Hypothetical social contract theories

  • Danie Strauss North-West University, South Africa

Abstract

Hipotetiese sosiale kontrakteorieë
Die antieke Griekse en die Middeleeuse eras het ʼn bydrae gelewer tot die verstaan van ʼn “republiek” (Plato se Politeia) en ʼn “ryk” (koninkryk), maar dit het lank geneem alvorens die moderne idee van die staat (sowel as die term “staat”) na vore sou tree. Die moderne gees van die Renaissance was geïnspireer deur die nuwe ideaal van ʼn vrye en outonome persoonlikheid wat in die wetenskapsideaal ʼn rasionele instrument gevind het met behulp waarvan die werklikheid afgebreek en vanuit die eenvoudigste atome daarvan weer opgebou sou kon word. In die geval van die menslike samelewing is hierdie atome die enkelinge. Langs hierdie weg het die natuurmotief (wetenskapsideaal) en vryheidsmotief (persoonlikheidsideaal) die beheersende geesteskrag geword wat rigting aan besinning oor staat en samelewing sedert die Renaissance gegee het. Dit was ook die motivering agter hipotetiese sosiale verdragsteorieë wat teen die agtergrond van ʼn ewe  hipotetiese “natuurtoestand” gekonsipieer is. Aan die einde word ʼn saaklike alternatiewe perspektief ontwikkel wat die tekortkominge van die hipotetiese sosiale verdragsteorieë te bowe gaan.

Ancient Greece and the medieval period contributed to an understanding of a “Republic” (Plato’s Politeia) and an “Empire” (kingdom), but it took some time before the modern idea of the state (as well as the term “state”) emerged. The modern spirit of the Renaissance was inspired by the new ideal of a free and autonomous personality which found in the science ideal a rational instrument through which reality could be demolished and reconstructed from its simplest atoms, in the case of human society: the individuals. Thus the nature motive (science ideal) and freedom motive (personality ideal) became the dominant spiritual force directing theoretical reflection on state and society since the Renaissance. It also inspired a hypothetical rational account of the origination of  the state against the background of an equally hypothetically construed “state of nature.” In conclusion a brief indication is given of an alternative perspective transcending the shortcomings of hypothetical social contract theories.

Published
2014-08-29
How to Cite
Strauss, D. (2014). Hypothetical social contract theories. Tydskrif Vir Christelike Wetenskap | Journal for Christian Scholarship, 50(3), 169-189. Retrieved from http://pubs.ufs.ac.za/index.php/tcw/article/view/353
Section
Artikels | Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>