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Political Philosophies: Plato and Hegel Conceptual Differences Essay

The political philosophy of Hegel

In order for us to be able to define the main differences/similarities between the Platonian and Hegelian conceptualizations of what accounts for the actual purpose of the state/polis, we will need to outline the main qualitative aspects of Hegelian dialectics. In its turn, this will allow to gain a better understanding of the discursive significance of Hegel’s view on the actual nature of the state/civil society.

The main theoretical premise, upon which the philosophy of Hegel is based, is the assumption that, contrary to what Immanuel Kant used to believe, the physical manifestation of a particular idea is just as objective as this idea itself, because they do derive out of each other. What it means is that there can be no ‘things in themselves’, in the Kantian sense of this word, by definition – according to Hegel, there is no any metaphysical gap between the idea’s actualization and its innermost ‘being’ – both are the integral parts of what Hegel used to refer to as the ‘unity of contradictions’.

As the philosopher pointed out: “Every self-consciousness knows itself as universal, as the possibility of abstracting from everything determinate and as particular, with a determinate object, content, and end. But these two moments are only abstractions; what is concrete and true (and everything true is concrete) is the universality which has the particular as its opposite, but this particular through its reflection into itself, has been reconciled with the universal” (Hegel 41). According to Hegel, the notion of reality connotes the notion of ‘fluidity’ – the reality around us never ceases to remain in the state of constant transition, which in turn reflects the never-ending interplay between causes and effects.

This implies that it is indeed possible for philosophers to grasp what account for the quintessence of the surrounding reality’s emanations, which in turn establishes a hypothetical possibility for one to be able to gain an in-depth insight into how the universe actually functions, and into what predetermines the concerned phenomena’s qualitative characteristics.

The above-mentioned helps to explain the foremost particulars of how Hegel used to reflect on the notion of statehood. These particulars can be formulated as follows:

The state is the intermediary phase of the process of the ‘universal spirit’ growing ever more self-aware

According to Hegel, there are three consequential phases to the dialectically predetermined transformation of the ‘universal spirit’ – the ‘subjective spirit’ (concerned with one’s will-powered state of consciousness), the ‘objective spirit’ (concerned with the existence of the state/society) and the ‘absolute spirit’ (which emanates itself through art, religion and philosophy). What it means is that, contrary to what many people believe, the state is not merely the sum of the affiliated citizens’ ‘wills’. Rather, it is something that is there to synthesize the individual ‘wills’ of citizens into a single one, which in turn presupposes that the state is being qualitatively different from happened to be the quality of its building blocks – citizens. This Hegel’s suggestion correlates perfectly well with his idea that, after having attained a ‘critical mass’, the matter of quantity inevitably becomes the matter of quality.

The societal implication of the above-stated is quite apparent – the purpose of the state is not to serve citizens, in the sense of helping them to satisfy their animalistic urges, but to help them on the way of acquiring a qualitatively new consciousness. As Goodfield noted: “Hegel’s primary quest (aims) to fully articulate the transformation of being out of itself—a project initiated out of ‘being’ as the preliminary phase of both the major and minor works on logic” (851). In its turn, this implies that it is only by the mean of serving their state, that citizens will be in the position to be able to realize their full existential potential.

There is a difference between the notion of the state, on the one hand, and the notion of a civil society, on the other

According to Hegel, the realities of a bourgeois living presuppose that the provisions of the ‘social contract’, signed between citizens, define the dynamics within a particular society. Because the earlier mentioned ‘contract’ is there to ensure that there is a healthy balance between the citizens’ strive to pursue with the agenda of self-actualization, on one hand, and their social responsibilities (defined by the ‘contract’ in question), on the other, Hegel concludes that what it is being commonly perceived as the ‘state’ is in fact a civil society. According to the philosopher: “Civil society is an association of members as self-sufficient individuals in what is therefore a formal universality, occasioned by their needs and by the legal constitution as a means of security for persons and property, and by an external order for their particular and common interests” (Hegel 198).

In other words, the primary function of a civil society is to reduce the severity of the antagonisms between the society-members that happened to belong to different social classes, which in turn is expected to make it possible for them to pay attention to the prospect of attaining self-actualization by the mean of becoming increasingly disfranchised from their ‘monkeysh’ nature. The function of the state is altogether different. As Hegel pointed out: “The state is the actuality of the ethical Idea – the ethical spirit as substantial will, manifest and clear to itself, which thinks and knows itself and implements what it knows in so far as it knows it” (275). In other words, Hegel considered the state to be the instrument of improving the actual quality of citizens, which in turn he believed was the main precondition for them to be able to fulfill their destinies.

