |£ioz·/o·oJ . At the same
tme, this positon means that they share the mediatng fncton of the
organized power of the executve, ensuring on the one hand that the
power of the sovereign does not appear as an isolated oir·¬·- and
hence simply as an arbitary power of dominaton - and on the other,
that the partcular interests of communites, cororatons, and
individuals |Ioéiviéo·oJ do not become isolated either. Or more
important stll, they ensure that individuals do not present themselves
as a crs¬éor cgr·gci·,unorganized in their opinions and voliton, and
do not become a massive power in oppositon to the organic state. !
It is one of the most important insights oflogic that a specific
moment which, when it stands in oppositon, has the positon
of an exteme, loses this qualit and becomes an srgcoic
moment by being simultaneously a ¬·co.
It is all the more
important to stess this aspect in the present context, because
it is a comon but highly dangerous prejudice to represent
|vs~si·//·oJthe Estates chiefly from the point of view of their
oppositon to the goverent, as if this were their essental
positon. It is only through their mediatng fncton that the
Estates display their organic qualit, i.e. their incorporaton in
the totalit. In consequence, their oppositon is itself reduced
to a [mere] semblance. If this oppositon does make its
appearance, and if it is not just superficial but actually takes
on a substantal character, the state is close to destucton. - It
is evident from the nature of the thing |Scc/·Jthat the confct

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is not of this kind if the matters in dispute are not the essental
elements of the politcal organism but more specialized and
tivial things |Diog·J,and if the passion with which even ts
content is associated consists of factonal rivalry over merely
subjective interests such as the higher ofces of state.
Adition (. The consttuton is essentally a system of mediaton. In
despotc states, where tere are only rulers [Fiirten] and people, the
people fncton - if they fncton at all - merely as a destuctve mass
opposed to all organizaton. But when it becomes part of te organism,
te mass atains its interest in a legitmate and orderly manner. If,
however, such means are not available, the masses wl always express
temselves in a barbarous manner. This is why, in despotc states, the
despot always teat the people wit indulgence and vents his wrath only
on his immediate circle. m te same way, te people in such states pay
only modest tes, whereas in consttutonal sttes, the tes become
higher as a result of the people's own consciousness. In fact, in no county
are so many taes paid as in England.
It is integral to the defniton |8·sii¬¬oogJ of the ooiv·no/estate - or
more precisely, te estate which devotes itself to the s·nic· s1i/·
gsv¬¬wi- that the universal is the end of its essental actvit; and
in the £sioia,as an element of the legislatve power, the pnvoi··sioi·
attains a ps/|iico/sigoácooc·and fncton. I this capacit, the private
estate cannot appear either as a simple undiferentated mass or as a
crowd split up into atomic units. It appears rather as ¬/oiiio/r·oé,is,
namely as an ·sioi·consistng of two distnct parts, the one based on
the substantal relaton, and the other on partcular needs and the
work through which these are mediated (see §§ 2oIf). Only in this
respect is there a genuine link between the poriico/orwhich has actu­
alit in the state and the universal.
This runs counter to another prevalent idea ||sni·ho·igJ
according to which, i the private estate Lraised to the level of
partcipatng in the universal interest |Soc/·Jvia the legislatve
power, it must appear therein in the form of ioéiviéoo/,
whether representatves are elected to ff this fncton or
whether every individual is in fact to have a vote helf.I
This atomistc and abstact view ceases to apply even within
Philosophy of Right
the family, as well as in civil societ, where the individual
makes his appearance only as a member of a universal. But the
state is essentally an organizaton whose members consttute
ord·s io i/·irs¬o ·ig/i |ürsic/J, and no moment wm it
should appear as an unorganized crowd. Io·¬oo;as single
individuals -and this is a favourite interpretaton of | the term]
'the people' - do indeed live isg·i/·r,but only as a os¬ó,i.e. a
formless mass whose movement and actvit can consequendy
only be elemental, irratonal, barbarous, and terg. If we
hear any frther talk of 'the people' as an unorganized whole,
we know in advance that we can expect ony generalites and
one-sided declamatons. - The idea ||sni·hoogJ that those
communites which are already present in the circles referred
to above can be split up again into a collecton of individuals as
soon as they enter the sphere of politcs -i.e. the sphere of the
/ig/ai csocr·i· ooiv·no/|n - involves separatng civil and
politcal life fom each other and leaves politcal life hanging,
so to speak, in the air; for its basis is then merely the abstact
individualit of arbitary wl and opinion, and is thus
grounded only on contngency rather than on a foundaton
which is sio//· and /·çii¬oi· |/·r·c/iigtJ in and for itelf. -
Although the ·sioi·sof ovi/societ in general and the £sioi·sin
the ps/|iico/ sense are represented, in so-called [olitcal]
theories, as remote fom each other, linguistc usage stll
preserves the unit which they certainly possessed in earlier
The Estates in their politcal capacit stll retain wm their own
determinaton those distnctons between different estates which were
already present in the preceding spheres. Their initally abstact posi­
ton - namely as the oin¬·of ·¬pi·ico/ooiv··so/ii;as opposed to the
priocip/· s1 i/· ssv·r·æo or ¬soorc/ in general - contains only the
psssi/i/|ns1ogr··¬·oi, and hence also the psssi/i/inw/ssii/·opposi­
ton. This abstact positon becomes a ratonal relaton (i.e. a [logical]
csodosiso- cf. Remarks to §
02) only when its ¬·óioiisocomes into
exstence |£xisi·ozJ.Just as, in the case of the power of the sovereign,
this fncton |8·sii¬¬·ugJ is already flflled by the executve power
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(see §
00), so i the case of the estates must one of their moments be
given the fncton of exstng essentally as a moment of mediaton.
One of the estates of civil societ contains the principle which is in
itself capable of being adapted to tis politcal relaton |Bei·/oogJ,
namely the estate of natural ethical life; its basis is the life of the
family and, as far as its livelihood is concered, landed propert.
Thus, in its partcular aspect, this estate shares that independent
voliton and natural determinaton which is also contained in the
moment |£k¬wiJ of sovereignt.
This estate L better equipped for its politcal role and significance
inasmuch as its resources are equally independent of the resources of
the state and of the uncertaint of tade, the quest for profit, and all
variatons in propert. It is likewise independent of the favour of the
executve power and of the masses, and is even protected ogoiosiiis
s=oo·/ii·o·i···ssby the fact that those members of this estate who are
called to tis vocaton |B·sii¬¬·ugJ do not have the same