more from Baron de Montesquieu

Single Idea 19961

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / b. The natural life]

Full Idea

A being concerned only with preservation would be very timid. In such a state every man would feel himself an inferior; he could scarcely imagine himself an equal. No one would seek to attack anyone else; peace would be the first law of nature.

Gist of Idea

Primitive people would be too vulnerable and timid to attack anyone, so peace would reign


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.112

A Reaction

Exactly the idea that Rousseau took up, and they both attack Hobbes for describing a more advanced stage of society, instead of focusing on the original state. A solitary individual would be crazy to launch attacks on other individuals.

Related Idea

Idea 19962 Men do not desire to subjugate one another; domination is a complex and advanced idea [Montesquieu]