Hegel’s Philosophy of Right contains S.W. Dyde’s English translation of Elements of the Philosophy of Right. This work is Hegel’s complete and mature theory of the state. Hegel argues that individual free will only realizes itself, realizes complete freedom, through its interactions with the various aspects of the life of the state (property rights, contracts, moral commitments, family life, economy). He argues that individual states are subsumed within the grand scope of world history. Following his dialectic, Hegel argues that states rise, conflict with other states, and eventually fall, only for other states to arise. Hegel argues that this dialectical process would lead to increasing personal freedom.
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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) was born in Stuttgart, Germany. He received his early education at the Gymnasium Illustre in Stuttgart. He entered the seminary at the University of Tubingen in 1788, graduating with a degree in theology. After graduating, Hegel tutored the children of an aristocratic family in Berlin. He left Berlin to lecture on logic and metaphysics at the university in Jena, becoming an Extraordinary Professor in 1805. Displaced by Napoleon’s campaign through Prussia, Hegel took the position of editor at a newspaper in Bamberg. In 1808, Hegel left Bamberg to become headmaster of a gymnasium in Nuremberg. In 1811, he married Marie Helena Susanna von Tucher, with whom he had two sons. Hegel briefly accepted a post at the University of Heidelberg before accepting the chair of philosophy at the University of Berlin, where he remained until his death.