Montesquieu The Spirit of the Laws

ISBN-10: 0521369746
ISBN-13: 9780521369749
Edition: 1989
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Description: The Spirit of the Laws is without question one of the central texts in the history of eighteenth-century thought, yet there has been no complete scholarly English language edition since 1750. This lucid translation renders Montesquieu's problematic  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.99
Copyright year: 1989
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 9/21/1989
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 808
Size: 5.43" wide x 8.50" long x 1.61" tall
Weight: 2.596
Language: English

The Spirit of the Laws is without question one of the central texts in the history of eighteenth-century thought, yet there has been no complete scholarly English language edition since 1750. This lucid translation renders Montesquieu's problematic text newly accessible to a fresh generation of students, helping them to understand why Montesquieu was such an important figure in the early enlightenment and why The Spirit of the Laws was such an influence on those who framed the American Constitution. Fully annotated, this edition focuses on Montesquieu's use of sources and his text as a whole, rather than on those opening passages toward which critical energies have traditionally been devoted.

Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu, French philosopher and political theorist, is viewed variously as the most important precursor of sociology, as the father of modern historical research, and as the first modern political scientist. In The Persian Letters (1721), which was an immediate publishing success, he depicted France as seen by two imaginary Persians and thus demonstrated the possibility for objectivity that he demonstrated 27 years later in The Spirit of the Laws (1748), his masterpiece. On the surface, The Spirit is a treatise on law, but it also describes every domain affecting human behavior and raises questions of philosophical judgment about the merits of various kinds of legislation. It describes three types of government and their principles: Virtue is the principle of republics; honor, of monarchies; and fear, of despotism. With these "ideal types" as starting points, he proceeded to analyze legislation and the state in great detail. He made comparison the central method of his political science and thus directed the focus of inquiry from Europe to all societies in the world. His direct influence on the social sciences has been profound.

Editor+s note
Introduction
Principal events in Bakunin+s life
Biographical note
Note on the translation Statism and Anarchy
Index

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