Person, Property and Contract: A critical dialogue with Hegel from Marx

Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 18:9-26 (2021)
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Abstract

Hegel’s Philosophy of Law deals in theLaw section of the categories: person, property and contract. Research critically reconstructs this theory from a Marxist perspective. In the concept of person, first of all, the singular will is reduced to a solipsist will unrelated to intersubjectivity. Then, the concept of Hegelian property bases the private appropriation of property as the externalization of the singular will. This legal property guarantees the maintenance and reproduction of private property, that is, it will guarantee the private accumulation of capital, Marx will say. Anyway, the theory of the contract would link the autonomy of the contracting wills, however, it is a mere appearance, because, in fact, the owners’ wills are under the domination of the capitalist market, as it is explained in Marx’s Capital. The theoretical deficit of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law in general is that the legal concepts of person and property correspond to the abstract will. Hegel describes the juridical description of the legal system of the modern state as the development of free will that legitimizes the asymmetry of civil society in its socioeconomic inequalities.

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Agemir Bavaresco
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul

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