Description - The Passions and the Interests by Albert O. Hirschman
This text reconstructs the intellectual climate of the 17th and 18th centuries to illuminate the intricate ideological transformation that occurred, wherein the pursuit of material interests was assigned the role of containing the unruly and destructive passions of man. The book offers an interpretation of the rise of capitalism that emphasizes the continuities between old and new, in contrast to the assumption of a sharp break that is a common feature of both Marxist and Weberian thinking. Among the insights presented in the book is the ironical finding that capitalism was originally supposed to accomplish exactly what was soon denounced as its worst feature: the repression of passions in favour of the "harmless", if one dimensional, interests of commercial life. To portray this lengthy ideological change as an endogenous process, the author draws on the writings of a large number of thinkers, including Montesquieu, Sir James Steuart and Adam Smith.
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(203mm x 127mm x mm)
Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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