Response to the Paradoxes of Malestroit

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'Bodin's "Reply to Malestroit (1568) is rightly regarded as a milestone in the development of the quantity theory of money... while Bodin was the most influential contemporary writer to underline the role of New World specie as the main cause of inflation he was no crude bullionist' - Glyn Davies, "A History of Money (1994) Jean Bodin (1529-96) is chiefly known for his highly influential theory of the modern nation state, "Six livres de la republique. However, his shorter treatise, "Responce aux Paradoxes de Monsieur de Malestroit, addressed the particular problems of economic and financial policy, and in doing so he broke new ground. For its time, it was a remarkable piece of economic and political analysis. This is a new and complete translation of Bodin's treatise with notes, introduction and bibliography. Based on the first edition of 1568, it incorporates the considerable additions and amendments which Bodin introduced into the second edition of 1578. These additions include asubstantial section from the "Six livres de la republique in which Bodin argues a case against debasement of the coinage and in favour of sound money. The volume thus gives a complete picture of Bodin's political economy and the stages of its development. It will be of value not only to students of history and political economy but also to professional scholars to whom the text might not otherwise be readily available. --the first widely available complete translation into English of this scarce text --new editorial materials set Bodin's thought in the context of modern economic ideas --includes an important historical analysis of inflation of value to students and researchers inhistory, economics and political economy

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About the author (1997)

One of the most influential French philosophers of the sixteenth century, Jean Bodin is known today for his political thought. Born in 1530, he received training in law at the University of Toulouse and became an advocate in Paris, where he won the favor of the royal family. Bodin's first major work, Method for the Easy Comprehension of History (Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem), published in 1566, provides an overall introduction to his philosophical system. The Six Bookes of a Commonweale, which appeared in French in 1576 and later in a Latin version, is in many respects his chief claim to fame as a political philosopher. It contains a strong defense of absolute sovereignty and of monarchy as the best form of government. His Demonomania, first published in 1580, is an elaborate account of witchcraft and sorcery intended to assist in the suppression of the black arts. Theatre of Nature (Universale theatrum naturae), printed in 1596, contains his cosmology and his speculations on the nature of the human soul, angels, and the spiritual world. Colloquium of the Seven (Colloquium heptaplomeres), composed in 1588, did not appear in print until the nineteenth century. It takes the form of a dialogue among seven sages of different religions and philosophical persuasions in search of a common creed. Although he was an active and, at times, controversial writer during the period of France's most bitter religious strife, Bodin seems to have avoided sectarian conflict while maintaining his loyalty to the Catholic Church and the monarchy. Bodin died in 1596.

University of Durham

Robert Dyson teaches politics at the University of Durham, and has previously edited and translated an acclaimed rendition of The City of God by Augustine for the Cambridge Texts series.

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