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del Espiritu de las Leyes

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,127 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
"Ey büyük Montesquieu!
Senin gökyüzündeki ruhunu kutsamaktan ötürü şeref kazanırsam, ne mutlu bana!
Ya siz, ey aklın, gerçeğin sessiz ve kimseyle konuşup görüşmeyen bekçileri!
Size de sevinç ve mutluluk verebilirsem, ne mutlu olurdum! İnsanlık savunucularının sesini duyurmakta etken olan istek ve heyecanı, duyarlı ruhlara üfleyebilsem dünyalar benim olurdu!..
İnsanlığın kutsal
Paperback, 655 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Heliasta S.R.L. (first published 1748)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 15, 2016 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I beg one favour of my readers, which I fear will not be granted me; this is, that they will not judge by a few hours reading of the labour of twenty years; that they will approve or condemn the book entire, and not a few particular phrases.

Reviewing big, old tomes like this is difficult, partly because they cover so much ground, and partly because whatever there is to say about them has already been said. Yet I was often surprised by what I found in this book, and therefore think it worthwhil
This is almost as huge as Leviathan and possibly scarier...


I love how Montesquieu makes DIRECT rebuttals. Locke, that dear old fellow, addresses Hobbes' arguments, but not Hobbes himself. Montesquieu says, "Hobbes says X argument. HE'S WRONG. I shall now show you WHY."

To whoever wrote the immensely illuminating (and legible!) notes in my used copy: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you.


I would've given this 4 stars, but I had to read about 150 pages in one night, so...I
Oct 17, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure what can compare in the West to The Spirit of Laws before its publication in 1748. Sure, there were the Greeks. Plato’s Republic and Laws were extensive dialogues on constructing political systems. But those were primary intellectual exercises. The debate was more about the ideal rather than the practical. Plato made some comparisons of Athenian and Spartan systems, but he was not surveying systems, he was attempting to take what was best. Aristotle was arguably more thorough with h ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Modern pundits and general yappers would do well to read more Montesquieu and less of whatever they are reading now -- if they are, in fact, reading anything at all.
Robert Owen
“The Spirit of the Laws”, Montesquieu’s widely read and, in its time, highly influential treatise on the nature of government was one of the vegetables that I resolved to consume in 2015. I made it through half of the book, which is pretty good given that at about a third of the way through I realized that “The Spirit of the Laws” is to my list of books on Enlightenment political philosophy what Brussel Sprouts are to my list of least favorite vegetables.

In the books initial sections Montesquie
Aug 10, 2015 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Montequieu placed emphasis on reason as the guide for laws and society, but also respected tradition, historical precedent, and the "spirit of the people". Laws should be based on reason +customs and mores.

3 forms of government correspond to size: despotic (large), monarchy (medium), republic (small). Despotism is sustained by fear (and thus is inherently corrupt and short-lived), monarchy by honor (class distinctions), and republics by civic virtue. These types tend to correspond to certain cli
Feb 25, 2016 Jimbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This monumental work is full of insight into how law comes into being and how and where it is useful in preserving order in society....
It is rich in provocative thought ....

These gems below I isolated from a single session with the text:

“(R)eform by law what is established by law, and change by custom what is settled by custom; for it is very bad policy to change by law what ought to be changed by custom.”

Nations are in general very tenacious of their customs; to take them away by violence is to
Lee Walker
Jul 24, 2013 Lee Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in history, political philosophy, etc.
Someone said this was almost as long and scary as Hobbes's Leviathan? Hardly. This book is a breeze to read if you have a good translation. Every chapter is between .5-2 pages at the most. It's all in bite-sized idea chunks. I have flown through 130 pages in just over a day. For a normal academic work I'd probably be on page 20 or 25 by now.

My problem is that, to the modern reader, much of what Montesqiueu says is nonsensical. His ideas are also shallow, and he tries to force his model on a worl
Jun 15, 2013 Bertrand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law, enlightenment
As for Rousseau I have to admit I started this lecture with some prejudice: whereas I mistakenly imagined Rousseau to be this half autistic failed novelist wearing rose-tinted glasses, I imagined Montesquieu to be somewhat his rigorous, legalistic counter-part (probably owing to my complete ignorance in the field of legal theory) bent on ossifying every well-meaning, politically correct and moralizing precept the Enlightenment might have produced. Once again I was wrong - it might seems to my re ...more
May 13, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever been curious as to why we have certain laws and why they have the effects they have. That is what is covered in this book. It opens by talking about why he thinks humans established laws and civilization, then it discusses what he labels as the three main forms of government: Republics, Monarchies, and Tyrannies. While there are many different themes throughout the book, I think one of the main ones is that for a government to be successful it often needs to stay true to its princ ...more
Mahmoud Haggui
الكتاب ينتقد الفلسفة المادية الجدلية كالفلسفة الماركسية الارثوذكسية، حين كان الطفل فى رحم الام كان يحيى حياة كاملة بجهاز تنفسى كامل لكن لم يستخدمه مرة واحدة و لو استخدمه داخل الرحم لهلك. الرسالة ان رحم الام بوابة للعيش فى عالم اوسع. الشاهد: نحن نعيش فى عالم صغير سننفذ الى عالم اوسع عن طريق الروح "الروح الشيئ الانفس فى الانسان" و ان كل فرد لا يؤمن بالاخرة و يرى الموت هوة عدم, يتخبط و تخبطه يعكس حالة التعاكس و التشاكس بين طريقة تكوينه و اعتقادة, بداخلة جهاز دائماً يفكر دائماً بالنهايو و الفناء مُر ...more
إناس مسعود
روح الشرائع ___ مونتسكيو