In order for an individual to become integrated into the state, as its integral part, he or she must proceed with leading a ‘historical’ lifestyle

According to the philosopher: “History is the process whereby the spirit assumes the shape of events and of immediate natural actuality” (Hegel 374). Because history is nothing else but the process of the ‘universal spirit’ exploring different aspects of its ‘being’, the measure of people’s affiliation with the currently predominant socio-economic discourse reflects the subtleties of their worth, as citizens. The social realities of living in the early 18th century’s Germany, prompted Hegel to identify three social classes, the representatives of which had what it takes to be able to influence the course of history: landowners/peasants, industrialists and governmental officials.

The logic behind this suggestion is that the very existence of the earlier mentioned social classes presupposes the situation when, as time goes on, the class-stratification within the concerned society becomes increasingly more acute. However, even though the situation’s side effect is that there is a continual inequality between people within the society, it nevertheless enables the continuation of a historical progress. The reason for this is that, being essentially a one-directional process, the history-triggering progress can only be initiated if there is a strongly defined misbalance between the energetic potentials within the society. What it means is that the elimination of inequality between citizens will prove counter-beneficial in the long run.

Those who actively oppose the state, regardless of what happened to be their excuse for doing it, violate the most fundamental laws of history

Hegel believed that the properly functioning state is nothing but the actual manifestation of the ‘universal spirit’ being at liberty to consciously seek self-actualization. What it means is that the notion of ‘statehood’ is synonymous with the notion of ‘freedom’. This assumption prompted the philosopher to suggest that it is utterly inappropriate for an individual to strive to undermine the integrity of the state’s ‘wholesomeness’ from within (such as by the mean of adopting a critical stance towards the government). After all, what people may perceive as the proof there is something wrong about how their country functions, may well be the indication that it is simply standing on the threshold of making a revolutionary leap from ‘quantity’ to ‘quality’, which in turn implies the sheer adequateness of the situation in question.

Constitutional monarchy is the best form of a political governing

According to Hegel, the state is actually the entity of its own. In this respect, it can be well compared to one’s body – in order for a person to be able to move its hand, he or she does not need to be aware of the process’s actual mechanics. All that is needed, in this respect, is that the concerned person has a will to do this – it is this will, which ensures the hand’s actual movement. In the similar manner, the state is something that is quite capable of functioning on its own, for as long there is a will to animate the proper workings of its elemental components.

The philosopher believed that it is namely a constitutional monarch/king, who serves the function of bringing the state into life, by the mean of turning its own will into the tool of setting the state’s mechanics into motion. As he noted: “The objective guarantee of the power of the sovereign… lies in the fact that, just as this sphere has its own actuality distinct from that of other rationally determined moments, so also do these other moments have their own distinct rights and duties in accordance with their determination” (Hegel 327).

This, of course, implies that, even though monarchs do in fact ‘animate’ the state, they are not in the position to define the process’s qualitative aspects. This simply could not be otherwise, because as it was pointed out earlier, the Hegelian state is nothing but one of the ‘universal spirit’s’ emanations, which in turn presupposes the intelligibleness of just about any geopolitical entity, as a ‘thing in itself’.

The form of a political governing, associated with a particular country, cannot be discussed outside of what accounts for the concerned people’s dialectically predetermined cognitive and perceptual leanings

According to Hegel, there are four consequential phases to the process of the ‘universal spirit’ continually extrapolating itself through the ages – Oriental (theocratic), Greek (democratic), Roman (aristocratic) and German (meritocratic). The spirit’s theocratic extrapolation presupposes the possibility of freedom for only a single individual (acting as the God’s ‘representative’). The democratic and aristocratic forms of a political governing provide freedom to only a few; whereas, meritocracy enables all the citizens to enjoy a true ‘freedom of consciousness’ – regardless of what happened to be the specifics of their affiliation with a particular social class.

The main discursive implication of this idea is quite apparent – there can be no ‘good ‘ and ‘bad’ forms of a political governing, but only those that do correlate with what happened to be the predominant societal discourse of the time and those that do not. Another implication of the above-mentioned idea is that the manner, in which a particular country functions, is being reflective of the workings of the concerned citizens’ mentality: “Hegel stated that every people possesses its own traditions and fantasies about gods, angels, demons, and heroes; they are transmitted from generation to generation, constituting the socio-political and cultural heritage” (Avineri 473). This, of course, implies the fallaciousness of the assumption that a particular country can be made much more functionally effective by the mean of adopting a ‘progressive’ statehood-paradigm – unless this paradigm is being fully consistent with the particulars of how the would-be-affected citizens tend to perceive the surrounding reality and their place in it.

