Political Theory

The French Classical Liberal Heritage: Montesquieu and Destutt de Tracy


This conference sought to understand the political and economic thought of two central figures of the French classical liberal tradition, Montesquieu and Destutt de Tracy, which exerted great intellectual influence on key American publicists.


Conference Readings

Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude. A Treatise on Political Economy. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011.

Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude. A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s "Spirit of Laws". Translated by Thomas Jefferson. Philadelphia: William Duane, 1811.

Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat. The Spirit of the Laws. Translated by Anne M. Cohler, Basia Carolyn Miller, and Harold Samuel Stone. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.