Natural Law Internalism
December 10, 2010
T. Brooks (ed.), Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 167-79
G.W.F. Hegel developed a new understanding of natural law that departs from both traditional and more contemporary accounts. Natural lawyers defend standards that are external to the law in order to survey the merits of law. Call these accounts theories of natural law externalism. Hegel offers a very different account where we survey the merits of law through a standard that is internal to law. This essay will explain Hegel’s natural law internalism and whether it marks an advance on existing natural law accounts. I will argue that Hegel offers us a novel understanding of natural law that is compelling, but ultimately unstable and problematic.
Keywords: Natural Law, Natural Reason, Jurisprudence, Cicero, Fuller, Finnis, Hart, Hegel, Brooks, Dworkin, Murphy, Externalism, Internalism, Law, Nature of Law, Legal System, Justice
JEL Classification: K00, B31, K10, K20, K30, K40, K49
Date posted: December 10, 2010 ; Last revised: April 11, 2013