Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Jean Jacques Burlamaqui

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BURLAMAQUI, Jean Jacques (1694–1748), a celebrated writer on natural law, was born at Geneva on the 24th June 1694. He received a careful education, and while passing through his university course devoted himself with such success to the study of ethics and law of nature, that at the age of twenty-five he was designated honorary professor. Before taking possession of his chair he travelled through France and England, and made the acquaintance of the most eminent writers of the period. On his return he began his lectures, and soon gained a wide reputation, from the simplicity of his style and the precision of his views. He continued to lecture for fifteen years, when he was compelled to resign from ill-health. His fellow-citizens at once elected him a member of the council of state, and he gained as high a reputation for his practical sagacity as he had for his theoretical knowledge. He died at Geneva on the 3d April 1748. His works were Principes du Droit Naturel, 1747, and Principes du Droit Politique, 1751. These have passed through many editions, and were very extensively used as text-books. The most convenient collected edition is that by Dupin, in 5 vols., 1820. Burlamaqui's style is simple and clear, and his arrangement of the material good. His fundamental principle may be described as rational utilitarianism, and it in many ways resembles that of Cumberland.