Political, Legal and Economic Philosophy

Seminar: What is a state? pp

Mittwoch, 11.03.2020

The answers given to this question in the history of philosophy are remarkably diverse and seem only to differ in their degree of absurdity. On the one end of the spectrum is Louis XIV. famous identification of the state with a concrete material body: “L'État, c'est moi”. But this seems absurd unless we are willing to accept that states can suffer from indigestion. On the other end of the spectrum is Hans Kelsen’s claim that the state is an abstract and immaterial entity, viz. a legal order. But this seems no less absurd since legal orders, unlike states, are not capable of waging wars and accumulating debts. In between are theories that conceive of the state as a ‘fictitious’ person (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau); or as an ‘organic’ entity that emerges when groups that adopt a com-mon purpose (Hegel, von Gierke, Maitland); or, more recently, as a real person with a mind of its own (List & Pettit). Primary literature: Q. Skinner, Bo Strath: States and Citizens. History, Theory, Prospects, Cambridge 2003. D. Runciman: Pluralism and the Personality oft he State, Cambridge 1997. Ch. List, P. Pettit: Group Agency. The Possibiliy, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents, Oxford 2011

Dozierende(r): Prof. Dr. Markus Stepanians
11.03.2020:14:15 - 16:00
Ort: F -111, Seminarraum
Lerchenweg 32-36

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