The Fable of the Bees And Other Writings / Edition 1

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Although never censored, Bernard Mandeville's anonymously published The Fable of the Bees; or Private Vices, Public Benefits came to be regarded soon after its publication in 1723 as the Enlightenment's epitome of immorality. As a naturalistic account of the mechanisms that condition human desire and of the unintended stabilizing social consequences of self-interested action, it has since been recognized as one the eighteenth century's most significant works of social theory. More sharply focused on Mandeville's social theory than any previous collection of his writings, this abridged and modernized edition includes the most pertinent sections of The Fable, a selection from Mandeville's An Enquiry into the Origin of Honor, and essential background reading from two of Mandeville's most important sources: Pierre Bayle and the Jansenist Pierre Nicole. E. J. Hundert's Introduction places Mandeville in a number of central eighteenth-century debates - particularly that of the nature and morality of commercial modernity - and underscores the degree to which Mandeville's reconception of egoism as a positive social force stood as a central problem, not only for his immediate English contemporaries, but for such philosophers as Hume, Rousseau, and Kant.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872203747
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Series: Classics Series
  • Edition description: ABR
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 525,635
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

A Note on the Texts
1 The Ideological Context of Mandeville's Rise to Fame
2 Mandeville's Project: A Science of Socialized Man
Sources 1
Of Charity and Self-Love (1675) [On the nature and function of egoism] 1
Miscellaneous Thoughts on the Comet of 1680 [On the relationship of belief to action] 9
Selections from The Fable of the Bees, Volume I (1723) 19
The Preface [On the goals of the book] 19
The Grumbling Hive 23
The Introduction 36
An Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue [On the origins of morality] 36
Remark C [On honor, shame, and good manners] 45
Remark F [On vice] 55
Remark G [On vice and the public good] 56
Remark I [On avarice] 61
Remark K [On prodigality] 63
Remark L [On luxury] 65
Remark M [On pride and emulation] 73
Remark N [On envy and vanity] 80
Remark O [On pleasure and the comforts of life] 87
Remark Q [Of frugality] 94
Remark T [On opulence] 98
Remark Y [On ease] 107
An Essay on Charity and Charity-Schools [An attack on moral reformers] 109
A Search into the Nature of Society [A critique of Shaftesbury] 130
A Vindication of the Book [A defense of The Fable of the Bees] 148
Selection from The Fable of the Bees, Volume I (1728) 155
The Preface [An introduction to the argument] 155
The Third Dialogue [On pride, virtue, and self-liking] 160
The Sixth Dialogue [On language, duplicity, and the civilizing process] 182
Selections from An Enquiry into the Origin of Honor, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War (1732) 195
The First Dialogue [On the social function of honor, shame and religion] 195
Appendix Presentment of the Grand Jury of the County of Middlesex to the Court of King's Bench, July 11, 1723 214
Glossary of Prominent Persons 216
Suggestions for Further Reading 227
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