Thursday, September 26, 2019


MODERN FRENCH THINKERS-POLITICAL SCIENCE PHILOSOPHY - Essay Example His political science thus harnesses the new natural science of the Enlightenment to address despotism, which he deems mankinds fundamental problem in older and newer times and in every land. One of his novel means for overcoming this enduring obstacle to human civilization and liberty, thus providing for mankinds needs and wants in a humane way, is a powerful but disguised judiciary which can change both the manner and structure of political life for any people or government. The best, most humane kind of government will be one most imbued, though still imperceptibly, by a judges concern with due process and protecting individual security. Throughout this examination of Montesquieu’s judging power recourse will be had to one of the â€Å"principles† of his work - principles which, he claims, explain â€Å"the histories of all nations† (Preface, 229, xliii). This is moderation, by which he means a balance, or equilibrium, which avoids extremes, and it is the fundamental principle of Montesquieus new political science. One of its particular forms is a doctrine of constitutionalism for which he is justly famous, since in its application to human beings and politics Montesquieus moderation takes the form of separation of powers. This principle of balance or equilibrium deeply informs his noted study of the constitution of England: â€Å"it is an everlasting experience that any man who has power is led to abuse it; he continues until he finds limits †¦ So that one cannot abuse power, it is necessary that, by the disposition of things, power check power" (XI.4, 395, 155). Montesquieus more general and fundamental formulation of the principle of moderation, however, is the understanding of esprit (spirit) which informs the works title, namely a Newtonian equilibrium achieved in the relations between bodies in motion (inanimate and animate). This is clearly evident in Montesquieus notion of the â€Å"principle of each [type of] government:" the right "relation between the

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