The conceptual differences between Plato and Hegel

Based upon the initial paper (about Plato’s The Republic) and the earlier mentioned Hegelian insights into the nature of a statehood, we can define what account for the major differences between how both philosophers used to expound on the purpose of the state’s existence, in general, and on what can be deemed the most conceptually sound model of a political governing, in particular.

The first thing that comes to one’s attention, in this respect, is that Plato’s idea that it is specifically the so-called ‘philosopher-kings’, who alone should be assigned with the responsibility of ruling a country, is inconsistent with Hegel’s vision of the state, as the spatially extended extrapolation of the ‘universal spirit’. After all, whereas, Plato’s concept presupposes that it is quite possible for a wise philosopher-king to be in the position to change the vector of a polity’s development, the one by Hegel denies this possibility altogether.

This simply could not be otherwise, because, whereas, in Plato’s The Republic, a Greek polis is represented in terms of an abstraction, quite unaffected by the flow of time, the Hegelian view of the state presupposes the never-ending qualitative transformation of the latter. Therefore, it is thoroughly explainable why Socrates (in the Republic) promotes the idea that kings are able to rule effectively by the very virtue of being philosophically minded – he believed that the external circumstances have very little influence on the philosopher-kings’ tendency to act in one way or another. In its turn, this can be well interpreted as the indication of Socrates’ idealistic belief that one is capable of adopting a particular stance towards addressing life-challenges, by the mean of applying a mental effort: “When a man’s desires are firmly set in one direction, we know that his desire for everything else is correspondingly weakened – as when a stream has been diverted into another course” (Plato 485 d-e). In this respect, Hegel could not possibly agree with Plato.

The reason for this is that, according to the philosopher, the state is itself a highly systemic organism, the overall quality of which defines the quality of its components. This, course, implies that the idea of philosopher-kings exercising a supreme authority over their subjects, in the Platonian sense of this word, is a rather utopian one. After all, as the Hegelian principle of dialectics points out to, a part of something bigger cannot be possibly elevated to a higher existential level, as compared to that of the latter. Therefore, Hegel’s model of the perfect state stands in contradiction with the one by Plato, because it is based on the theoretically different premise of what the state/polity really is. Whereas, for Plato, the concerned notion signified something utterly static, Hegel used to perceive it as such that presupposes the everlasting motion of things in the universe, as the very precondition for the emergence of the state, in the first place.

Another fundamental difference between Plato’s conceptualization of the ideal state and that of Hegel, has to do with the particulars of how both philosophers tended to make gnoseological inquiries into the surrounding reality’s nature. The Platonian model of the ideal state promotes the essentially metaphysical idea that there is an irreconcilable duality between an object, as a ‘thing in itself’, on one hand, and the object’s physical embodiment, on the other.

The validity of this suggestion can be illustrated by the so-called ‘allegory of the cave’, mentioned in the initial paper. This allegory suggests that Plato never ceased believing in the existence of some ‘higher reality’, to which the surrounding physical reality relates in terms of a shape but not in terms of a quality or ‘being’. Therefore, he used to promote the idea that, in order for the state to realize its ‘true calling’, its functioning must be concerned with serving some higher metaphysical purpose. Hegel, on the other hand, viewed the state as the actual purpose of everything – he believed that the state is nothing less than the spatially sensed extrapolation of the ‘universal spirit’ at work.

As Kelly noted: “He (Hegel) was… a state-worshiper… because he saw it as the organizing principle which, through the institutional civilizing of the ‘situated’ human being and the protection of his higher values from disruptive disorder, made the creation of culture and philosophy possible in the modern age” (4). In its turn, this implied that the idea of the state could not be separated from its physically felt emanations. Instead of referring to the state as the mean of advancing humanity, he considered it as the actual end of the humanity’s endeavor to attain self-awareness.

