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By Montesquieu

Véritable somme politique, De l'esprit des lois (1748) est le chef-d'oeuvre de Montesquieu. L'auteur y interact tout à l. a. fois une réflexion sur les différents gouvernements, une enquête sur les sociétés humaines et une examine comparée des lois afin de former tout homme à évaluer l'intervention législatrice. En s'attachant à saisir " l'esprit des lois " - ou rapports que les lois entretiennent avec le climat, l. a. faith, les moeurs, les richesses et le trade de chaque peuple -, il suggest une manière nouvelle d'appréhender l. a. réalité sociale. Conçue comme une advent par les textes, cette anthologie, qui rassemble et présente les livres les plus célèbres de De l'esprit des lois, entend permettre au lecteur de saisir les principaux enjeux philosophiques de cet ouvrage incontournable.

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Cullity and B. ), Ethics and Practical Reason (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), 215–54. ——Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity and Integrity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). O’Neill, O. Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant’s Practical Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). ——‘Vindicating Reason,’ in P. ), Cambridge Companion to Kant (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). ——Towards Justice and Virtue: A Constructive Account of Practical Reasoning (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

We have an abstract but nonideal characterization of the agents’ capabilities, capacities, and vulnerabilities based on empirical premises that do not carry normative significance in their own right. We also have the fact of the predicament of a plurality of uncoordinated agents and the intuitively plausible requirement that any principles offered as a solution be followable in the sense of being cognitively graspable and not beyond an individual agent’s capacity to act. What justifies the additional requirements that any candidate principles must strike each agent as non-arbitrary given his starting points and be such that everyone could coherently adopt them together?

Thus, the structure of justification in Korsgaard’s constructivist account is similar to O’Neill’s. Instead of focusing on the predicament of a plurality of agents who need to coordinate, however, Korsgaard begins with the predicament of the agent who needs to unify his will, and indeed himself, in order to act. The basic problem faced by the human agent, she claims, is created by the structure of its mind. , conscious not only of things in the world but also of its own beliefs and desires, the agent has the capacity to distance himself from his beliefs and desires and call them into question.

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