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Hegel’s Account of the Market Economy

  • Norbert Waszek
Chapter
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Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 120)

Abstract

The aim of the present chapter is to consider some basic elements of Hegel’ views on economic matters in the light of the Scottish influence on him. Before beginning the account of a market economy which Hegel gives in his “System of Needs”, it is necessary to bring to mind that he had previously provided — in his section on ‘Abstract Right’ (§§34–104) — some of the very presuppositions which Smith’s and Steuart’s models of economic life required for their proper functioning, most notably, private property, the existence of money as a general means of exchange, and an elaborate system of private law, centring on the law of contract. These presuppositions, though not always explicitly re-stated, are supposed to be effictive throughout the “System of Needs”. Like-wise, these pre-conditions of the ‘system of needs’ are later comple-mented in his ‘Rechtspflege’ (‘The Administration of Law’ ; §§ 209–229, an account of the means by which abstract right is enforced. A detailed consideration of these features goes beyond the scope of the present work,2 but it will be shown briefly that the institutional, jurisprudential framework of Hegel’s economic model already betrays significant par-allels with the Scots’ views.

Keywords

Civil Society Free Hand Universal Class Business Class Ethical Life 
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References

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    Rosenzweig thus seems to over-emphasize the difference when he contrasts Hegel’s views of 1802, characterized by feudalism and estates [‘aristokratisch-ständisch’], with a later level of ‘monarchisch-bürokratisch’ (1920) Vol. I, p. 189.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norbert Waszek
    • 1
  1. 1.Hegel-Archiv der Ruhr UniversitätBochumGermany

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