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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

Hegel expresses a great preference for a corporation


The removal of the opposition of the universal and particular will in the subject constitutes _morality_. In morality the freedom of the will is carried forward to a self-determination of the subjectivity, and the abstract right becomes duty and virtue. The moral standpoint is the standpoint of conscience, it is the right of the subjective will, the right of a free ethical decision. In the consideration of strict right, it is no inquiry what my principle or my view might be, but in morality the question is at once directed towards the purpose and moving spring of the will. Hegel calls this standpoint of moral reflection and dutiful action for a reason--morality, in distinction from a substantial, unconditioned and unreflecting ethics. This standpoint has three elements; (1) the element of resolution (_vorsatz_), where we consider the inner determination of the acting subject, that which allows an act to be ascribed only to me, and the blame of it to rest only on my will (imputation); (2) the element of purpose, where the completed act is regarded not according to its consequences, but according to its relative worth in reference to myself. The resolution was still internal; but now the act is completed, and I must suffer myself to judge according to the constituents of the act, because I must have known the circumstances under which I acted; (3) the element of the good, where the act is judged according to its universal worth. The good is peculiarly the reconciliation of the particular
subjective will with the universal will, or with the conception of the will; in other words, to will the rational is good. Opposed to this is evil, or the elevation of the subjective will against the universal, the attempt to set up the peculiar and individual choice as absolute; in other words, to will the irrational is evil.

(3.) In morality we had conscience and the abstract good (the good which ought to be) standing over against each other. The concrete identity of the two, the union of subjective and objective good, is _ethics_. In the ethical the good has become actualized in an existing world, and a nature of self-consciousness.

The ethical mind is seen at first immediately, or in a natural form, as marriage and the _family_. Three elements meet together in marriage, which should not be separated, and which are so often and so wrongly isolated. Marriage is (1) a sexual relation, and is founded upon a difference of sex; it is, therefore, something other than Platonic love or monkish asceticism; (2) it is a civil contract; (3) it is love. Yet Hegel lays no great stress upon this subjective element in concluding upon marriage, for a reciprocal affection will spring up in the married life. It is more ethical when a determination to marry is first, and a definite personal affection follows afterwards, for marriage is most prominently duty. Hegel would, therefore, place the greatest obstacles in the way of a dissolution of marriage. He has also developed and described in other respects the family state with a profound ethical feeling.

Since the family becomes separated into a multitude of families, it is a _civil society_, in which the members, though still independent individuals, are bound in unity by their wants, by the constitution of rights as a means of security for person and property, and by an outward administrative arrangement. Hegel distinguished the civil society from the state in opposition to most modern theorists upon the subject, who, regarding it as the great end of the state to give security of property and of personal freedom, reduced the state to a civil society. But on such a standpoint which would make the state wholly of wants and of rights, it is impossible, _e. g._ to conceive of war. On the ground of civil society each one stands for himself, is independent, and makes himself as end, while every thing else is a means for him. But the state, on the contrary, knows no independent individuals, each one of whom may regard and pursue only his own well-being; but in the state, the whole is the end, and the individual is the means.--For the administration of justice, Hegel, in opposition to those of our time who deny the right of legislation, would have written and intelligible laws, which should be within reach of every one; still farther, justice should be administered by a public trial by jury.--In respect of the organization of civil society, Hegel expresses a great preference for a corporation. Sanctity of marriage, he says, and honor in corporations, are the two elements around which the disorganization of civil society turns.

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