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The Passions and the Interests af Albert O.…
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The Passions and the Interests (original 1977; udgave 1997)

af Albert O. Hirschman

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
328559,480 (3.93)3
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.… (mere)
Medlem:john.burrows
Titel:The Passions and the Interests
Forfattere:Albert O. Hirschman
Info:Princeton University Press (1997), Edition: 20 Anv Sub, Paperback, 180 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph af Albert O. Hirschman (1977)

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In the foreword of my edition Amartya Sen maintains that the passions / interests contrast analyzed here is more extraordinary than the "alleged conundrum" of unintended effects in market theory. That is a biased and preposterous statement. This book is just a review of selected 18th and 19th century classics in economic theory and political economy. The author has plowed through many books and duly recorded how the words "interest" and "passion" are used in each. He puts together a reasonable narrative for how this word usage developed and what it meant, but it still amounts to little more than a very partial history of economic thought.

Towards the end of the book the author draws his comparison to von Mises' and Hayek's market theory which seems to have inspired Sen's musings in the foreword. The author writes "Curiously, the intended but unrealized effects of social decisions stand in need of being discovered even more than those effects that were unintended but turn out to be all too real". Lo and behold, this actually smells like social theory. But the curious thing is that the author's preceding literature review does not in any way touch upon any "intended but unrealized effects"; what they are or how they might be discovered. Certainly the author can't be thinking that, by reading the works of 18th century philosophers, he has discovered what 18th century people intended with their actions?

In any case, this book is a brief but well-written piece of 18th and 19th century intellectual history. If the author intended it to be something else, the effects of that intention were not realized in my reading of the book.
  thcson | Dec 5, 2019 |
El autor repasa los fundamentos de como el desarrollo de la idea de capitalismo surgió como una manera de canalizar la agresividad y el egoísmo humando en favor de la sociedad ( )
  gneoflavio | Dec 14, 2018 |
The book explains the arguments for and against capitalism back when capitalism was still a new idea and back when people viewed capitalism as the sins of greed and usury. The book was, unfortunately, too boring to recommend. ( )
1 stem M_Clark | Apr 18, 2016 |
The curious economic philosophy that human variability and change-driven existence makes capitalism the most realistic economic philosophy ( )
  vegetarian | Jan 7, 2013 |
The AUTHOR of _Exit, Voice, and Loyalty_ wrote this at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study in NJ before leaving Harvard a few years later and spending the rest of his career at Princeton IoAS ( )
  vegetarian | Dec 14, 2011 |
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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.

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