Hegel’s Institutional Enlightenment: A Study of the Political Institutions in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
“Hegel’s Institutional Enlightenment: A Study of the Political Institutions of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” examines how Hegel responded to Prussian feudal elites who employed the ideas of “liberty” and “parliaments” to advance their interests. In contrast to other scholars who argue that Hegel sought to moderate the radical individualism of bourgeois liberalism, this work finds that he is instead better understood as responding to aristocratic liberalism. This approach frames Hegel’s political thought as a response to feudal reaction and the rise of Junker-led agrarian capitalism rather than problems of bourgeois and industrial society per se. I demonstrate how Hegel had the Prussian landed aristocracy in mind when he defended seemingly anti- democratic institutions like the monarchy, bureaucracy, and the Estates to insulate the power of the bureaucrats in government from Junker influence.
Nah, Darren King Zhuan, "Hegel’s Institutional Enlightenment: A Study of the Political Institutions in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right" (2022). Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertations. 638.