Chapter

The State and the Actualization of Freedom

Peter C. Hodgson

in Shapes of Freedom

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654956
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654956.003.0003
The State and the Actualization of Freedom

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From an ethical and political perspective, the pattern assumed by freedom is the state, and the state is accordingly the actualization of freedom in history. The state is not a collection of individuals but an organic totality in which both personal and communal interests are ideally maximized. It encompasses all the institutions necessary to human life (law, family, civil society, science, religion, art, philosophy). The state has a ‘constitution’ or system of government, of which historically there have been four main types: patriarchy (despotism), aristocracy, democracy, monarchy. The state also has an intrinsic relationship to nature (geography).

Keywords: aristocracy; constitution; democracy; geography; monarchy; organic totality; patriarchy; state

Chapter.  11310 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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