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Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

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Zur Kritik der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie (1844, introduction)

Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (German: Zur Kritik der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie) is a manuscript written by the German political philosopher Karl Marx in 1843 but unpublished during his lifetime—except for the introduction, published in Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher in 1844. In the manuscript, Marx comments on excerpts of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's 1820 book Elements of the Philosophy of Right that deal with 'civil society' and the state[a] paragraph by paragraph. One of Marx's major criticisms of Hegel in the document is the fact that many of his dialectical arguments begin in abstraction.

This work contains the earliest formulation of Marx's theory of alienation,[1] which involved the influence the writings of Ludwig Feuerbach[2] and Bruno Bauer.[3] Narrative of the work develops around analysis of the relations between "civil society" and "political society". The introduction includes Marx's most famous commentary on the function of religion.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ §§261-313
  1. ^ Leopold 2007, p. 67.
  2. ^ McLellan 1980, pp. 108–109.
  3. ^ McLellan 1969, pp. 78–81.


  • Leopold, David (2007). The Young Karl Marx: German Philosophy, Modern Politics and Human Flourishing. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-511-28935-4.
  • McLellan, David (1980) [1970]. Marx Before Marxism (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-0-333-27883-3.
  • McLellan, David (1969). The Young Hegelians and Karl Marx. London: Macmillan and Co.

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