Justice and Law: An Alliance of Science and Morals
Once prudence, deviousness, a kind of pedantic frivolity, or the rhetorical sleight of hand at which Voltaire was so adept have been dismissed as credible explanations of the philosophical complexities of book I, and the entire seriousness of his enterprise from start to finish has been conceded, then it is not really the contents of chapter I which hold the greatest surprise for the reader familiar with an image of Montesquieu as the founder of a science of legislations, but the inclusion and development of the ideas of chapter 2, Des lois de la nature. For as Montesquieu himself exclaimed in the Défense, the subject of his work is unmistakable: “Ceux qui auront quelques lumières verront du premier coup d’oeil que cet ouvrage a pour objet les lois, les coutumes et les divers usages de tous les peuples de la terre,” 1
KeywordsHuman Intelligence Intelligent Creature Moral World Natural Religion Inanimate Matter
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