Political Theory

Montesquieu and Rousseau: On Liberty, Commerce, and Virtue


This conference studied differing facets of eighteenth century French political thought by examining Montesquieu and Rousseau. On the one hand, it is impossible to ignore the strong influence that Montesquieu exercised on the constitutional. On the other hand, it is difficult to understand the French Revolution, the core ideas of Romanticism, or even the ideas put forward by many of the South American revolutionaries without relating them to Rousseau’s influence. Among the works explored during this conference were Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws and Rousseau’s First and Second Discourses and The Social Contract.


Conference Readings

Montesquieu. Del Espíritu de las Leyes. Madrid: Editorial Tecnos, 2007.

Rousseau. Discourso Sobre Las Ciencias y Las Artes. Madrid: Editorial El Ateneo, 2001.