Showing posts from February, 2022

What are Rights? A Hegelian Perspective

  The question "What are rights?" is a difficult one, and I do not claim to have the absolute answer.  Nor do I claim that Hegel had the one true path.  Still, it might be interesting to try to understand things from a Hegelian perspective, as a jumping-off point for further thinking. So, how would a Hegelian think about rights?  We can put it this way: rights are the negative foundation of law. Hegel's most important insight was that the present and the past are built upon the future.  A pre-Hegelian might assume that present institutions are built on the foundations of the past.  Hegel's great innovation was to reverse this assumption.  For Hegel, history is in the process of constructing its own foundations, and indeed history is nothing other than the construction of its own foundations.  That which is most fundamental to the system will come in the future.   (Marx understood this, too.  For Marx, it is the present which explains the past, rather than vice versa .