MONTESQUIEU AND KRASICKI ON HUMAN NATURE: TWO VIEWS
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This article examines and compares views on human nature held by two great minds of the French and Polish Enlightenment, Montesquieu (1689-1755) and Ignacy Krasicki (1735-1801). The findings of the author of 'Persian Letters' are placed in the context of some reflections on the development of civilization (where the approach associated later with the name of Jean Jacques Rousseau already made itself felt). What distinguishes Krasicki's views is a skepticism about man's cognitive capabilities and skills - which he shares with his French master - and, at the same time, a concern that one should make the best use of them. Both writers stress the importance of tolerance and trust in man's basic moral kindness.
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