The Enlightenment's Fable: Bernard Mandeville and the Discovery of Society (Ideas in Context)

  • Publish Date: 1994-06-24
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: E. J. Hundert
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The apprehension of society as an aggregation of self-interested individuals is a dominant modern concern, but one first systematically articulated during the Enlightenment. This book approaches this problem from the perspective of the challenge offered to inherited traditions of morality and social understanding by Bernard Mandeville, whose infamous paradoxical maxim private vices, public benefits profoundly disturbed his contemporaries, while his The Fable of the Bees had a decisive influence on David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant. Professor Hundert examines the sources and strategies of Mandeville's science of human nature and the role of his ideas in shaping eighteenth century economic, social and moral theories.



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