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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2020

David W. Carrithers
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Philip Stewart
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

Few philosophes of the Enlightenment received such accolades as Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu et de la Brède (1689–1755) following publication of his Spirit of Law (1748), the product, he said, of twenty years’ study. Charles de Brosses, noted author and magistrate in Dijon, was moved to say, “What a fine work! How many ideas, what fire, what precision […], what new and luminous thoughts.” Across the Channel David Hume proclaimed Montesquieu an “author of great genius, as well as extensive learning” and concluded he had produced “the best system of political knowledge that, perhaps, has ever been communicated to the world.” Montesquieu’s work, he predicted, would be regarded as “the wonder of all centuries.” Edmund Burke was similarly awed and called Montesquieu “a genius not born in every country, or every time […] with an herculean robustness of mind.”

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Chapter
Information
Montesquieu
Discourses, Dissertations, and Dialogues on Politics, Science, and Religion
, pp. 1 - 22
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Introduction
  • Edited and translated by David W. Carrithers, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Philip Stewart, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: Montesquieu
  • Online publication: 02 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108882521.001
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  • Introduction
  • Edited and translated by David W. Carrithers, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Philip Stewart, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: Montesquieu
  • Online publication: 02 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108882521.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edited and translated by David W. Carrithers, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Philip Stewart, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: Montesquieu
  • Online publication: 02 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108882521.001
Available formats
×