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William Selinger

tended to emphasise Rousseau and the French and American Revolutions. 3 Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755), by contrast, is usually passed over in narratives about the rise of sovereignty. Indeed, there is no agreement among scholars about whether Montesquieu even

in People power
The impossibility of reason

This book presents an overview of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's work from a political science perspective. Was Rousseau — the great theorist of the French Revolution—really a conservative? The text argues that the author of ‘The Social Contract’ was a constitutionalist much closer to Madison, Montesquieu, and Locke than to revolutionaries. Outlining his profound opposition to Godless materialism and revolutionary change, this book finds parallels between Rousseau and Burke, as well as showing that Rousseau developed the first modern theory of nationalism. It presents an integrated political analysis of Rousseau's educational, ethical, religious and political writings.

Mark Olssen

Political pluralism: Montesquieu’s conception William Connolly says that ‘pluralism is not the same as “cultural relativism”, “absolute tolerance”, or “the abandonment of all standards”’ ( 2005b : 41). He acknowledges that ‘many critics … treat these perspectives as if they were the same’ ( 2005b : 41). Connolly defines cultural relativism as ‘the view that you should support the culture that is dominant in a particular place’ ( 2005b : 41). In my language, cultural relativism specifies no principle or standard that can justify or be appealed to on moral or

in Constructing Foucault’s ethics
Rachel Hammersley

4 Bolingbroke’s French associates Introduction Previous research into Bolingbroke’s French connections has tended to focus on two important and interrelated areas. First, his association with and influence on well-known figures, most notably Voltaire and Montesquieu, and secondly his role in disseminating and popularising Newtonian ideas in France.1 Much of this research was carried out in the 1940s and 1950s, before the theories about republicanism and the commonwealth tradition had been fully developed. Perhaps for this reason, Bolingbroke’s role in

in The English republican tradition and eighteenth-century France
Government reform and Britain
Andrew Mansfield

theorists. In this chapter the stultification of the Circle’s plans will be charted, revealing France’s explicit pursuit of absolutism after 1718.The emergence of new notions regarding monarchical government in Britain, however, began to have an impact from the 1720s, markedly in the early works of Montesquieu and Voltaire. Following the previous chapter, this chapter will outline the development of ideas concerning the French monarchy and the influence that British politics and theory had on these significant ­philosophies. The abbé de Saint-Pierre’s Perpetual Peace and

in Ideas of monarchical reform
Abstract only
Allyn Fives

independence Now we must examine why the mature Shklar rejects the value pluralist conception of negative freedom, but also in what way precisely hers is a value monist conception of freedom. To answer these questions, we need to consider first the distinction she makes between freedom and independence. In arguing that negative liberty is merely a condition for positive freedom, Shklar is building an argument that owes a great deal to her reading of Montesquieu. Of particular importance is the distinction Montesquieu makes (and Shklar

in Judith Shklar and the liberalism of fear
Thomas Docherty

Benjamin, there is another available instructive originary moment for this examination of our question. When he died on 10 February 1755, Montesquieu was blind, and had indeed suffered from near-total blindness during the last years of his life. Shortly after his death, when his fragmentary and still incomplete Essay on Taste was published, it became immediately apparent what such an affliction might have meant to him. In that essay (probably begun around 1726, and so contemporaneous with the ‘birth’ of aesthetics in the texts of Hutcheson11), Montesquieu had highlighted

in The new aestheticism
Rousseau as a constitutionalist
Mads Qvortrup

. Among the latter we may cite Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Montesquieu, Madison, Hayek and possibly even Machiavelli (McCormick 2001: 297). Like all dichotomies this one stretches reality, and may become inaccurate and even absurd when applied too rigorously. However, as a heuristic device it may serve a purpose, namely by identifying the common denominators which we might otherwise overlook. Moreover, this distinction can even be found in the empirical literature (Ertmann 1997), as well as theorists have used the distinction for hundreds of years. Thus in 1476 the

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Abstract only
E.J. Clery
Robert Miles

who settled in Britain is at the heart of the matter. We have therefore included extracts from Tacitus and Montesquieu, the authorities eighteenth-century commentators most often referred to. However, this material was, by its nature, extremely pliable, and highly controversial. It was often bent into contrasting, even opposing, positions. Before the French Revolution it was used by establishment Whigs and radical Dissenters

in Gothic documents
Jewish emancipation and the Jewish question
Robert Fine
Philip Spencer

religion. 15 Like a ventriloquist who puts his better self into the voice of his dummy, Voltaire intoned, through his Rabbi, a powerful protest against the double standards of the Christian Church and its projection onto Jews of the cruelty that it itself demonstrated. We find similar ambivalences in Montesquieu. He is quoted by historians of antisemitism for a comment in Persian Letters that ‘You can be sure

in Antisemitism and the left