Iran Driven by the Spirit

The Turkish daily Referans published Sylvia Tiryaki’s article entitled “Iran Driven by the Spirit”. You can read Sylvia Tiryaki’s analysis on the “nuclear Iran” discussion in the orgininal newspaper in Turkish here. For an English version of the article simply click here.


Plato and Aristotle knew it. For them, the social structures were determined by the three primary but different drives of the human psyche: appetite, spirit and reason. According to this aptitude doctrine, people in societies (and state actors as well as states) can be divided into those finding their satisfaction through material means, honor or wisdom. Wisdom of the ancient political philosophy tells us that appetite is corrupting, yet in the modern paradigms of international politics we have dropped the spirit out altogether and reduced reason to instrumentality. Theories of international relations and politics regard material interests and security as primary drives behind the states’ behavior. In other words, all of them, with perhaps a slim exception of constructivism, are rooted in appetite assuming rational calculations and plans of states.

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