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The apprehension of society as an aggregation of self-interested individuals, connected only by bonds of envy, competition, and exploitation, is a dominant modern concern, but one first systematically articulated during the European Enlightenment. The Enlightenment's 'Fable' approaches this problem from the perspective of the challenge offered to inherited traditions of morality and social understanding by the Anglo-Dutch physician, satirist and philosopher, Bernard Mandeville. Mandeville's infamous paradoxical maxim 'private vices, public benefits' profoundly disturbed his contemporaries, while his 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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521619424
ISBN-10: 0521619424
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 300
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 17-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Books By Author E. J. Hundert

Fable of the Bees and Other Writings by E. J. Hundert

The Fable of the Bees and Other Writings

Paperback, November 1997
Enlightenment's Fable by E. J. Hundert

The Enlightenment's Fable

Hardback, June 1994