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Hegel contra Hegel in His Philosophy of Right: The Contradictions of International Politics ADRIAAN PEPERZAK 1. INTRODUCTION AMONG THE NUMEROUS STUDIES of the last fifty years on Hegel's practical philosophy few have been dedicated to his treatment of international law. Most studies concentrate on Hegel's deduction of the state as contained in w ~57-3~9 of the Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts and 99 537-44 of the Encyclopedia: some analyze his philosophy of world history (Grl. 99 341-6o, Er~. 9w548-59, and the courses on the philosophy of history); but the understanding of both the state and the history of the world has suffered from the relative neglect of "the external right of state" (das i~uflereStaatsrecht, Grl. 99 330-40; Eric. 9 547) by which they are connected.' ' Cf., however, Errol E. Harris, "Hegel's Theory of Sovereignty, International Relations, and War," in Donald P. Verene, ed., Hegel's Social and Political Thought (New Jersey, 198o), 137-5o; Michael H. Mitias, "The Basis of Obligation in International Law," in his Moral Foundation of the State in Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Anatomy of an Argument (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1984), 176-86; and the last pages of Vittorio HOsle's "Der Staat," in Christoph Jermann, ed., Anspruch und Leistung yon Hegels Rechtsphilosophie, Spekulation und Erfahrung II, 5 (Stuttgart: FrommannHolzboog , 1987), 183-226. Neither Materialien zu Hegels Rechtsphilosophie, ed. Manfred Riedel (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1975), nor Hegels Phi&sophie des Rechis. Die Theorien der Rechtsformen und ihreLogik, ed. Dieter Henrich and Rolf-Peter Horstmann (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1982), nor Hegel's Philosophy of Action, ed. Lawrence S. Stepelevich and D. Lamb (Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press, t983), pays attention to international law as such. There are several studies on war, such as Shlomo Avineri, "The Problem of War in Hegel's Thought," inJourna/of theHistory of Ideas 12 (196 l): 463-74; Donald Phillip Verene, "Hegel's Account of War," in Zbigniew Andrzej Pelczynski, ed., Hegel's Political Philosophy: Problems and Perspectives (Cambridge, 197 x), 168-80; and A. Peperzak, "Hegel over oorlog en vrede" in Tijdschrift voor Diplomatie 7 (1980-8 a): 679-87. [24x] 942 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 39:2 APRIL I99 4 If Hegel's dictum that the truth is (in) the whole only can be applied to the relative wholes which form the various parts of his system, the truth about the S/tt//chke/t should reveal itself as a totality, whose beginning and end enclose a circle, while its center is constituted by a concept whose "grasp" gathers the whole. Hegel's book on the Principles of the Philosophy of Right shows the appearance of such a totality by starting with the abstract concept of right (w 1) as the "being-there [Dasein] of free will" (w167 4-29) and ending with the description of a most ideal state, in which the synthesis of nature and spirit as well as that of politics, religion, and science is realized. The 36o sections of this book can be read as the systematic unfolding and realization of one single notion: the notion of freedom, or of spirit as free. If we, however, compare this appearance with the parallel unfolding of freedom in w167 483-552 of Hegel's Encyclopedia', the latter has a much less well rounded character. As "objective .spirit" (that is, as an objective, not yet absolute , realization of spirit) it realizes the spirit's freedom in prax/s only, as a "world" and "second nature" (Grl. w4) which, as such, does not enclose its free self-contemplation in art, religion, and absolute wisdom,s The beginning of the Encyclopedia chapter on "objective spirit" shows more clearly than the Grundlinien that it unfolds one side only of the (abstract concept of) free spirit. The unfolding of the other, more theoretical, side is postponed to the final chapter of the Encyclopedia, in which the absoluteness of spirit is identified as a contemplative synthesis of both subjective and objective spirit. The difference is still greater between the endings of both treatises. Whereas the Grundlinien celebrates, in its final section (w36o), the synthesis of heaven and earth that is reached in the most recent...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 241-263
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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