The article examines the origin and development of the philosophical and legal concepts of the state. It is noted that despite the fact that the term "state" itself appeared in the New Age, the philosophical and legal concepts of the ontology of this entity date back to Antiquity, were developed, reinterpreted and supplemented over thousands of years, and continue to be modernized and evolved until now. The period of Antiquity, with its prevailing mythological worldview and the emergence of the idea of natural law, was characterized by the selection of moral principles to explain the need to unite people into an organized community, the justification of the idea of an ideal ruler, and an emphasis on the principle of justice. The reasoning of the most influential thinkers of Antiquity regarding the optimal form of government is analyzed. Yes, Plato was a supporter of aristocracy, while at the same time he considered democracy, theocracy and oligarchy to be harmful to society. Aristotle developed the doctrine of man as a "political animal" and considered politics to be the ideal form of government. The Middle Ages were marked by new philosophical and legal ideas of understanding the state. The moral law was replaced by a theocentric worldview. God is the only and absolute being, and everything else exists according to his will. Therefore, the earthly hierarchy reflected the heavenly hierarchy, and all power was understood as coming from God. The dominant position was occupied by Christian ideology.
During the Renaissance, the theocentric worldview was replaced by an anthropocentric one. Man has become the center of philosophical and legal superstructures, and that is why the concepts of the ontology of the state have changed. It is noted that the thinkers of the Reformation and Enlightenment continued the traditions of the Renaissance, filling the philosophical and legal understanding of the state with new categories. It is emphasized that the modern period is characterized by a rethinking of the role of natural law. It is cleansed of theological ideas, and occupies a qualitatively new place in positive law.
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