Natural Law: The Scientific Ways of Treating Natural Law, Its Place in Moral Philosophy, and Its Relation to the Positive Sciences of Law
One of the central problems in the history of philosophy has been to explain how human society came into being. To solve this problem philosophers developed the idea of natural law, which for centuries was used to describe the rational principles presumed to govern human behavior in society. According to this view, human society arose through the association of individuals who might have chosen to live alone in scattered isolation and who, in coming together, were regarded as entering into a social contract.In this important early essay, first published in English in T.M. Knox's definitive translation in 1975 and now returned to print, Hegel rejects the notion that society is formed by voluntary association. Indeed, he goes further, asserting that laws brought about in response to force, accident, and deliberation are far more fundamental than any law of nature supposed to be valid always and everywhere. In expounding his view Hegel not only dispenses with the empiricist explanations of Hobbes, Hume, and others but also, at the heart of this work, offers an extended critique of the so-called formalist positions of Kant and Fichte."
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