The Search for Ideal Order in Political Philosophy

The Search for Ideal Order in Political Philosophy

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

The debates on whether there is an ideal order in the history of philosophy are gathered in two main groups. The first of these are the views that suggest that there cannot be an ideal order, and the second are the views that suggest that there can be an ideal order.

1. There Can Be No Ideal Order!

According to sophists and nihilists, there is no ideal order; because the purpose of order is to ensure human happiness. It is impossible to ensure the happiness of all people. In this sense, no order has been able to provide absolute human happiness and will not be able to provide it until now, and therefore, an ideal order cannot be mentioned.

2. It Could Be An Ideal Layout!

The second main approaches are those that say that there can be an ideal order. According to these approaches, the main problem is in the criteria that determine the ideal order.

a. Freedom Based Approach (Liberalism)

This view, known as liberalism, was advocated by Adam Smith, J. Locke, and Stuart Mill. This approach appears as the philosophical basis on which the capitalist mode of production of the Western world is based. According to liberalism, which can be summarized with Smith’s phrase “let them do it, let them pass”, an ideal order is one that can ensure individual freedom in absolute terms. For an order to be considered ideal, it must be libertarian.

b. Equality-Based Approach (Socialism)

The main representatives of this approach are St. Simon, C. Fourier, Prodhon, Owen and Karl Marx. According to them, the criterion that determines the ideal order is the principle of equality. With this approach, the philosophical thought of the socialist economic system emerged.

c. Approach Based on Justice (Social State of Law)

The economic systems on which the approaches based on freedom or equality are based have not been enough to solve human and social problems. For this reason, the principle of justice has been put forward as the criterion that determines the ideal order. According to this approach, it is impossible to talk about equality where there is no freedom, and freedom where there is no equality. The approach based on the principle of justice has led to the emergence of a new state model called the social state of law.

Compiled and Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Sociology Department Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); prof. Dr. Ahmet Arslan – Introduction to Philosophy; prof. Dr. Mustafa Ergün – Introduction to Philosophy; Open Education Philosophy Textbook