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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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Legal Reasoning

Legal Reasoning

(p.83) Chapter Three Legal Reasoning
Hegel's Laws
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses Hegel's theory of legal reasoning. In order to set up the theory, the first four sections address Hegel's metaphor of an inverted world, how meaning is transformed in the inverted world, the consequences of the identity of law in the inverted world, and the role of the philosopher in the inverted world. Against the background of this metaphor, the fifth section turns to Hegel's insights about the intellectual differentiation of rules in a seemingly uncontrollable objective world. Hegel calls this Verstand, which associates legal units with externally posited rules. From Hegel's critique of Verstand, sections six and seven consider Hegel's theory of legal reasoning that aspires to institutionalize Vernunft. Vernunft links concepts with particular context-specific social experiences of the subject who is immersed in an ethos of which she or he feels an intimate part. Vernunft incorporates such a broad spectrum of research materials that one needs to ask whether legal reasoning is really anthropology. The eighth section discusses why this is not so; section nine explains that the identity of legality rests with truth about the content of rules.

Keywords:   Hegel, inverted world, legal reasoning, anthropology, objective world, Verstand, Vernunft, legality, rules

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