Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thom Brooks on "Hegel's Ambiguous Contribution to Legal Theory"

Thom Brooks, "Hegel's Ambiguous Contribution to Legal Theory," Res Publica 11(1) (2005): 85-94. (subscription-only)


Hegel's legacy is particularly controversial, not least in legal theory. He has been classified as a proponent of either natural law, legal positivism, the historical school, pre-Marxism, postmodern critical theory, and even transcendental legal theory. To what degree has Hegel actually influenced contemporary legal theorists? This review article looks at Michael Salter's collection Hegel and Law. I look at articles on civil disobedience, contract law, feminism, and punishment. I conclude noting similarities between Hegel's legal theory and that of Ronald Dworkin. I also criticize the volume's emphasis on Hegel's postmodern credentials, all of which I doubt.

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