كتاب سياسي يتكلم عن القوانين "في مناح شتى "في شعوب أوربا والصين والمغول وطبيعة القوانين في كل من السلطات الملكية والجمهورية والمستبدة

للحظة تظنه نبياً لفهمه معنى العدل والحقوق حين يكون نور الفطرة "المودعة في داخل كل منا حسب تلقيه لها" هو القائد الباعث لتلك الأفكار و القوانين مثل قوله"

((إذا ماغدا القانون السياسي،الذي أقام في الدولة نظاماً لوراثة العرش،هادماً للهيئة السياسية التي وضع في سبيلها وجب ألا يشك في قدرة قانون سياسي آخر على تغيير هذا النظام ، وإنه مع استبعاد معارض
Hưng Duy
Nov 12, 2015 Hưng Duy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found its translation in Vietnamese in my college's library about a year ago
Recently, I and my friends had a slight debate about "national stereotype" as a part of a sequence related to prior topics.
thus,it is requisite for me to reread it in a perfect English translation (I may talk this over with some of my French-speaking friends, if necessary) for further and profound understanding about "social geography", peculiarly on how different climate and geography interact with particular culture.
Bob Nichols
“The Spirit of Laws" (Britannica Great Books edition, 1952; Thomas Nugent, Trans.) is a long book. Montesquieu starts from his first principles. Unlike the laws of the Deity or the material laws of nature, man creates his own laws. As a physical being, man “is like other bodies governed by invariable laws.” But, unlike "brutes who are governed by laws of motion," man possesses a free will, although it is prone to error because, “as a sensible creature, he is hurried away by a thousand impetuous ...more
Mar 01, 2016 Nicholas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feb 21, 2008 Bap rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, law
Ok, so I read this 35 years ago when I was in a master's program at LSE. It is long and long winded. Anti-cleric as I remember and there are moments that are memorable, though which ones I can't remember, , anti royalist, a plea for the enlightenment. This is like eating spinach, good for you but not something that you would run to if not assigned.
Oct 10, 2007 Johannes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greatbooks
Back in the day when historians/political philosophers didn't shy away from embracing projects of enormous breadth and scope... This man also had the most phenomenal knowledge of the classical world. If you are at all interested in American democracy, it's founded in large part on his thought.
Lawrence A
May 08, 2015 Lawrence A rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read excerpts from this important work when I was studying political science in college back in the 1970s. Over the past year or so, I've read numerous histories concerning the ideology of the leading figures in the American Revolution and the framing of the U.S. Constitution, many of whom--particularly John Adams and Alexander Hamilton--relied heavily on Montesquieu's thinking. Thus, I decided to read his most important work of political science cover to cover. The issue that we now most iden ...more
Adam Gossman
One of the best books I have ever read and ever shall hope to read at least three more times in my lifetime... if only all books were only a slight fraction of the merit of this (and all of M's works I have read) book then I daresay I would never stop reading.
My eyes still hurt from reading this. Would probably have enjoyed this a lot more, if a) Levy hadn't assigned this to be read in ONE week, b) Montesquieu had an editor. Yeah, that would definitely have done it.
Nov 11, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thick, but well researched book. Its impact on history alone grants it the 5 star rating. This particular edition was quite readable.
Richard Anderson
A classic, but honestly the latter portions could be excised, or at least excerpted. Get a modern translation, despite the price.
José Antonio
Mar 19, 2013 José Antonio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Formidable. Le debemos la separación de los poderes públicos, la escénica del estado moderno.
Tschäff Reisberg
Must read for any political junkie.
Joel Muinde
Dec 30, 2012 Joel Muinde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So sublime and concise.
Jun 11, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Potter's School Classical Track Year 3
Political treatise published in 1748. He compares republican, monarchical, and despotic forms of government.

Wikipedia: In this political treatise Montesquieu pleaded in favor of a constitutional system of government and the separation of powers, the ending of slavery, the preservation of civil liberties and the law, and the idea that political institutions ought to reflect the social and geographical aspects of each community.[2]

Book 4: Since the laws of education prepare us to be citizens: "Tha
Jul 21, 2009 Jp rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Spirit of the Laws" is a overwhelming book that remarks, quoting Raymond Aron, the very beggining of the sociology as science (not with August Comte, who just came out with the denomination). I agree so, because it really is a sociology book in substance, not just philosophy: efforts an understanding for social and culture diferences by the political view of governments and its laws (and even by natural circumstances, such as clime).

Still with with Aron's review, Montesquieu comes with hum
Savannah Jordan
This was a very difficult book to read. For one thing the original is in French and whoever did the translation did not do a very good job. Another thing it was written approximately 250 years ago so some of the places the author discussed are no longer in existence. I was determined to read this book because supposedly so much of the constitution (e.g. separation of powers) is based upon it. I will need to read an explanation of the book before I will be able to derive much from it.
Apr 14, 2014 Kenneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
An essential book in the history of law that needs to be red by every lawyer or political scientist. Unfortunately it is not.

A French theorist of the highest order, Montesquieu had a great influence on the formulation of the American Constitution.

Shorter than is often thought, the book reads in the style of Alexis de Tocqueville where each individual section can be read separately for reference material.
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  • On the Citizen
  • On the Republic/On the Laws
  • Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • Elements of the Philosophy of Right
  • Essays: Moral, Political and Literary
  • Political Writings (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • Natural Right and History
  • The Discourses & Other Early Political Writings (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • The Discourses
  • Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and Harmonies of the World
  • Elements of Chemistry
  • The Old Regime and the French Revolution
  • Two Treatises of Government
  • Ptolemy's Almagest
  • The Principles of Morals and Legislation
  • The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  • Considerations on France
  • The Essays
Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Enlightenment. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is taken for granted in modern discussions of government and implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He wa ...more
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“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” 96 likes
“Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.” 65 likes
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