chapter  XII
The Problem of the Degree of Determination
Pages 6

W HILE we have been able, with the help of diligentsearching and a somewhat daring analysis, to collecttogether the rudiments of a solution of problem B, the problem of the character of the interconnection between substructure and superstructure, we are in a much more. difficult position with regard to problem C, the question how far the influence of the substructure extends. It is clear from the foregoing discussion that Montesquieu admits the possibility of time-lags in the adjustment of ideas and sentiments to the basic constitution of the state, and in one context he gives a concrete example of such a situation: "It is possible that this nati<?n [i.e. the English], having formerly been subject to an arbitrary power, should, in some respects, have preserved its style; so that. one can often see, on the foundation of a free government, the form [characteristic] of an absolute government" (II, 580). But this pronouncement is really a further corroboration of our conclusions re problem B rather than an indication of a possible solution of problem C: it does not tell us very much, if anything, on the reach of the social determination of thought-processes assumed by the author whom we are studying.