Talk:The Spirit of the Laws

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It would really be great if someone could read it on WikiSource and add to this article, one of the most influential historical works of all time. Frankly, I'm astounded that Wikipedia does not have a real page for this yet.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:38, November 15, 2006 (UTC)

I have been studying Montesquieu for a week or so now and i have yet to find his views on war. I think that they should go into detail on his views on war and violence, or did he state a specific view?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:46, February 1, 2007 (UTC)

  • Book 9 of Spirit of the Laws goes into some detail on war-related topics and national security. Christopher Parham (talk) 04:18, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

It might be appropriate to know that the proper translation from French is "Of the Spirit of the law" and not "The Spirit of the law". Even in ancient French, the distinction is meant more as "derived from", which is better translated by "Of..."user:rawbear

"Of the Spirit of the Law" would be "De l'esprit de la loi" - I don't think 18th century and modern French differ on that. Montesquieu's title is "Défense de l'esprit des loix" or, in modern spelling, "... lois". In English, taking into account that he is talking about laws in general, that is "The Spirit of Laws". This is actually what appears at the top of almost every second page of my copy of the 1949 Hafner edition (with preface by Franz Neumann). Yet the title page and the front cover have "The Spirit of the Laws". It is difficult to imagine how that difference could have been deliberate. The Library of Congress Online Catalog has "Spirit of Laws" for several copies, which are stated or appear to be Nugent's translation, so maybe Hafner has goofed. However, the translators of the 1989 Cambridge edition have kept "The Spirit of the Laws" without (so far as I can tell from the pages available online) seeing any issue. ----Wikiain (talk) 06:08, 2 November 2013 (UTC) Corrected --Wikiain (talk) 04:56, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
The British Library General Catalogue has editions of Nugent's translation from 1750 onward. All of them are titled "The Spirit of Laws". The key elements of the entry for the earliest are:
   Title: The Spirit of Laws. Translated [by Thomas Nugent] ... With corrections and additions communicated by the author.
   Author: Charles de Secondat Montesquieu, baron de, 1689-1755
   Contributor: Thomas NUGENT LL.D. ;
   Charles de Secondat Montesquieu baron de, 1689-1755
   Publication Details: London : J. Nourse & P. Vaillant, 1750.
   Language: English
   Uniform Title: [De l'esprit des lois.]
   Identifier: System number 003324684
   Physical Description: 2 vol. ; 8º.

--Wikiain (talk) 04:16, 6 November 2013 (UTC)


This article (which I happened upon via a link provided in another article--Honor) appears to me to need many further citations throughout. Some of it appears to be plagiarism from unattributed source or sources. Please sign comments with four tildes. Thank you. [...I added the unsigned templates.] Deleted a large amount of space on this talk page. Please see talk page header for W:Talk page guidelines. Thanks again. --NYScholar 20:15, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The source for pretty much everything would seem to be the book. What do you have in mind as requiring more specific citation? Christopher Parham (talk) 20:29, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Just that following any sentences that are taken from the introduction to the book (an essay with an author or authors) or from the book itself, citations are necessary (with page refs. to the text or online webpage being used as a source). It is not clear where whoever wrote the material got it, whether it is from a primary source (Montesquieu's treatise) or from a secondary source discussing the primary source. See also WP:NOR and W:Citing sources for related guidelines. Thanks. --NYScholar 04:08, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I am well aware of those policies, I am simply trying to ascertain which particular statements you feel require citations (that is, which statements you are challenging). Presumably since you added a tag requesting citations you have a few in mind. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:36, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
While you're here, what is the value of American Constitution Society for Law and Policy as a see also? The relevance is not immediately apparent. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:44, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

really awful precis of the book[edit]

This is a really awful precis of the book. For instance, where is discussion of the main proposition that monarchy rules by fear, modern monarchy by honors, and republics by reason? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 30 May 2013 (UTC)