Espíritu 70 (141):35-50 (2015)

The objective of this article is to compare and contrast the influential notion of natural and property rights created by John Locke in his "Second Treatise on Government" (1689) to the posterior notion of abstract right expressed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in his "Elements of the Philosophy of Right". Said analysis is particularly pertinent given the complexity of Hegel’s political philosophy, and, perhaps more importantly, seeing as Hegel’s abstract right was (allegedly and in part) intended to point out the shortcomings of Locke’s theory of natural and property rights, in order to further the human understanding of the world. More specifically, this article will examine the two rights theories in terms of their respective amounts of emphasis on individualism, or lack thereof. It will reveal three areas in which Lockean rights are more geared towards the primacy of the individual than Hegelian rights: (1) in their respective understandings of what it means to be a person, (2) in their conduciveness to individual wellbeing through the obligations each theory entails, and (3) in the extent of the rights themselves in relation to the state.
Keywords Individualism  Communitarianism  Natural Rights  Property Rights  Abstract Right  State
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Enough and as Good Left for Others.Jeremy Waldron - 1979 - Philosophical Quarterly 29 (117):319-328.

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