By Edmundo Balsemão Pires

This booklet integrates reviews at the considered Bernard de Mandeville and different philosophers and historians of recent idea. The chapters replicate a rethinking of Mandeville’s legacy and, jointly, current a complete method of Mandeville’s paintings. The publication is released at the social gathering of the three hundred years that experience handed because the e-book of the myth of the Bees. Bernard de Mandeville disassembled the dichotomies of conventional ethical considering to teach that the results of the social motion become new, non-intentional results from the mix of ethical opposites, vice and advantage, in this type of shape that they lose their ethical importance. The paintings of this nice author, thinker and medical professional is interwoven with an knowledge of the paradoxical nature of contemporary society and the demanding situations that this acceptance brings to an sufficient point of view at the historic global of modernity.

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Additional info for Bernard de Mandeville's Tropology of Paradoxes: Morals, Politics, Economics, and Therapy

Sample text

Modern production gives man commodities whose consumption is not fixed in the recognition of a subjective lack but depends on the socialisation of needs, which is ruled by schemes of the imagination. Imaginary processes and fictional constructions about needs constitute the psychic resonance of the autonomy of the commodity in the economic communication regarding the biopsychic configuration of the needs. When this general imaginary circumstance conspicuously emerges it agrees with the formation of the modern idea of taste with the correspondent public and a market for luxury products.

The combination of both designators is notorious in public discussions and polemics and in many theoretical descriptions. This may be a 1 Berg and Eger (2003); Smith (2002); Berry (1994). 3 Mandeville and the Eighteenth-Century Discussions About Luxury 27 characteristic of luxury in the moral discourse but the indexes operate under a specific descriptive layout that organizes the other semantic components of the descriptions and adjust them to what is felt as alarm situations. It is this semantic layout of the modern luxury that explains the difference of luxury and excess or luxury and waste.

Cleomenes’s theory applies to animals and humans. But in the case of humans the self-liking is connected to the use of exterior symbols, ornaments and the culture of polite manners. Consequently, contesting again Shaftesbury, politeness is not resultant from religion or morality. Fashion, good manners, ornaments, taste and the exhibition of luxury are various methods of making ourselves acceptable to others, with as little prejudice to ourselves as is possible (Mandeville 1924 II: 107). Cleomenes adds to this an “historical proof” of the association between luxury and politeness in the ancient societies, Greece, Rome and the Eastern Nations.

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Bernard de Mandeville's Tropology of Paradoxes: Morals, by Edmundo Balsemão Pires
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