The above-stated helps to explain another major difference between the Platonian and Hegelian conceptualizations of the state – the fact that, whereas, Plato favored the idea of a communal living, Hegel considered it thoroughly incompatible with the ‘spirit’ of a statehood. One of the reasons for this is that Plato’s model of the ideal state is essentially concerned with the ancient Greek city-polis, one of the main characteristics of which was the concerned citizens’ endowment with the acute sense of a corporate/national solidarity. After all, while living in such a polis, people are being naturally driven to believe that it is specifically their ability to act as one (especially during the time of war), which makes it possible for the city-state in question to effectively face different internal and external challenges.

In its turn, this significantly reduces the acuteness of their deep-seated desire to own land/property, as one of the main preconditions of one’s egocentric behavior, quite inconsistent with the paradigm of an urban living. Simultaneously, while alienated from the notion of a private ownership, people naturally grow susceptible towards the political ideologies of authoritarianism, which in turn prevent them from being able to enjoy freedom, in the Hegelian sense of this word. In this respect, we can only agree with Smith, who pointed out that: “The difference between the ancient polis and the modern state is that far from recognizing the individual autonomy of each of its members, the polis was the paradigm of a tutelary community based on a shared moral understanding and directed toward a specific way of life” (8).

Hegel, on the other hand, believed that it is namely by the mean of owning land/property that citizens are able to attain what he used to refer to as the ‘state of substantiality’ (being able to impose its will upon others). The rationale behind such his belief is as follows: In order for just about anyone to be able to contribute to the state’s well-being, he or she must exercise the rights of a ‘sovereign being’.

Because at this point of history, the qualitative dynamics within just about any country are defined by the essentially economic factors, there is only one way for citizens to exercise their ‘sovereign freedom’ (which in turn qualifies them for self-actualization as the state’s integral elements) – to be in the possession of private property. As the philosopher noted: “The person must give himself an external sphere of freedom in order to have being as Idea… The rational aspect of property is to be found not in the satisfaction of needs but in the superseding of mere subjectivity of personality. Not until he has property does the person exist as reason” (Hegel 73).

Apparently, in contrast to how Plato used to perceive it, Hegel did not think of the idea of freedom (out of which the idea of the state derives) as a mere abstraction. This explains Hegel’s insistence that the existence of the institute of a private ownership is crucially important, when it comes to ensuring that the state does live up to its ‘purpose of being’. By being in the position to exercise the rights of an ownership, citizens are able to subjectify themselves within the surrounding social environment, which in turn makes them the agents of progress.

The apparent dichotomy, between the Platonian and Hegelian views on the nature of statehood can also be seen, within the context of how both philosophers used to elaborate on the essence of ‘civility’, as the state’s metaphysical foundation. For example, even though he remained thoroughly aware that there is a line between the personal agenda of every individual citizen, on one hand, and his or her interest in ensuring the polis’ overall well-being, on the other, Plato never considered the possibility for this situation to cause a number of different negative effects on the actual quality of the polis. This explains why, even though the Platonian model of the perfect state (Callipolis) does presuppose the society’s division along social lines, it does not acknowledge the effect of every citizen’s social/corporate affiliation on his or her ability to understand what the concept of citizenship actually stands for.

The same cannot be said about the Hegelian conceptualization of the state. After all, it does presuppose that the very dialectical laws of history naturally cause the representatives of different social classes to grow increasingly aware that their sense of self-identity is something inseparable from what happened to be these people’s corporate agendas. Thus, the actual significance of the notion of a ‘civil society’ within the methodological framework of the Hegelian model of statehood – it is there to enable citizens to go about realizing their private interests, without undermining the inner integrity of the state. In its turn, this explains Hegel’s adherence to the idea that the proper functioning of the state is only possible under the condition that the principle of ‘checks and balances’ lays at the foundation of this state’s functional philosophy.

This brings us to discuss another conceptual inconsistency, between the Platonian and Hegelian outlooks on the nature of a statehood – the fact that; whereas, Plato believed in the inborn essence of every individual citizen’s tendency to act in one way or another, Hegel could not disagree more. According to him, even though people do in fact exhibit a number of spatially stable behavioral patterns, this state of affairs is being environmentally (externally) rather than dialectically (innately) predetermined. What it means is that, contrary to Plato’s idea, in this respect, there can be no citizens who by the virtue of their affiliation with a particular social strata can be deemed more or less capable of ruling a country.

