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Lecture 20

HIS109Y1 Lecture 20: Lecture 20-The Philosophes-Nov 23

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Kenneth Bartlett

C. de Montesquieu Denis Diderot J dAlembert Buffon Encyclopedia Montesquieu o Prestigious o Hereditary nobility o Aristocratic reaction to the absolutism of Louis o Had to be another power base to balance authority of the crown o Legislative, executive, judicial branches of govt. o Lettres de Paris Observations on France written by a Persian traveller o Rationalist o Attack on Eurocentric perspective of writers o There are other ways of looking at the world o Looked at the nature of French institutions o The spirit of the laws (1748) Dependent on Lockes second treatise of government o Social and constitutional institution o Did not agree to divine intervention o If everything is the result of human decisions, then you look at society in a different way o Weather, state of the soil, geography Not of our control o State is made up many states, and will vary depending on the state o Traditions and practices of a society must also be factored in Religion o History of oppression, freedom? Cooperative society, hierarchal society? o You must take all these things into account if you want to create a political structure o Once these things are considered and a constitution is written, it becomes the consequence and becomes a major player (the law determines how you will act) o These things are the consequence of obeying the law o Society must be multifaceted o There is no single solution; the forces at work are so different in different societies o Society must be plural and open to new experiences
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