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Montesquieu and the Despotic Ideas of Europe  An Interpretation of  The Spirit of the La
Type : epub |
Size : 1.18 MB |
English |

: Montesquieu is rightly famous as a tireless critic of despotism, which he associates in his writings overtly with Asia and the Middle East and not with the apparently more moderate Western models of governance found throughout Europe. However, a careful reading of Montesquieu reveals that he recognizes a susceptibility to despotic practices in the West-and that the threat emanates not from the East, but from certain despotic ideas that inform such Western institutions as the French monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church.

Nowhere is Montesquieu's critique of the despotic ideas of Europe more powerful than in his enormously influential The Spirit of the La, and Vickie B. Sullivan guides readers through Montesquieu's sometimes veiled, yet sharply critical accounts of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Aristotle, and Plato, as well as various Christian thinkers. He finds deleterious consequences, for example, in brutal Machiavellianism, in Hobbes's justifications for the...


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