more from Baron de Montesquieu

Single Idea 19960

[catalogued under 25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / b. Natural law]

Full Idea

Animals have natural laws because they are united by sensation, ...but they do not invariably follow thieir natural laws; these are better observed by vegetables, which have neither knowledge nor sensation.

Gist of Idea

Sensation gives animals natural laws, but knowledge can make them break them


Baron de Montesquieu (The Spirit of the Laws (rev. 1757) [1748], 01.02)

Book Reference

Montesquieu,Baron de: 'Selected Political Writings', ed/tr. Richter,Melvin [Hackett 1990], p.111

A Reaction

With the example of vegetables the concept of natural law is drifting into the laws of nature, and evidently Montesquie makes no sharp distinction here.