Platon'dan Smith'e Sosyal Düzenin İnşası
Şenses, Osman İnan
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When we think of human nature, and of her organized unity, society, we realize that these structures entail a certain social order and that its main lines of development are shaped within such an order. The nature of the social order reveals, indirectly, essential characteristics of a human and society. Thus, the present thesis attempts at constructing an axis that could help us to deal with the generality of these issues of nature and social order. First moment in this attempt is to understand, philosophically, how the fiction for an idealized order can be constructed. Our first moment in this journey is to deal with the issue of constructing the philosophically idealized social order, on the basis of Plato’s and Aristotle’s writings. According to these two eminent philosophers, wisdom and well-being (“the good life”) form the main axis of such an order. In the next step, we are to be witnessed the intersection of this idealized fiction with the political reality itself, Spinoza being the specific example this time. Idealization and rationality escape, however brief, from the glamour of transcendental vis a vis passion and desire. Our inquiry of the social order proceeds, then, towards the issue of power through the writings of two monumental figures, Machiavelli and Hobbes, who present us the reality of the order directly and in its whole nakedness. Locke is our next step for the very reason that he was the one who reveals the essence of this reality quite explicitly through his emphasis on private property as the foundation of the social order. Construction of the social order encounters some, albeit partial, not essential, criticisms with the arguments of Rousseau’s. Rousseau represents, all the same, longing of the past, embarrassment of the present, and the opacity of the future. At the end, we will see that philosophical and political language in the attempt at constructing the social order will yield its prominence to the economic language devised by Adam Smith, who places the individual guided by her self-interest at the very center of the construction of the social order, with his notion of the “Invisible Hand”. In other words, our journey of constructing the social order that started with the constitutive power of the wise man ends with the actions of the individual whose conduct rests on the simplest and the most concrete motive of self-interest. This, in the end, completes our attempt at constructing the main axis of the social order from Plato to Smith. Keywords Social order, human nature, society, law, power, interest, private property, wealth.