Philosophy, Law and Politics: an Introduction

         This Blog is devoted to a discussion of philosophy from ancient to modern times and how it might provide insight and guidance in today’s world. This first post appeared on Facebook and provided the inspiration for the creation of this Blog.

Lori Nuckolls

A Theory of the Development of American Law

          In light of current political controversy over reconciling public opinion and partisan ideology during this election season, perhaps we should give a look to ideas of many years ago. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a philosopher of the 19th century, offered a view of the manner in which society engages in self-governance over time. For Hegel, human history is an achievement of rationality and understanding. In an incremental process, society struggles to develop thought, reason and culture. Our pursuit of our own individual ethical order is expressed in our devotion to the universal principles arising to govern society at each stage in its development. In doing so, individuals must expend great effort to transform their personal, particular opinion by engaging in speculative inquiry as to what constitutes the laws and customs of government. Rights, ethics and justice are universally appreciated and incrementally progress and develop. The content of our own law is then, at various points in social history, our universal understanding. While truly presuming that this is not a scholarly presentation of Hegel’s thought, perhaps we as a community may begin to look within and share in productive discourse.

 

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