WHY PHILOSOPHY OF LAW - 0.1 Introduction Man is by nature a...

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0.1 Introduction Man is by nature a rational animal 1 and it is with this rationality that he seeks to live in a well ordered society. It is highly out of order to presume man to live in a society that is marked by chaos and irregularity. It is therefore natural and ad rem that man should live in a society that is fashioned according to the rational state of man. This is why Plato tries to juxtapose the state with the soul. Plato believe that just as the three faculties of soul viz. the intellective, the vegetative and the appetitive soul in man is well ordered to create uniformity and order within man so the state should be ordered. So that in the state everyone will be relevant and, regulations of the common good will be well harnessed by a competent authority. With the harmony of the faculties of the soul, the state should also be harmonized, that is, the different bodies the philosopher king, the militia, the hoipoloi can work in unison to create a peaceful and well-ordered state. Because of the irrefutable existential import of law, many philosophers have risen with different theories on how to run the state with law. The fact of man being a social animal is irrefutable and no man can live isolated from other men unless one is bereft of reason. Little wonder why Aristotle posits firmly that man is a social animal. 2 Man being a social animal, it does not remove the natural tendency of self-preservation in him. This is in the thought of Thomas Hobbes who argues that man is naturally self-preservation. The first and strongest instinct in everyman is the instinct to self-preservation. 3 This self-preservation can come in different ways. It can be in the pursuit of things that will better life, in this case we talk of property. Man wants to acquire properties so as to enjoy life and he also tries to 1 Cf. Sheldon M. Cohen, Aristotle on Nature and Incomplete Substance (Cape Town: Sheldon M. Cohen, 1996), p. 105. 2 Cf. Aristotle, Politics trans. Benjamin Jewett. 3 Cf. Thomas Fahy ed., The Philosophy of Horror (Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2010), p. 62. 1
preserve his life in the midst of other people who on the other want to preserve their own life. Following, we see in a society different people trying to survive and an idea of survival of the fittest comes to the fore. Man then becomes aggressive and the bestial nature of man becomes manifest. If this be the case, then there cannot be a well ordered society since the only thing that will rule men is the sensibility and passions. This is why reason becomes paramount in the society so that man avoids being ruled or overtaken by his passions and desires to self- preserve and enjoy life. Law comes in as an ordinance of reason which is geared towards the common good.

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