Introduction – 10

January 13, 2010

10. This content, or the will’s determination on something specific, is in the first place immediate. Consequently the will is then free only in itself or for an external observer, or, to speak generally, it is the will in its concept. It is not until it has itself as its object that the will is for itself what it is in itself.

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Introduction – 9

January 13, 2010

9. (b) In so far as the specific determinations of the will are its own or, in general, its particularization reflected into itself, they are its content. This content, as content of the will, is, in accordance with the form of will described in (a), its purpose, either its inward or subjective purpose when the will merely images its object, or else its purpose actualized and achieved by means of its activity of translating its subjective purpose into objectivity.

Introduction – 8

January 13, 2010

8. The more detailed process of particularization (see Paragraph 6) constitutes the difference between the forms of the will: (a) If the will’s determinate character lies in the abstract opposition of its subjectivity to the objectivity of external immediate existence, then this is the formal will of mere self-consciousness which finds an external world confronting it. As individuality returning in its determinacy into itself, it is the process of translating the subjective purpose into objectivity through the use of its own activity and some external means. Once mind has developed its potentialities to actuality (wie er an und fur sich ist), its determinate character is true and simply its own.  At that stage, the relation of consciousness constitutes only the appearance of the will, an aspect which is not separately considered any further here.

Introduction – 7

January 13, 2010

7. (c) The will is the unity of both these moments. It is particularity reflected into itself and so brought back to universality, i.e. it is individuality. It is the self-determination of the ego, which means that at one and the same time the ego posits itself as its own negative, i.e. as restricted and determinate, and yet remains by itself, i.e. in its self-identity and universality. It determines itself and yet at the same time binds itself together with itself. The ego determines itself in so far as it is the relating of negativity to itself. As this self-relation, it is indifferent to this determinacy; it knows it as something which is its own, something which is only ideal, a mere possibility by which it is not constrained and in which it is confined only because it has put itself in it.—This is the freedom of the will and it constitutes the concept or substantiality of the will, its weight, so to speak, just as weight constitutes the substantiality of a body.

Introduction – 6

January 13, 2010

6. (b) At the same time, the ego is also the transition from undifferentiated indeterminacy to the differentiation, determination, and positing of a determinacy as a content and object. Now further, this content may either be given by nature or engendered by the concept of mind. Through this positing of itself as something determinate, the ego steps in principle into determinate existence. This is the absolute moment, the finitude or particularization of the ego.

Introduction – 5

January 13, 2010

5. The will contains (a) the element of pure indeterminacy or that pure reflection of the ego into itself which involves the dissipation of every restriction and every content either immediately presented by nature, by needs, desires, and impulses, or given and determined by any means whatever. This is the unrestricted infinity of absolute abstraction or universality, the pure thought of oneself.

Introduction – 4

January 13, 2010

4. The basis of right is, in general, mind; its precise place and point of origin is the will. The will is free, so that freedom is both the substance of right and its goal, while the system of right is the realm of freedom made actual, the world of mind brought forth out of itself like a second nature.

Introduction – 3

January 13, 2010

3. Right is positive in general (a) when it has the form of being valid in a particular state, and this legal authority is the guiding principle for the knowledge of right in this positive form, i.e. for the science of positive law. (b) Right in this positive form acquires a positive element in its content

(a) through the particular national character of a people, its stage of historical development, and the whole complex of relations connected with the necessities of nature;
(β) because a system of positive law must necessarily involve the application of the universal concept to particular, externally given, characteristics of objects and cases. This application lies outside speculative thought and the development of the concept, and is the subsumption by the Understanding [of the particular under the universal];
(y) through the finally detailed provisions requisite for actually pronouncing judgement in court.

Introduction – 2

January 13, 2010

2. The science of right is a section of philosophy. Consequently, its task is to develop the Idea—the Idea being the rational factor in any object of study—out of the concept, or, what is the same thing, to look on at the proper immanent development of the thing itself. As a section, it has a definite starting-point, i.e. the result and the truth of what has preceded, and it is what has preceded which constitutes the so-called ‘proof’ of the starting-point. Hence the concept of right, so far as its coming to be is concerned, falls outside the science of right; it is to be taken up here as given and its deduction is presupposed.

The Introduction – 1

January 13, 2010

1. The subject-matter of the philosophical science of right is the Idea of right, i.e. the concept of right together with the actualization of that concept.