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Book The Fable of the Bees: Or Private Vices, Publick Benefits (Penguin Classics) by Bernard Mandeville (1989-09-05)


The Fable of the Bees: Or Private Vices, Publick Benefits (Penguin Classics) by Bernard Mandeville (1989-09-05)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Fable of the Bees: Or Private Vices, Publick Benefits (Penguin Classics) by Bernard Mandeville (1989-09-05).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Bernard Mandeville(Author)

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  • Bernard Mandeville(Author)
  • Penguin Classics (1840)
  • Unknown
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Review Text

  • By Sharpshooter on June 26, 2013

    Well, you'll have to take this one on faith as the 'Sample' does not even cover the editor's 'Introduction'. Nonetheless, the past 300 years should have taught us adequate lessons about the falacies of 'intervention' and cronyism (see: von Mises' book on intervention).

  • By G M on February 9, 2001

    I first read an extract from this in second year English in university, and thought the author had some interesting ideas. Although the blurb casts the book as part of the great age of 17th-century English satire, it's more of a straight critique of society than a sarcastic diatribe, and probably doesn't warrant comparison with say, Swift's A Modest Proposal.From what I can remember, the book is all about the changes taking place in society at the time, especially with the growth in the importance of commerce. Much of it concerns hypocrisy and some moral paradoxes that seem to go unnoticed. Mandeville's starting-point is to liken society to a hive, wherein the behaviour of the bees, though individually selfish, aggregates to form a kind of common good. The book was banned by the Grand Jury of Middlessex, and I suspect that much of the controversy resulted from readers mistaking description for prescription. In other words, people seem to have concluded that Mandeville was saying that this is how society ought to behave, whereas he was merely making observations.His ideas are interesting, but I can't agree with all of them. One egregious error occurs when he makes the sweeping generalisation that morality is frequently selfishly motivated, using the following argument. Most people, if they see a baby falling from a high window, will rush to try and save it, not out of the child's interests, but merely to spare themselves the pain of seeing the child injured or killed. The next obvious question never seems to enter Mandeville's mind: if people are truly selfish, how would they have developed the empathy to feel the child's pain that strongly to begin with? So: a good commentator but perhaps not a brilliant thinker.

  • By Ian Mackechnie on January 29, 2008

    Mandeville does a sterling job in unmasking social convention. His fable, upon which he provides his own commentary, stripes the outer layers of social convention from the reader and examines man from the perspective of his basic selfishness.Mandeville has been criticized by many, whom he recognized, that have not even read his works. His work is still now largely neglected and unread., partly due to the quaintness of his 18th century writing style. But what a treasure awaits those who have the patience and perseverance to read this delightful work of ruthless honesty.For example, Mandeville describes marriage mainly in terms of lust, not much different from the modern evolutionary psychologists. Prostitution is defended in pragmatic terms in that it 'protects' the family! Rulers who devote more time to the outward trapping of power and neglect such things as an adequate defense or police system come in for a serving. And on and on it goes ...Mandeville is important in that the likes of Hume and Adam Smith were not only aware of his work, but influenced, in a positive way, by it. Mandeville, in terms of the development of our understanding of morals and society, cannot be neglected.If you want to look society... and ourselves... honestly in the face, then this is the book.My advice is buy the Libery Fund 2 volume edition

  • By Natacha on January 9, 2018

    The cover was cut off in half

  • By will563 on August 12, 2014

    Horrible. I suspect this ebook was produced with substandard OCR software. It is mostly gibberish, with a few words mixed in here and there. There is another version in the Kindle store. Hopefully it is better.

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