Fall 2016 – Phl 820/850: Hegel’s Philosophy of Right


General information


Here is more information about Prof. Lotz

Class Meetings

Days: M
Time: 7 PM – 10 PM
Place: 530 South Kedzie


Phone: 517.355.4490 [dept.])
Place: 518 S. Kedzie Hall
Hours: by appointment

Other Contact

E-mail: lotz@msu.edu
Home Phone: please ask
Webpage: https://christianlotz.wordpress.com


You will find my box in the front office of the philosophy department


Introduction to Hegel

Sep 7, General Introduction
Hegel, Encyclopedia (1830), selections

Abstract Right

Sep 14, Preface and Introduction
Hegel, PoR, tbd
Baum in Pippin/Höffe

Sep 21, Property and Contract
Hegel, PoR, tbd
Quante in Pippin/Höffe

Sep 28, Property and Contract
Hegel, PoR, tbd
Ritter in Pippin/Höffe
Marx, selections


Oct 12, Morality
Hegel, PoR, tbd

Ethical Life

Oct 26, Family
Hegel, PoR, tbd
Blasche in Pippin/Höffe

Nov 2, Civil Society
Hegel, PoR, tbd
Horstmann in Pippin/Höffe
Ruda, Marx
Di Salvo, Hegel’s Torment: Poverty and the Rationality of the Modern State

Nov 16, Corporation, Police, State
Hegel, PoR, tbd
Henrich in Pippin/Höffe
Siep in Pippin/Höffe
Herzog, Two Ways of ‘Taming’ the Market: Why Hegel needs the Police and the Corporations


Nov 30, The Conflict between Civil Society and the State 
Marx, tbd
Ruda, tbd
Smith, Hegel and Capitalism: Marxian Perspectives

Dec 7, Law, Contractualism, Commodity Form 
Marx, tbd
Paschukanis, tbd

Dec 14
Final paper due by the end of the day (via email)

Course Description

In this seminar we will discuss Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Additional readings can come from the feminist tradition, Marx and the Young Hegelians, as well as contemporary interpretatios.

Course Goals

14SkkJdThis course should you make familiar with the main ideas of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and demonstrate that his lectures still offer fundamental ideas for social-political philosophy in general and our modern societies in particular. In addition, you should get a sense of how to approach Hegel from the standpoint of the left tradition in social-political philosophy..


This graduate seminar is not based on a set of fixed knowledge and, as such, is not based on a behavioral idea of education; rather, we will try to learn together and critically examine the material.

Required Texts

  • Hegel. Lectures on the Philosophy of Right (Oxford edition, but I recommend also purchasing the Cambridge edition)

Recommended readings:

Course Requirements

  • Presentation
  • Protocol
  • Final paper, conference style, 10-12 pages
  • Regular participation

Protocol (German tradition)

The class protocol should cover our discussion in class. Protocols should have a length of 2-3 pages (no more than 900 words), and they will in and outside of the classroom force us to have an ongoing reflection on our texts that we study for class. They can also include problems or questions that the writers had either with our class discussion or with the texts itself, but above all protocols should cover what we lectured about and what we discussed afterwards. Protocols should clarify and discuss selected issues in question. Protocols have to be sent out to other students two days before class. We’ll radically mark down late turn ins. The student who wrote the protocol will address questions during the first 15 minutes of the next class meeting, and he/she will lead the class discussion.


Each student will be responsible for one class and for working out an introductory presentation, which should function as a platform for our discussions. Please focus on one or two aspects of the readings; desired length of presentations: no more than 20-25 minutes. Please distribute a brief write-up/overview of what you will be talking about three days before class.

General Remark

Given that this is a graduate seminar, I expect self-motivation, autonomy, as well as self-responsibility. The attendance requires the willingness to intensively study the texts selected for class.

Final Paper

The class essay should be well researched and should present a substantial reflection on some parts of the material discussed in class. I expect excellent papers in regard to research, form, and content. I will fail papers that do not comply with formal standards (footnotes, literature, etc.). The paper should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words. The paper should be “conference style,” i.e., it should have a length of around 12 pages.


I will refuse giving DFs in this class, unless you find yourself in a real emergency situation (hospitalization, etc.)

Course Evaluation


1 final paper (up to 3600 words) 80%
presentation 10%
protocol 10% (pass/fail)
100 points


4.0 (=A) 100 – 93
3.5 92 – 87
3 (=B) 86 – 82
2.5 81 – 77
2 (=C) 76 – 72
1.5 71 – 65
1.0 (=D) 64 – 60
0.0 < 60

GENERIC SYLLABUS (might not be applicable to every class)

Laptop/Cell Phone/Tablet Policy

You are not permitted to use laptops or cell phones in class, unless needed for medical reasons. Flat devices, such as tablets, are permitted  if you have purchased the literature required for class electronically. Please do not text under the table. Cell phones should be removed from tables. Failure to follow this policy will lead to unannounced assignments in class or loss of points (at the digression of the instructor).

Class Attendance

As mentioned above, I do not employ in my classes a class attendance policy. Having said this, you should be aware that class attendance is very important. When engaging in a philosophical and humanistic dialogue it is necessary to be an active and present participant in the ongoing discussion. If you miss class please do not email me asking if you missed anything important. Every class is important. You should get a study buddy for the class; a student in class who will inform you of what you missed. If you miss a class you can come to my office hours or make an appointment to discuss the material, providing you have read the material and you simply want to see if your understanding of the material is on target. Time in office hours will not be used to repeat the class lectures.

