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The Philosophy of Right Paperback – Nov 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co. (Nov. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585100412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585100415
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 15.2 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #460,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
The philosophical science of right has as its object the idea of right, the concept* of right and its actualization. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Format: Paperback
White's edition of Hegel's monumental work on politics is excellent: useful to first-time readers and specialists alike. It is the best English translation of this work to date: accurate down to small details of the German, and highly readable. The Introduction, Notes, and Glossary provide just the right amount of information and, more importantly, provoke philosophic reflection.
Several translation decisions are worthy of special attention. The most daring, and most helpful, is White's translation of the central term Fursichsein, normally translated "being for itself," as "being as itself." White, drawing on Hegel's Science of Logic, makes a convincing case for this decision. This departure from literalness gets at what Hegel means by the term and makes many crucial passages come out with more concreteness and clarity. Beisichsein gets the concrete (and accurate) rendering "being at home with oneself." "Conveyance" rather than "alienation" for Entausserung helps to stave off confusion. Another noteworthy rendering is "worldly being" for Hegel's Existenz, which allows "existence" to translate Dasein. The ubiquitous "aufheben" is rendered "suspend" (after the suggestion of W. A. Suchting). These are but a few of the intelligent departures from both tradition and literalness that bring the reader closer to Hegel's meaning.
White's edition is especially appropriate to first-time readers of Hegel. The Introduction brings out what is at stake in Hegel's project, now as much as then; and the Glossary provides a reader-friendly introduction to Hegel's often-confusing language. One rejoices in a translation that gives students and teachers access to a profound and difficult work that can provoke the most searching examination of modern political assumptions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
The Best Translation in English Feb. 1 2003
By Peter Kalkavage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
White's edition of Hegel's monumental work on politics is excellent: useful to first-time readers and specialists alike. It is the best English translation of this work to date: accurate down to small details of the German, and highly readable. The Introduction, Notes, and Glossary provide just the right amount of information and, more importantly, provoke philosophic reflection.
Several translation decisions are worthy of special attention. The most daring, and most helpful, is White's translation of the central term Fursichsein, normally translated "being for itself," as "being as itself." White, drawing on Hegel's Science of Logic, makes a convincing case for this decision. This departure from literalness gets at what Hegel means by the term and makes many crucial passages come out with more concreteness and clarity. Beisichsein gets the concrete (and accurate) rendering "being at home with oneself." "Conveyance" rather than "alienation" for Entausserung helps to stave off confusion. Another noteworthy rendering is "worldly being" for Hegel's Existenz, which allows "existence" to translate Dasein. The ubiquitous "aufheben" is rendered "suspend" (after the suggestion of W. A. Suchting). These are but a few of the intelligent departures from both tradition and literalness that bring the reader closer to Hegel's meaning.
White's edition is especially appropriate to first-time readers of Hegel. The Introduction brings out what is at stake in Hegel's project, now as much as then; and the Glossary provides a reader-friendly introduction to Hegel's often-confusing language. One rejoices in a translation that gives students and teachers access to a profound and difficult work that can provoke the most searching examination of modern political assumptions.
Interesting Experiment, but Not For the Lay-Reader Jan. 10 2014
By The Penman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After reading the Knox, Nisbet, and White translations respectively of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, I must say that White's version not the best for the first-time reader. I would recommend that the reader purchase Nisbet's translation, where the standard Hegelian terminology is maintained while the English prose is smooth.

The general aim of White's is a respectable one, and it ought to continue to be the norm in philosophy translation: to render the ideas intelligible, as opposed to being obsessed with the one-to-one correspondence of terms. Knox and Nisbet also share this aim.

The biggest difference in terminology is perhaps White's decision to substitute "as-itself" for "for-itself." Another reviewer claims that by making this move White has made the text more intelligible to the lay-reader. Now I am skeptical of how much a difference this really makes. I would rather argue that readers who can follow the text with the "as-itself" will also be able to follow it if this were "for-itself."

One virtue of the term "as-itself" is that it connotes the independence of the object. The object exists, and it also appears to itself and to others "as itself." On the other hand, for the reader who has not studied Hegel's theory of reflection, it might be difficult to see just what is the difference between an object existing "in-itself" as opposed to "as-itself." "In-itself" sound just the same, for isn't the object existing "in-itself" just as independent? "For-itself," on the other hand, connotes reflexivity. Two, rather than one, terms are involved in what "for-itself" connotes. The two-term relation thus distinguishes the "for-itself" from the "in-itself," a distinction which does not come out as clearly in the "as-itself."

In short, while White's general aim is a noble one, I think that his decisions to deviate from the Knox and Nisbet translations actually obfuscates certain ideas in the original text. White's work is an interesting experimental attempt, but it is only for the specialist who has already mastered the text through another translation, and who is interested to see how to re-interpret and elaborate the original ideas presented by Hegel.

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