The idea of the social contract and construction of social state and law in Western European thought in the second half of XVI – early XVIII century

Abstract

The article is devoted to the definition of a social subject of law in the works of Western European philosophers of the second half of XVI - early XVIII century. The thinkers of the Counter-Reformation times and strengthening of absolutist regimes in Europe specifically developed political elements of social philosophy, creating from them independent philosophy of state. Hope for the interests of human in society in terms of religious wars and other con- flicts has changed with focus on the uniqueness of the social role of the state. The greatest achievement of European thinkers of that time in the context of our study certainly is thor- oughly developed theory of social contract as the foundation of the social state, which became also the basis for the formation of new theoretical principles of state and law. Along with this, the idea of the relative autonomy of the state from society and its right to coercion emerged. The idea of such a right may be considered an expression of the need to ensure the totality of collective will and simultaneous recognition of the impossibility of fully mediator, non-tran- scendent harmonization of individual interests. The state does not cease to be social, but it weakens the direct link with society and becomes an autonomous phenomenon from it, she becomes itself in an individual phenome- non, a more distinct and localized social separate. It also largely absorb the idea of function- al human communities, has its counterpart only in society as a whole. Society loses its intrin- sic value and more or less merges with the state. This idea of state totality had marked a new stage of development of social philosophy and theory, expression of their transformation in the socio-political and socio-legal ones. More distinct became the legalization of social thought: a society became a state-centered and legal, subjective collective right was objecti- fied and exclusively embodied in the law of the state. This complex of ideas in XVII century was somewhat questioned, including through translation of the exact sciences approaches and speculative rationalist philosophy. In our opinion, the role played in this revolution and restoration and in England and their interpreta- tion. Purely volitional state formation in terms of decline of independent nature of the theory of society made it unstable phenomenon, the subject of individual wills competition by rulers and subjects. So again the question arose about the key subject of social, political, legal devel- opment that had been rediscovered by future generations in the phenomenon of the nation.

Authors and Affiliations

Oleksii Kresina

Keywords

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  • EP ID EP435029
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How To Cite

Oleksii Kresina (2016). The idea of the social contract and construction of social state and law in Western European thought in the second half of XVI – early XVIII century. Правова держава. Щорічник наукових праць (Pravova derzhava), 27(), 125-139. https://europub.co.uk/articles/-A-435029