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Hence, interpretation to unify the norms was inevitable. Interpretation of Law in the Age of Enlightenment: From the Rule of the King to the Rule of Law.
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Rule of law - Wikipedia

A simple search for just those three words on the Internet turns up many references to the phrase. For all his distrust of human nature, Hobbes was interested in justice and he did advocate that people band together so that the monarch would hear their concerns. Rationalism, another seventeenth-century philosophy, chose reason and logic, rather than observation the senses as the basis for knowledge.

Rationalism grew into a political movement, too, based in Paris and embodied in a group of writers including the poet Voltaire to and Swiss-born essayist Jean Jacques Rousseau to Cartesian geometry uses algebra to solve geometric problems, in case you were wondering who to blame for that. Descartes believed reason could be based on knowledge that just exists — independent of sense-experience. Think of the way mathematical principals seem to exist on a plane separate from everyday reality.

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Descartes decided that the only thing beyond doubt was his own thinking. The Encyclopedists were intensely interested in the American Revolution, which broke out in the same decade that they were collaborating. The interest was mutual. While relying on conventional Greek contrasts between king and tyrant and between the king as individual ruler and the multitudinous rule of aristocracy and democracy , Plato makes little use of the notion of kingship per se.

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That he had used the word, however, was key to the later career of the notion in imperial Rome and monarchical Europe. To the Stoic Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius reigned — , what mattered was that even kings should be philosophers, rather than that only philosophers should rule. The enlightened despots of the 18th century, such as Frederick II the Great of Prussia and Catherine II the Great of Russia, would pride themselves on being philosopher kings and queens. More than 1, years later the notion of such a figure acting as the interpreter of law inspired the Ayatollah Khomeini and the revolutionary state that he shaped in Iran.

Finally, and more broadly, the notion of the philosopher ruler has come to signify a general claim to domination by an unaccountable, if putatively beneficent, elite, as in certain forms of Marxism and other revolutionary political movements. Philosopher king. Info Print Cite.

Interpretation of Law in the Age of Enlightenment

Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Written By: Melissa Lane. See Article History.

It demonstrates how the Napoleonic Code should be interpreted through specific examples. To illustrate, in chapter 4 part 2 section 6, the book talks about the things that needs to be done if a person dies in the sea.

Death was a topic that was covered in the Napoleonic Code. This book shows the correct interpretation of the Code by answering questions like: How to make sure that the person has died? How the death of this person should be archived? Thus, it clarifies the ideas of the Napoleonic Code.

Enlightenment Thinkers

Does the Code Civil Matter? By doing so, it highlights the limitations of not only the Napoleonic Code, but also the concept of codified law system. It also claims that codification is a unifying process, not the unity of law. Origins and Impact of the French Civil Code. This semi-professional article analyzes the legal, political, and theoretical background of the Napoleonic Code along with the making and the promulgation of this Code.

It also highlights the evolution and the impact of the Napoleonic Code on the French community.

Reference Article: A brief overview of the Enlightenment period of the 18th century.

Although the article is fluent and understandable, it was translated from Vietnamese to English. This might have weakened the content. Furthermore, unlike the other articles in this research guide, it is not structured in a professional way. Delplanque, Catherine.

Edith Horak, March 06, Code Napoleon The Napoleonic Code. These are the other primary sources that can be found in this research guide. This section also has the translated version of the Napoleonic Code.

This article explores the historical and the present-day effects of the Napoleonic Code on the Latin American countries. It delves into the development of the private laws and the influence of the Napoleonic Code in the construction of these laws in countries like Argentina and Chile.


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It claims that weakened European influence along with the globalization of business laws were two of the main reasons behind the diminishing effects of the Napoleonic Code on Latin America. However, this article claims that the Napoleonic Code will continue to rule in Latin America due to the logic behind its structure.