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AuthorWaddicor, Mark H. author
TitleMontesquieu and the Philosophy of Natural Law [electronic resource] / by Mark H. Waddicor
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1970
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Descript 228 p. online resource


In the last hundred years, the philosophy of natural law has suffered a fate that could hardly have been envisaged by the seventeenth and eighteenth century exponents of its universality and eternity: it has become old-fashioned. The positivists and the Marxists were happy to throw eternal moralยญ ity out of the window, confident that some magic temporal harmony would eventually follow Progress in by the front door. Their hopes may not have been fully realized, but they did succeed in discrediting natural law. What is often not appreciated is the extent to which we have adopted the tenets of the philosophy they despised, borh in the field of politics, and in the field of personal and social ethics, which Barbeyrac called "la science des mreurs" and which the positivists reยญ christened "social science". Consequently, though we live in a world whose freedom, such as it is, is largely a result of the popularization of the philosophy of natural law, and whose conscious and unconscious standards, such as they are, are a result of that philosophy as it became combined with Christianity, the doctrine of natural law is itself forยญ gotten. In view of the oblivion into which it has fallen, natural law is a concept which means little to the average reader. All too often, Montesquieu scholars have traded on this oblivion in order to give an exaggerated picture of his originality


1: Introduction to Natural Law and to the Work of Montesquieu -- I: The History of Natural Law -- II: Montesquieuโ{128}{153}s Life and Works -- III: The Problem of Montesquieu and Natural Law -- 2: The Originality of Montesquieuโ{128}{153}s Method -- I: The Problem of Montesquieuโ{128}{153}s Method -- II: The Prior Existence of Natural Law -- III: Civil Law and Natural Law in the Esprit des lois -- 3: Montesquieu and Empiricism in Natural Law -- I: Physical and Moral Concepts in Natural Law -- II: The Example of the Animals -- 4: The State of Nature and the Origin of Society -- I: Montesquieu and the State of Nature -- II: The Origin of Society -- III: The Historicity of the State of Nature -- IV: The Original Contract and its Implications -- 5: Montesquieu and Empiricism in Positive Law: The Diversity of Governments and Laws -- I: The Diversity of Governments -- II: The Diversity of Civil Law -- 6: Rationalism in Positive Law: Montesquieu the Reformer -- I: The Criminal Law -- II: Slavery -- III: Property -- IV: International Relations -- 7: Montesquieuโ{128}{153}s Conception of Law -- I: Montesquieuโ{128}{153}s Conception of God -- II: Montesquieu and the Laws of Science -- III: Montesquieu and the Moral Law -- Conclusion

Philosophy History Modern philosophy Philosophy Modern Philosophy History general


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