Hello from a day with forgetting words from thinking. Today we will talk about family. When we consider the family, which is the most important concept of our lives, from an emotional and traditional point of view, we will look at the family from a different perspective, and maybe we will overcome the point of conscientious responsibility together. We will examine what the family means, how it emerged, its place in the evolutionary process, and its main purpose. 

Origin of the Family

Unfortunately, our knowledge of how the family came about is only a matter of opinion. The hypothetical views are mostly based on sexual instinct, absolute freedom of sexual intercourse, and a religious view (Adam and Eve), in which the family has already existed since the beginning of humanity. The strongest of the views is the desire of the male sex to dominate the woman based on the authority given by these feelings, which arises from the feeling of possessiveness and jealousy. What follows is the transformation of this request into tradition. Of course, this view is only a guess, there is no rule that it is true. However, anthropological studies conducted after the assumptions, support the mentioned point of view. 

When we look more closely at its place in the evolutionary process, I think we can agree on the point of sexual instinct that we mentioned previously. Just as there are instinctive actions such as starting a family and taking care of babies in mammals, this also applies to humans. Just as there are instinctive actions such as starting a family and taking care of babies in mammals, this also applies to humans. Sexual intercourse and the continuity of the lineage are acts of vital importance for every living thing from the very beginning. Anyway, if you acquire this ability from any living thing, then what remains? As it is known, the continuation of the lineage of a human being is a long process compared to other living things (except elephants). Nine months and the following time is a normal process for the female, who is not ready to reproduce rapidly and needs to recover, which is a long time for the male individual who wants to continue the lineage continuously. At this point, the concept of polygyny (polygamy) emerges. Instead of waiting until the female is ready, the male begins to look for another female in an animalistic and unwilling way. However, this situation caused uncertainty and conflicts in terms of the inheritance (material and moral) transferred to the next generations.

With the advent of civilization, states were established. The concept of marriage emerged when individual land owned could not be controlled by the state. With the concept of marriage, family formation and traditions emerged. The ease with which the inheritance, social and material capital can be transferred from one generation to another has also come to the interest of the state. Now the state could control individuals, material wealth, and societies. Of course, the concept of marriage has been experienced for years (and still) in every society, according to views such as traditions, customs, culture, and religion. But it should not be forgotten that its basis is to be monopolized by the state in every aspect.

My Grandparents, My Parents and I (Family Tree) by Frida Kahlo

Once Philosophers Thought About Family


If we take a look more closely at Hegel’s thoughts about ethics, he first addressed the family and said that ethics begins in the family. He argued that the family should be built on the bond of love. He mentioned that the person should take place in the family, as a member of the community, instead of existing as an individual. He mentioned that one should consider the interests of the family before one’s interests. He suggested that ethics can be applied in this way in societies. This is the way I understand and interpret it while reading Hegel. I have turned Hegel’s difficult and unique langue as far as I can.


I think Plato confirms Hegel’s statement of state. But it was handled in another way. Plato argued that people could not live alone and could not maintain their lives alone, so societies were needed. Since the smallest unit of society is the family, it would not be wrong to define the existence of the family as a small unit born out of necessity, since a person cannot sustain an individual’s life alone.


The state established the family for its interests. Then the following question may come to mind; Why didn’t families put their children under the protection of the state? Because in a way, that might make sense, too. In addition, the social, economic, and psychological burden on the family would decrease. But Russell has a very good answer to that. Russell thought such a practice would take away children’s life purpose and become tiny capitalist robots of the state (I think we became capitalist grown-up robots instead). Moreover, there would be no reason to establish a family with property rights (the state has already established the family for this reason). I think he has a lot of valid points about that. In short, no matter how we look at the family, it is a unit that feeds the state.

The Notion of Family in A Nutshell

Much more can be written or spoken about it. Many different or similar views can be put forward. If I conclude with my reflection, family is a political concept and community. The feelings towards the family (love, hate, anger, peace, etc.) are usually related to the way parents raise their children and are psychological. Within the scope of conscientious responsibilities, everything that you think you have to do and do not want to do will harm not only you but also the generation that will be born from you. Finally, I will touch upon Khalil Gibran’s thoughts about children that families should be aware of.

“They come thanks to you, but not from you. Although they are with you, they do not belong to you. You can give them your love but not your thoughts… Because they have their thoughts. You can house their bodies but not their souls… You can try to be like them, but don’t try to make them like you. Because neither life goes back nor does it linger with yesterday.”

-Khalil Gibran “The Prophet”-

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