Droit, politique et législation dans le Dictionnaire des «savoirs d’État» de Robinet

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François Quastana


Less known than the other encyclopaedic dictionaries of the Age of Enlightenment, the Dictionnaire universel des sciences, morale économique politique et diplomatique by Jean-Baptiste Robinet (1732-1820) is a perfect illustration of the desire to bring together all the knowledge of the state at the end of the 18th century in a specialised dictionary. It consists of thirty volumes published between 1777 and 1783.The aim of this contribution is to examine the treatment of law and legislation in this dictionary, which is directly linked to philosophy and politics, by highlighting the compositional processes of the main articles devoted to them. After placing Robinet's enterprise in the philosophical heritage of the Encyclopédie, which it intends to improve but also to surpass in the legal domain, it studies the way in which law is conceived as a knowledge of the State through an exposition of the principles of the art of lawgiving which seems to show over and above the ideological eclecticism of the sources and materials used, a profound aspiration to a general overhaul and unification of legislation.

English title: Law, Politics and Legislation in Robinet’s Dictionnaire of State Knolewdge

Keywords: Jean-Baptiste Robinet, Encyclopedism, Cameralism, History of Law, Science of Government and State Knowledge


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