The disposition of things: spontaneous order in the Esprit des Lois 1

The European Legacy 9 (6):751-765 (2004)
Abstract
The article states that in the "Esprit des Lois" Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu famously proposes a version of the doctrine of the separation of judicial, executive and legislative power as a way of protecting political liberty ("the opinion each has of his security"). Given the context in which he situates his arguments: an immense and theoretically opaque excursus which discusses almost everything known to political theory, anthropology and economics before his time, and essentially descriptive methodology, it is not easy to discern a clear line of argument in support of the doctrine of the separation of powers
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