Hegel's Political Philosophy: Interpreting the Practice of Legal Punishment

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To scholars of Western intellectual history Hegel is one of the most important of all political thinkers, but politicians and other "down-to-earth" persons see his speculative philosophy as far removed from their immediate concerns. Put off by his difficult terminology, many participants in practical politics may also believe that Hegel's idealism unduly legitimates the status quo. By examining his justification of legal punishment, this book introduces a Hegel quite different from these preconceptions: an acute ...

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Overview

To scholars of Western intellectual history Hegel is one of the most important of all political thinkers, but politicians and other "down-to-earth" persons see his speculative philosophy as far removed from their immediate concerns. Put off by his difficult terminology, many participants in practical politics may also believe that Hegel's idealism unduly legitimates the status quo. By examining his justification of legal punishment, this book introduces a Hegel quite different from these preconceptions: an acute critic of social practices. Mark Tunick draws on recently published but still untranslated lectures of Hegel's philosophy of right to take us to the core of Hegel's political thought. Hegel opposes radical criticism like that later offered by Marx, but, argues Tunick, he employs "immanent" criticism instead. For instance, Hegel claims that punishment is the criminal's right and makes the criminal free. From this standpoint, he defends specific features of the practice of punishment that accord with this retributive ideal and criticizes other features that contradict it. In a lucid account of what Hegel means by right and freedom, Tunick addresses Hegel specialists and those interested in criminal law, the interpretation of legal institutions and social practices, and justification from an immanent standpoint.

Originally published in 1992.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This ambitious, highly readable work explores important questions concerning how Hegel's political philosophy is to be taken as well as offering a valuable commentary on Hegel's treatment of specific legal issues."—Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691074108
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/1992
  • Series: Princeton Legacy Library
  • Pages: 212

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
1 Introduction to Hegel's Political Philosophy 3
1.1 Why Hegel? 3
1.2 The Texts of Hegel's Philosophy of Right: The Lecture Notes and the Philosophy of Right 5
1.3 Hegel's Political Philosophy: Metaphysical or Political? 12
2 Hegel's Theory of Legal Punishment: An Overview 24
2.1 What Crime Is 25
2.2 The Split Will 29
2.3 The Significance of Punishment 34
2.4 Hegel's Key Claim about Punishment 35
3 Hegel's Conception of Freedom 37
3.1 Paragraphs 5-7 of the Philosophy of Right: The Concept of Will in General 38
3.2 The Rest of the Introduction: The Appropriate Content of the Free Will 55
3.3 Subjective and Objective Justifications 61
4 Recht-an-sich and the Power That Punishes 76
4.1 The Power That Punishes 77
4.2 The Early Vision of Ethical Substance 81
4.3 Recht-an-sich in the Rechtsphilosophie 91
5 Hegel's Immanent Criticism of the Practice of Legal Punishment 108
5.1 Ideals in Practice 108
5.2 Lawmaking: What Should Be Made Criminal? 110
5.3 Clutching: Hegel on Political Crime 113
5.4 Determination of Guilt 120
5.5 Sentencing 131
5.6 Infliction of Punishment 133
5.7 Hegel as Practical Theorist 137
Appendix: Translation of Passage from Rph III on Political Crime 140
6 Theory and Practice 142
6.1 The Power of Theory: Kierkegaard vs. Marx 142
6.2 "The Actual Is the Rational" 152
6.3 Hegel and the Activity of Justifying Practices 167
6.4 Immanent vs. Radical Criticism 172
Bibliography 175
Index 185
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