Hegel’s ‘Libéralisme Interventionniste’ and the Legacy of Steuart and Smith

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


In the present chapter, the influence of th0065 Scottish Enlightenment on Hegel is elucidated with regard to his views on what we would call the relation of state and society and what, following Hegel’s own terminology, might be described as the rôle of ‘the public authority’ (PhR, § 235) — as distinct from the state proper (§§ 257 ff) — vis-à-vis ‘civil society’. This issue is of great significance for the overall evaluation of Hegel’s political philosophy, as it leads right into the fierce battleground of universalist and individualist interpretations3 of Hegel’s system and -although this often implies that the disputed ‘liberalism’ of Hegel’s political philosophy is confused with the question of Hegel’s personal stand in politics4 — it is on this battleground that the views of most hostile readers and interpreters have been formed.5 In spite of this wide relevance, Hegel’s views on the conditions and scope, the precise fields and methods of governmental intervention have not yet received sufficient attention. The following attempt to clarify these issues will be trying to reconstruct Hegel’s position in greater detail and to throw light on it by frequent careful comparisons with Hegel’s foremost masters in matters of political economy: Sir James Steuart and Adam Smith.


Civil Society Free Trade Public Authority Market Failure Common Good 
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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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