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Journal VOL. 1 NO. 2, July. 2022, ISSN: 2811 - 2393

Social Contract Theory as Moral Foundation of the State A Philosophical Perspective

Bartholomew Agunnia Onyekwere, Philomena Aku Ojomo



The paper takes holistic view of the political state and traces its origin, importance and imperative to man’s rationality and existential milieu. It is a philosophical discourse on the moral foundation of the state premised on second data plank with critical discourse analysis. There are contentions on the origin of the state as pontificated by intellectuals. However, the paper aligns with the social contract perspective of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the origin of the state. It contends the moral foundation as the justification of the state. The state of nature was not moral enough to arrest the constant drift to anarchy and disharmony, hence the recourse to a rational solution leading to tacit, but rational contract of men whose social and political nature of founding commonwealth needed to be given vent. The state of nature was not a rational and moral arrangement by sentient beings. It must be reengineered and rethinkered for the good of man in the political landscape. The paper contends that the organized state, as presently construed, is unarguably that quintessence, summum bonum, of all human institutions. A social agreement is needed to bring people together in a civilized arrangement. That arrangement is the state. The paper is a clarion call for moral reorientation in the operation of the activities of the state. It contends that any effort to get the statesmen to do their duty must take into consideration the moral and rational foundation of the state. The paper recommends compulsory moral education to all citizens. It also contends that statesmen and those intending to run the affairs of the state must have special moral training leading to personality of the Philosopher King.

Keywords: Social contract, State, State of nature, Society, Moral Justification, Social Justice.

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