Aristotle on the Primary Purpose of the State: A Philosophical Appraisal

Morrison Itelimo, Ogugua Jeremiah Chukwu


The purpose and primary function of the state has been an issue of immense concern among socio-political philosophers. In providing a solution to the problem, Aristotle posited that the state came into existence in the first instance to promote a good end, which is happiness to the citizens. Hence, in his view, the primary purpose of the state is to preserve life for humans and provide economic opportunities that would enable them enhance their well-being and fulfill their potentials. This position of Aristotle is also shared by most socio-political philosophers, who added that the promotion of the common good rather than personal or private interests remain the pivotal purpose of the state. However, the reverse appears to be the case in Nigeria as the state has failed to promote the well-being of her citizens and preserve life for all people. Instead, the resources of the state has been used by the leaders responsible for directing the day-to-day affairs of the state to promote their private/personal interest and that of their and cronies to the detriment of the generality of the citizens. The resultant effect of this anomaly is high rate of insecurity, poverty, unemployment, senseless killing, cultism/cult clashes, kidnapping and armed robbery. Therefore, the paper concludes that the promotion of good governance whereby leaders managing the affairs of will advance the interest and well-being of all citizens will translate to socio-economic development devoid of insecurity, bad governance and other social vices.

Keywords: Human Development, Common good, Governance, State, Insecurity

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©