Date of Award

Summer 8-2-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Second Advisor

William Edmundson

Third Advisor

Andrew Altman

Fourth Advisor

George Rainbolt


In this paper I attempt to address an interpretive difficulty that surrounds Hegel's position in the history of jurisprudence. After a brief overview of Hegel's project, I outline the first two sections of the Outlines of the Philosophy of Right in order to support my argument that Hegel advocates a natural law theory of legal validity. I then show that confusions regarding Hegel's place in the history of jurisprudence arise from his view that the ethical evaluation of laws is limited (with some exceptions) to procedural laws that govern the enactment and recognition of laws in the administration of justice. I end by providing Hegel's distinctive argument for legal publicity, which he takes to be essential for the enactment and recognition of valid law.