Volume 41, Issue 3, Fall 2011
Between the Judge and the Executioner
Revisiting the Silent Foundations of Hegel's "Moral Point of View"
Hegel’s account of international relations in the closing sections of the Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (1820) has been the source of considerable philosophical confusion and anxiety. This is primarily due to the fact that Hegel leaves international law at the stage of abstract right and thus, argues that an international moral order is impossible. In his essay ‘Hegel Contra Hegel in his Philosophy of Right’ (1994) and again in his systematic commentary on the Grundlinien Modern Freedom (2001) Adriaan Peperzack puts forward an innovative solution to this problem. He argues that Hegel failed to see that his own account of the transition from Abstract Right to Morality contains the solution (i.e., the appearance of the judge). In this paper I question this solution by closely examining the transition from Abstract Right to Morality. On the basis of this examination I argue that the attempt to apply this transition to Hegel’s account of international relations runs aground on the problem of punishment.