Grading Criteria + Paper Writing Tips

Check out this page for grading criteria, example of assignments, etc.

Online Research Sources

Unfortunately, some people think that the internet as such is a reliable source of information. If you decide to use online sources for additional information or your paper then do not just use one of the common internet search engines, such as Google; rather, use reliable academic sources, such as Britannica Online, or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Internet Ecyclopedia of Philosophy isn’t very good, but still acceptable. Check out MSU’s library resources! And, as with other sources, you must cite any online sources to which you refer in your essay.

Writing Center Information

MSU’s writing center offers excellent help on all matters regarding writing and learning. Check the website at http://writing.msu.edu for an overview and hours. For more information, please call 517.432.3610 or send an e-mail to writing@msu.edu.

Grief Absence Policy

I follow MSU’s general grief absence policy, which can be found here.

Integrity of Scholarship and Grades (Plagiarism)

The following statement of University policy addresses principles and procedures to be used in instances of academic dishonesty, violations of professional standards, and falsification of academic or admission records, herein after referred to as academic misconduct. [See General Student Regulation 1.00, Protection of Scholarship and Grades.]

Academic Honesty

Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that “The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” In addition, the (insert name of unit offering course) adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site: www.msu.edu) Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit course work completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Students who violate MSU rules may receive a penalty grade, including but not limited to a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work. (See also https://www.msu.edu/~ombud/)

Plagiarism, from the Ombudsman’s page

Plagiarism (from the Latin plagiarius, an abductor, and plagiare, to steal) is defined by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Misconduct in Research (take that!) as “ . . . the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.”

Accidental or Unintentional
One may not even know that they are plagiarizing.  It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that they understand the difference between quoting and paraphrasing, as well as the proper way to cite material.

Here, students are well aware that they are plagiarizing.  Purposefully using someone else’s ideas or work without proper acknowledgment is plagiarism.  This includes turning in borrowed or bought research papers as one’s own.

Turning in the same term paper (or substantially the same paper) for two courses without getting permission from one’s instructor is plagiarism.

The Spartan Code of Honor

Student leaders have recognized the challenging task of discouraging plagiarism from the
academic community. The Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) is proud to be launching the Spartan Code of Honor academic pledge, focused on valuing academic integrity and honest work ethics at Michigan State University. The pledge reads as follows:

“As a Spartan, I will strive to uphold values of the highest ethical standard. I will practice honesty in my work, foster honesty in my peers, and take pride in knowing that honor is worth more than grades. I will carry these values beyond my time as a student at Michigan State University, continuing the endeavor to build personal integrity in all that I do.”

The Spartan Code of Honor academic pledge embodies the principles of integrity that every Spartan is required to uphold in their time as a student, and beyond. The academic pledge was crafted with inspiration of existing individual college honor codes, establishing an overarching statement for the entire university. It was formally adopted by ASMSU on March 3, 2016, endorsed by Academic Governance on March 22, 2016, and recognized by the Provost, President, and Board of Trustees on April 15, 2016.

SIRS Evaluations

Michigan State University takes seriously the opinion of students in the evaluation of the effectiveness of instruction and has implemented the Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) to gather student feedback (https://sirsonline.msu.edu). This course utilizes the online SIRS system, and you will receive an e-mail during the last two weeks of class asking you to fill out the SIRS web form at your convenience. In addition, participation in the online SIRS system involves grade sequestration, which means that the final grade for this course will not be accessible on STUINFO during the week following the submission of grades for this course unless the SIRS online form has been completed. Alternatively, you have the option on the SIRS website to decline to participate in the evaluation of the course. We hope, however, that you will be willing to give us your frank and constructive feedback so that we may instruct students even better in the future. If you access the online SIRS website and complete the online SIRS form or decline to participate, you will receive the final grade in this course as usual once final grades are submitted.

Social Media and Sharing of Course Materials

As members of a learning community, students are expected to respect the intellectual property of course instructors. All course materials presented to students are the copyrighted property of the course instructor and are subject to the following conditions of use:

  1. Students may record lectures or any other classroom activities and use the recordings only for their own course-related purposes.
  2. Students may share the recordings with other students enrolled in the class. Sharing is limited to using the recordings only for their own course-related purposes.
  3. Students may post the recordings or other course materials online or distribute them to anyone not enrolled in the class with the advance written permission of the course instructor and, if applicable, any students whose voice or image is included in the recordings.
  4. Any student violating the conditions described above may face academic disciplinary sanctions.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations. For an appointment with a counselor, call 353-9642 (voice) or 355-1293 (TTY)

Drops and Adds

The last day to add this course is the end of the first week of classes. The last day to drop this course with a 100 percent refund and no grade reported is (see Academic Calendar). The last day to drop this course with no refund and no grade reported is (see Academic Calendar). You should immediately make a copy of your amended schedule to verify you have added or dropped this course.

Note on Attendance

Students who fail to attend the first four class sessions or class by the fifth day of the semester, whichever occurs first, may be dropped from the course.