The Understanding of Authority in Jean Bodin

The Understanding of Authority in Jean Bodin

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Bodin’s thoughts were mainly influenced by the environment in France at that time. In an environment of religious wars, Bodin focused on the problem of authority and concluded that anarchy is the greatest destruction that humanity can suffer, and orderliness is the greatest need of humanity.

In his book Les Six Livres de la Republique (“Six Books of the Republic”), which he wrote in 1576, he described the necessary conditions for the re-establishment of social and political order; has taken over. The idea that anarchy can only come out of an absolute monarchy system, where the sovereignty will belong to one person, is the main judgment of this book. Concepts such as the state and sovereignty were at the forefront in Bodin’s teaching, whose concrete political aim was to defend and create a strong and centralized power.

According to Bodin, the function of the state is to manage families and their common interests within the framework of truth-honesty rules. In Bodin, the concepts of “truth”, “family” and “sovereign power” are the keystones. Unlike Machiavelli, he does not deal with the state only at the level of political events and plain facts; has adopted an approach that also gives importance to the ethical (moral) element. It is the “sovereign power” that makes the state, whose basic foundation is the “family”, a state and ensures the unity and integrity of the society. If the human element on the basis of the state is the “family”, the political element is the “sovereignty”.

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