What is the Origin (Archesi) of the State?June 28, 2021
Every political philosophy debate is ultimately based on the question of the origin and origin of the state. The problem of the origin of the state is also the problem of the origin of laws and all social and political institutions. This is an arkhe problem.
In philosophy, the problem of arkhe means the problem of finding a foundation.
At the same time, this question is also related to the question of what “state” is. For in philosophy the question of what a thing is inevitably relates to the question of what it is for. Then “what is the state?” The question is answered in terms of what the state exists for. This is nothing but a question of the state’s existence basis. The basis of existence of the state is to give an informative explanation for what purpose the state exists. In other words, it is the explanation and justification of the logical-informational foundations of the existence of the state. For instance, in his work called Politeia (The State), Plato explains the reason and basis of the existence of the state with reference to the fact that people live together and need each other. Plato finds the reason for the existence of the state in the idea of ”state”, which is an object of knowledge. Here, the purpose of political philosophy is not to give information about the existence of the state, but to inform about the purpose of existence of the state. In other words, the aim of political philosophy is to ground the phenomenon of the state itself, based on the knowledge of the state’s purpose of existence.
Political philosophy does not seek an answer to how the state emerged historically. How a state was established in the historical process or how the state emerged in general, and which state was the first on the stage of history, remain outside the problem area of political philosophy. Other sciences, such as History or Political Science, can answer these questions. However, since every philosophy is a conceptual inquiry, Political Philosophy will not attempt to respond to such empirical and historical facts. Instead, it will deal with the phenomenon of the state conceptually and will give an explanation and a justification as to whether the entity called ‘state’ has to exist, and if it has to exist, why it has to exist. He will try to show the reason, the rational basis of a necessity, an obligation. Otherwise, “It is clear that we cannot pinpoint a specific moment in human history when the state first emerged” (Cassirer 1984, p. 174). Such a lack of historical knowledge does not concern those who study the origins of the state in political philosophy. So the term origin here means logical origin, not historical or chronological origin. As a logical starting term, it gives a justification for the existence of the state of origin. This grounding or beginning also lies in human nature. In other words, the basis of the nature of the state is human nature. The phenomenon of the state finds its beginning in human nature. Plato shows the relationship between the nature of the state and human nature in his work called Politeia. Here, he begins to question justice in society in order to investigate the justice in human beings and says that there are as many human characters as there are types of states.
Human philosophy provides us with information about the human being’s structure.
Human philosophy is a branch of philosophy that tries to grasp human nature, takes the human being as an object in its entirety, and seeks an answer to the question of what human is, based on the characteristics and possibilities of human beings.
According to this, man is a being with both good and bad sides. “Man has both a sense of right, a sense of being just, and a tendency towards injustice and injustice” (Mengüşoğlu 2006, p. 277). A human being is not only a creature capable of committing crimes and doing injustice, but also respecting others and refusing to put his own interests before the rights of others. This structure of being of man, which contains incompatible aspects, constitutes what is called human nature. The thing called conscience cannot always prevent people’s tendency to injustice and to commit crimes for their own benefit. The power to prevent this is the political entity called the state. This is how the state’s existence structure arises from the human existence structure. In this case, the state emerges as a power that will prevent injustice and injustice and regulate the actions and actions of people. Therefore, when we look at the explanations regarding the origin of the state, we always see explanations based on this human nature. These explanations, based on human nature, take us to a beginning, origin, called the state of nature.