The Permissible Limitation on Property
If moral and ethical requirements can require the limitation of property, but the dialectic logic of sublation demands that property be preserved, then what degree of limitation of property is consistent with and necessary for the actualization of human freedom? This is the Hegelian equivalent of the liberal question of how to interpret the Takings Clause.
Hegel's answer is unfortunately, but inevitably, disappointing to the traditional constitutional-law scholar. Logic can prove why it is necessary to make this distinction between permissible limitations of property rights and impermissible takings, but it cannot develop an algorithmic logical test that can locate the line dividing the two. Rather, this determination can only be made through pragmatic rather than logical reasoning, and established through positive law. Such pragmatic reasoning and positive legislation falls precisely in the realm liberalism derides as "mere" politics. Consequently, Hegel agrees with liberals that a limitation on governmental "takings" of property is necessary for freedom and a just society. But, in contradistinction to classical liberalism, Hegelian political theory cannot expect takings law to serve as a boundary function. To understand why this is the case, one needs to turn to Hegel's concepts of quality and quantity as developed in his Greater Logic .