The reason for this is that, regardless of what happened to be the psychological leanings of a particular person, he or she never ceases to be the ‘embodiment of duality’, in the Hegelian sense of this word: “Individuals as a mass are themselves spiritual natures, and they therefore embody a dual moment, namely the extreme of individuality, which knows and wills for itself, and the extreme of universality which knows and wills the substantial” (Hegel 287). What it means is that there can be no rationale in suggesting that the intellectually advanced representative of the aristocracy should necessarily prove itself more effective, as a public official, when compared to a simple-minded peasant, for example. After all, according to Hegel, the social classes of peasantry and aristocracy are being equally capable of serving as mediums, through which the idea of the state is able to become conscious of its own divine essence.

In Hegel’s opinion, this once again exposes the conceptual fallaciousness of the ‘ideal’ city of Callipolis, as such that that is being primarily concerned with suppressing the rights and freedoms of its residents. This simply could not be otherwise, because as it was mentioned earlier, according to Hegel, it is not only that the concepts of the state and freedom are closely related, but they in fact derive out of each other. This, of course, implies that the Platonian version of the ‘ideal state’ is inheritably flowed – the direct consequence of the fact that it does not consider the possibility for a polity to serve as the ‘universal spirit’s’ conduit.

We can also well mention the fact that the models of the ‘ideal state’, on the part of Plato and Hegel, differ in terms of what account for their systemic subtleties. The Platonian ‘ideal’ city-polis appears to be discursively ‘petrified’ – the flow of time is not supposed to affect the main principle of its functioning, as such that it being concerned with singling out ‘worthy’ individuals and allowing them to exercise an undisputed political authority. This, of course, implies that the situation when in Plato’s city-polis, a good share of citizens continues to be considered ‘imperfect’, can hardly be considered tolerable. After all, this idea is based upon the perceptionally arrogant assumption that the city’s ongoing cultural and technological development has no effect on the citizens’ sense of ‘being’.

Hegel, however, provides a qualitatively different outlook on the subject matter in question. According to him, the very fact that his ‘ideal’ state is being governed by an impersonal law (which enables the existence of a civil society), encourages the affiliated citizens to have a personal interest in becoming ever more ethically minded. The reason for this is that, in order for just about anyone to be able to attain a social prominence in the modern state, he or she must be a thoroughly educated person. However, it is not only that educated individuals happened to possess knowledge of how the world actually turns, but they are also expected to apply such their knowledge, as the instrument of making it a much better place.

As Hegel suggested: “Education is the art of making human beings ethical: it considers them as natural beings and shows them how they can be reborn, and how their original nature can be transformed into a second, spiritual nature so that that this spirituality becomes habitual to them. In habit, the opposition between the natural and the subjective will disappears, and the resistance of the subject is broken” (195). In other words, a person’s ability to act morally and wisely (something that Plato’s ‘philosopher-kings’ are assumed to be capable of doing) is not an unchangeable trait, but rather a spatially prolonged process, which has its ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. It is understood, of course, that the earlier mentioned provision stands in a striking contradiction to Plato’s idea that there is an innate quality to how one acts.

Finally, Hegel would disagree with Plato on the account of the latter’s belief in the sheer universality of his idea of how the ‘ideal’ city-polis (state) is supposed to function. After all, Plato never doubted the fact that, at the time when he was working on his philosophic masterwork, the city of Athens constituted nothing short of the universe’s center – he viewed it as the beacon of civility in the sea of barbarianism, surrounding it. Therefore, it never occurred to the philosopher to consider the probability for his theory of the state to prove inconsistent with what happened to be the cognitive and perceptual predispositions of those people, who would be willing to put this theory in practice.

The same, however, cannot be said about the Hegelian view on the nature of statehood, as such that features a number of the culturally relativist undertones to it. For example, Hegel used to insist that the appropriateness of the adoption of a particular model of governing, must be measured in relation to what are the specifics of the concerned people’s ethno-cultural affiliation: “Since spirit is actual only as that which it knows itself to be, and since the state, as the spirit of a nation, is both the law which permeates all relations within it and also the customs and consciousness of the individuals who belong to it, the constitution of a specific nation will in general depend on the nature and development of its self-consciousness” (Hegel 312). This, of course, implies that there can no universally applicable models of the ‘ideal’ state – whatever the model may prove beneficial to the well-being of one nation, could well end up proving itself harmful to the well-being of another one.


Because, as compared to what it is being the case with the Platonian philosophy of politics, the Hegelian one is much more discursively ‘mature’, many of its theoretical insights appear to be thoroughly consistent with what today’s physicists know about the functional specifics of just about any systemic phenomenon (such as society). For example, due to the recent breakthroughs in the field of physics, sociology and cybernetics, it now became quite clear to scientists that just about any society can be well discussed in terms of a thermodynamic system. As such, the society’s proper functioning can only be ensured if the concerned community’s integral components (citizens) remain well in their sub-functional places.

