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

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Description


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.

About the Author


Albert O. Hirschman is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author of many books, including the influential Exit, Voice, and Loyalty and The Strategy of Economic Development.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780691042145
ISBN-10: 0691042144
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: March 21st, 1977
Pages: 169
Language: English