Hegel’s Political Philosophy: Interpreting the Practice of Legal Punishment

Princeton University Press (1992)

Authors
Mark Tunick
Florida Atlantic University
Abstract
Hegel claims that punishment is the criminal's right and makes the criminal free. In critically examining Hegel's justification of legal punishment, the author takes us to the core of Hegel's political philosophy, offering an account of what Hegel means by right and freedom. Drawing on recently published but still untranslated lecture notes of Hegel's philosophy of right, which illuminate Hegel's notoriously difficult texts, the author rejects the commonly taken position that Hegel uncritically accepts existing practices. Acknowledging that Hegel opposes radical criticism of the sort later offered by Marx, the author argues that instead Hegel offers another type of criticism-- immanent criticism. Hegel uses the ideal he believes immanent in the practice of legal punishment, retribution, to criticize the actual practice when it diverges from this ideal. The author shows how Hegel defends specific features of the practice that accord with the retributive ideal, and criticizes other features that contradict it. He discusses Hegel's views on what acts should be made crimes, justified disobedience, criminal accountability, jury trial, sentencing, capital punishment, and plea-bargaining. This is the first book-length treatment in English that shows Hegel applying his ideals to a single concrete social practice. The work is addressed not merely to Hegel specialists, but also to those interested in the criminal law, the interpretation of legal institutions and social practices, and justification from an immanent standpoint.
Keywords Hegel  Rechtsphilosophie  punishment
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ISBN(s) 0691074100
DOI 10.1515/9781400863075
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Should We Aim for a Unified and Coherent Theory of Punishment?Mark Tunick - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (3):611-628.
Hegel on Legal and Moral Responsibility.Mark Alznauer - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):365 – 389.
History and Reciprocity in Hegel's Theory of the State.Robert Bruce Ware - 1998 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 6 (3):421 – 445.

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