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AuthorMason, Sheila Mary. author
TitleMontesquieu's Idea of Justice [electronic resource] / by Sheila Mary Mason
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands : Imprint: Springer, 1975
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Descript XV, 319 p. 1 illus. online resource


Part One of Montesquieu's Idea of Justice comprises a survey of the currency in philosophical, ethical and aesthetic debate during the second half of the 17th century of the terms rapport and convenance, which are central to the enigmatic definition given to justice by Monยญ tesquieu in Lettres Persanes LXXXllI. In this survey, attention is concenยญ trated on the way in which the connotations of these terms fluctuate with the divergent development of the methodological and speculative outgrowths of Cartesian ism into two schools of thought, materialist and idealist, often widely at variance in their views of the nature and orgaยญ nization of the universe. In Part Two, Montesquieu's definition of justice is set against this background, whose doctrinal conflicts, because of the characteristic asยญ sociations of its key terms, it may be taken to reflect, just as it may be held to epitomize, by virtue of its elaboration in the opening chapter of De l' Esprit des Lois and its close terminological affinities with the definiยญ tion of law there given, an undoubtedly related conflict between the implications of causal determinism and the aspirations of idealist metaยญ physics surviving at the heart of Montesquieu's outlook, and, remaining unresolved, often said to impair the coherence if not the validity of his theory of society


I Montesquieu's Definition of Justice: Precursors and Parallels -- I. Lexicographers -- II. Metaphysicians -- III. Moralists and Others -- IV. English Thinkers -- V. Aesthetic Ideas -- II Montesquieu's Idea of Justice: Its Background, Meaning and Significance -- I. Biographical Origins -- II. Towards a Metaphysical Framework -- III. Justice and Law: the Significance of De l'Esprit des Lois, Bk. I -- IV. Justice and Law: an Alliance of Science and Morals -- V. Justice as a โ{128}{156}Leitmotifโ{128}{157}

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