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Hegel's LawsThe Legitimacy of a Modern Legal Order$
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William E. Conklin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804750301

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804750301.001.0001

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Constitutional Shapes and the Organic Constitution

Constitutional Shapes and the Organic Constitution

(p.233) Chapter Nine Constitutional Shapes and the Organic Constitution
Hegel's Laws
Stanford University Press

Political commentators have generally read Hegel's works as elaborating two senses of a constitution. One considers the constitution as external to the individual's consciousness; the other locates the institutional objectivity of consciousness as implied in the social ethos. However, this dichotomy oversimplifies Hegel's understanding of constitutional law. For when Hegel addresses the nature of a constitution in Philosophy of Right, he identifies three very different forms of an external constitution (the original intent of the founding fathers, a constitution as a priori rights, and a constitution as a contract) as well as two different forms of an immanent constitution (historicist and organic). This chapter examines each of these forms of a constitution.

Keywords:   Hegel, Philosophy of Right, consciousness, constitutional law, historicist constitution, organic constitution

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