The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph (Twentieth Anniversary Edition) [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this volume, Albert Hirschman reconstructs the intellectual climate of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to illuminate the intricate ideological transformation that occurred, wherein the pursuit of material interests --so long condemned as the deadly sin of avarice --was assigned the role of containing the unruly and destructive passions of man. Hirschman here offers a new interpretation for the rise of capitalism, one that emphasizes the continuities between old and new, in contrast to the assumption ...

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The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph (Twentieth Anniversary Edition)

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Overview

In this volume, Albert Hirschman reconstructs the intellectual climate of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to illuminate the intricate ideological transformation that occurred, wherein the pursuit of material interests --so long condemned as the deadly sin of avarice --was assigned the role of containing the unruly and destructive passions of man. Hirschman here offers a new interpretation for the rise of capitalism, one that emphasizes the continuities between old and new, in contrast to the assumption of a sharp break that is a common feature of both Marxian and Weberian thinking. Among the insights presented here is the ironical finding that capitalism was originally supposed to accomplish exactly what was soon denounced as its worst feature: the repression of the passions in favor of the "harmless," if one-dimensional, interests of commercial life. To portray this lengthy ideological change as an endogenous process, Hirschman draws on the writings of a large number of thinkers, including Montesquieu, Sir James Steuart, and Adam Smith.

This book shows the origin of the capitalistic ethic and where the social and cultural benefits accrue from the pursuit of gain.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner of the 2003 Benjamin E. Lippincott Award

"Hirschman's volume stands as a principal contribution to the growing literature that is beginning to reshape our understanding of the legitimating beliefs undergirding the rise of the modern market economy."--Robert Wuthnow, American Journal of Sociology

"A fresh and exciting argument of a fascinating thesis."--Nannerl O. Keohane, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Journal of Interdisciplinary History - Nannerl O. Keohane
A fresh and exciting argument of a fascinating thesis.
American Journal of Sociology - Robert Wuthnow
Hirschman's volume stands as a principal contribution to the growing literature that is beginning to reshape our understanding of the legitimating beliefs undergirding the rise of the modern market economy.
American Journal of Sociology
Hirschman's volume stands as a principal contribution to the growing literature that is beginning to reshape our understanding of the legitimating beliefs undergirding the rise of the modern market economy.
— Robert Wuthnow
Journal of Interdisciplinary History
A fresh and exciting argument of a fascinating thesis.
— Nannerl O. Keohane
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400822232
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/6/1997
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 180
  • File size: 596 KB

Table of Contents



Foreword


Preface to the Twentieth Anniversary Edition


Acknowledgments


Introduction

3

Pt. 1

How the Interests were Called Upon to Counteract the Passions

7



The Idea of Glory and Its Downfall

9



Man "as he really is"

12



Repressing and Harnessing the Passions

14



The Principle of the Countervailing Passion

20



"Interest" and "Interests" as Tamers of the Passions

31



Interest as a New Paradigm

42



Assets of an Interest-Governed World: Predictability and Constancy

48



Money-Making and Commerce as Innocent and Doux

56



Money-Making as a Calm Passion

63

Pt. 2

How Economic Expansion was Expected to Improve the Political Order

67



Elements of a Doctrine

70



Related yet Discordant Views

93

Pt. 3

Reflections on an Episode in Intellectual History

115



Where the Montesquieu-Steuart Vision Went Wrong

117



The Promise of an Interest-Governed World versus the Protestant Ethnic

128



Contemporary Notes

132



Notes

137



Index

147

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