Individual-State Relationship in Enlightenment Philosophy History of Enlightenment Philoso

Individual-State Relationship in Enlightenment Philosophy History of Enlightenment Philoso

In the 17th century philosophy, state systems based on absolute monarchy were considered, and it was seen that the state possessed all kinds of power in terms of unity and solidarity.

The first protest against this view was made by J. Locke. Locke proposed a liberal (libertarian) state system against the absolute monarchy.  Like Hobbes , Locke  starts from human nature, accepts social contract, but does not reach an absolute monarchy as a result of his ideas.

Stating that people live free in natural environments, Locke states that everyone is equal and in solidarity with each other. If a person disrupts this order and harms someone, the person who has suffered has the right to punish the person who has suffered proportionally. Locke says that people can succumb to their anger in the punishment business, saying that this may cause turmoil. It therefore states that people have voluntarily transferred their rights to a political authority, the state, for the protection of the law. According to him, it is obligatory to switch from natural state to artificial state. In the state order established by people of their own volition, the majority says. The source of legitimate government is pluralistic will.

Locke; it divides the power of the state into three categories: legislative, executive and judicial. Legislative power is the power to make the law whose duties and powers are determined within the framework of personal rights. Executive power is the power that uses legislative power. Judicial power is the power to resolve conflicts between individuals and the individual state within the framework of legal rules determined by the legislative power. Locke’s ideas have influenced not only his time but also the present. Although it is not in the sense of the present day, the adoption of the principle of separation of powers shows that his ideas have survived to the present day.

Montesquieu examines society scientifically with the effect of rapid changes in society. Applies observation and experiment method to society. He examines the events in the society one by one and arrives generalizations. According to him, each law is a product of a relationship that depends on the reality of one or more physical events that make up itself. Each law is bound or subject to another law.

Montesquieu states that the law regulating the relationship between the two societies is the law of states, the law regulating political relations within the state is political law and the law regulating interpersonal relations is civil law. He says that the nature of the laws will be determined by the society in which it is made. Montesquieu; define republic, monarchy and despotism. Indicates that the people have a say in the administration of the Republic. He points out that the ruler is the only person in the monarchy and that he uses the power of governance under the law. In despotism, he states that the power to do what he wants is in one person.

Montesquieu states that human beings have the ability to behave freely without eating the rights of someone else and asserts the principle of separation of powers for the protection of this freedom. It states that there are legislative, executive and judicial powers in states, and that they should control each other in order not to restrict freedom. Montesquieu was the first thinker to form the state system and theorize the separation of powers with his views.

Rousseau  , in explaining his views on the state, starts from natural life. He states that the first human being lived fully free and equal in nature and his life ended with the establishment of society. In particular, he points out that the emergence of the concept of “property kaldır abolishes freedom and equality. Rousseau, who thinks that the spread of private property constitutes the concept of “right gör, sees this as the end of natural life. He argues that people come together and make a “social contract olarak and that the state is formed accordingly. He thinks that the existence of the first state leads to the formation of another state, that the states are gradually increasing and this situation leads to wars.

Rousseau states that the social contract created as a solution to unjust situations enslaves people and says that it is not possible to return to the natural state. Because it is impossible for people to escape this dilemma. What needs to be done is to enact laws that are suitable for natural life.

This is the only way to eliminate the elements that cause evil in society. Rousseau thinks that civil society can form a whole by law. Rousseau believes that people should establish a system in which they can be free. He states that in the civilized society where property is guaranteed by the common power, a society in which everyone can be free, even though everyone is together.

Prepared by:
  Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook, MEB Philosophy Textbook