Jean Bodin

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Bodin, Jean

 

Born 1530, in Angers; died 1596, in Laon. French political thinker, theoretician of natural law, and jurist.

Bodin studied law in Toulouse and then moved to Paris. In 1576 he was a deputy from the Third Estate to the Estates General, meeting in Blois. In his book A Method for the Easy Study of History (1566) he asserted that society is formed by the social environment and represents the sum total of blood-relationships and economic alliances. Progress is achieved in society, whereas in nature there is merely a cyclical rotation. In his major work, Six Books Concerning a Republic (1576), he introduced the concept of constitutional monarchy and the principle of the indivisibility of state sovereignty by denying the divine origin of a monarch’s authority. He also defended religious tolerance. He acknowledged the people’s right to kill a tyrant. Bodin saw the cause of political revolutions in the inequality of property. In his work An Answer to the Paradoxes of M. Malestroict . . . (1568) he set forth his economic views, defending the necessity for freedom of trade. Bodin had an influence on the formulation of the quantitative theory of money. In his work A Dialogue Between Seven Men (1593, published posthumously) he defended the idea of natural religion.

REFERENCES

Marx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3. Page 314.
Istoriia filosofii, vol. 2. Moscow, 1941. Pages 75–77.
Kogan-Bernshtein, F. A. “Ekonomicheskie vzgliady Bodena.” In the collection Srednie veka, issue 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Chauviré, R. Jean Bodin, auteur de la “République.” Paris, 1916.
Kamp, M. E. Die Staatswirtschaftslehre J. Boden. Bonn, 1949.

G. L. ZEL’MANOVA