Mandeville’s Fable: Pride, Hypocrisy, and Sociability

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Bernard Mandeville’s The Fable of the Bees outraged its eighteenth-century audience by proclaiming that private vices lead to public prosperity. Today the work is best known as an early iteration of laissez-faire capitalism. Focusing on Mandeville’s moral, social, and political ideas, Robin Douglass offers an account of why we should take Mandeville seriously as a philosopher.

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