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Inventing the MarketSmith, Hegel, and Political Theory$
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Lisa Herzog

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674176.001.0001

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Hegel’s Construction of the Market: The ‘Relics of the State of Nature’

Hegel’s Construction of the Market: The ‘Relics of the State of Nature’

(p.41) 3 Hegel’s Construction of the Market: The ‘Relics of the State of Nature’
Inventing the Market

Lisa Herzog

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses G.W.F. Hegel’s view of the market, which can be found in his Philosophy of Right. After clarifying my interpretative approach to his political philosophy I describe how Hegel took up the economic theories of his time and integrated them into his account of ‘civil society’. ‘Civil society’ includes the free market as well as the institutions that stabilize it, such as the administration of law, the police, and the corporations. For Hegel, the market is both the sphere of ‘subjective freedom’ and at the same time a chaotic play of forces that threatens to undermine the cohesion and stability of society. Valuable and dangerous at the same time, the market therefore has to be embedded in the larger framework of Sittlichkeit, the most comprehensive institution of which is the political state.

Keywords:   Hegel, philosophy of right, market, civil society, police, corporations, Sittlichkeit, Geist

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