This is because the thermodynamic outlook on the society’s functioning implies that the overall quality of its geopolitical/historical performance is not being solely defined by the de facto quality of citizens, but also by the particulars of their interrelation with each other. This suggestion correlates with the Hegelian view of the state, as such that has been brought to life by the circumstantially adequate functionality of the affiliated ‘civil society’. Thus, there can be indeed only a few doubts, as to the fact that Hegel did contribute to the development of a political thought in the West rather considerably.

Nevertheless, I personally think that, discursively speaking, the Platonian model of the ‘ideal’ state is much more practically valuable, as compared to that of Hegel. Probably the main reason behind this suggestion is that Hegel’s model suffers from the lack of intelligibility. Even though that, as a whole, the political philosophy of Hegel does make much of a logical sense, it nevertheless cannot be considered 100% discursively legitimate.

This simply could not be otherwise, because many of this philosophy’s provisions reflect the subjective workings of Hegel’s mind. Therefore, many insights into the nature of a statehood, contained in Hegel’s Elements of the Philosophy of Right, cannot be referred to as anything but strongly speculative. In comparison, Plato’s concept of the ‘ideal’ city-polis is not only easy to understand, but it is also intuitively sound – many of its provisions correlate perfectly well with the working of people’s unconscious psyche.

There is even more to it – Hegel’s view of the state is overly idealistic. This explains why, even though he was able to predict the continual rise of the social antagonisms within just about any bourgeois society, the philosopher somehow believed this would have a potentially beneficial effect on the society in question, because the irreconcilable dichotomy between these antagonisms is exactly where the ‘absolute spirit’ originates from. Given the fact that, according to Hegel, the state is this spirit’s physically embodied emanation, it means that the more there are phenomenological aspects to how a particular country functions, the better. Nevertheless, one does not have to be a philosopher to understand a simple thing that there can be only one ultimate consequence of a particular society continuing to be affected by the growing tensions within – this society’s eventual collapse.

In this respect, the political philosophy of Plato makes a much more favorable impression. Partially, this has to do with the fact that it does not operate with terms that can be vaguely interpreted, such as ‘spirit’, ‘ethics’ or ‘morality’. According to Plato – there are those people who have what it takes to be perceived as ‘natural-born rulers’ and those who do not (Mara 605). Nevertheless, even though this suggestion may appear utterly simplistic, it cannot be brushed aside as highly speculative. After all, it has been well observed that one of the major factors that contribute to the sensation of unhappiness, experienced by citizens in a particular country, is the concerned people’s intense dislike of the country’s rulers; as such do not quite deserve to be elevated to the position of rulership, in the first place.

Finally, the spirit of German nationalism affects the political philosophy of Hegel rather considerably, which hardly adds to its conceptual legitimacy (Franco 843). Plato’s idea of the ‘ideal’ state, on the other hand, is essentially cosmopolitical, which in theory makes it universally applicable. Partially, this explains the fact that, even today; this idea continues to radiate a certain appeal – something that can be hardly suggested about the highly subjectivist philosophy of Hegel.

I believe that the earlier deployed line of argumentation, in regards to what account for the main provisions of the Hegelian conceptualization of the state (and what differs them from the thematically relevant provisions of Plato), is fully consistent with the paper’s initial thesis.

Works Cited

Avineri, Shlomo. “Hegel and Nationalism.” The Review of Politics 24.4 (1962): 461-484. Print.

Franco, Paul. “Hegel and Liberalism.” The Review of Politics 59.4 (1997): 831-860. Print.

Goodfield, Eric. “The Sovereignty of the Metaphysical in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.” The Review of Metaphysics 62.4 (2009): 849-873. Print.

Hegel, Georg. Elements of the Philosophy of Right. Trans. H.B. Nisbet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Print.

Kelly, George. “Politics & Philosophy in Hegel.” Polity 9.1 (1976): 3-18, Print.

Mara, Gerald. “Politics and Action in Plato’s Republic.” The Western Political Quarterly 36.4 (1983): 596-618. Print.

Plato. The Republic of Plato. Trans. Allan Bloom. New York: Basic Books, 1991. Print.

Smith, Steven. “What Is ‘Right’ in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right?” The American Political Science Review 83.1 (1989): 3-18. Print.

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