Intolérance religieuse et «esprit de vertige». La Lettre LXXXIII des Lettres persanes et l’invention d’un nouveau paradigme

Stéphane Pujol


This article analyzes a particular and circumstantial definition of spirit Montesquieu proposes in his Lettres persanes. In Letter LXXXIII Montesquieu discusses an “esprit de vertige”. He presents it as a sort of counter-definition that allows one to characterize the constant effects of an evil spirit. Montesquieu ultimately wishes this concept to be a subversive means of identifying fanaticism. 


Enlightenment; Montesquieu; Persian Letters; Spirit; Fanaticism

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