Economy, Polity, and Society: British Intellectual History by Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, Brian Young

By Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, Brian Young

Economic climate, Polity and Society and its spouse quantity background, faith and tradition goal to assemble new essays through some of the major highbrow historians of the interval. The essays in financial system, Polity and Society commence by means of addressing facets of the eighteenth-century test, quite within the paintings of Adam Smith, to come back to grips with the character of "commercial society" and its certain notions of the self, of political liberty, and of monetary development. They then discover the variations of and responses to the Enlightenment legacy within the paintings of such early nineteenth-century figures as Jeremy Bentham, Tom Paine, Maria Edgeworth and Richard Whately. eventually, in discussions that diversity as much as the center of the 20 th century, they discover quite telling examples of the clash among financial pondering and ethical values.

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See Marvin Carlson, Theories of the Theatre (Ithaca, ), pp. –; Joseph R. , ), pp. –, and William Worthen, The Idea of the Actor: Drama and the Ethics of Performance (Princeton, ), ch. . David Hume, ‘Of Eloquence’, Essays Moral, Political and Literary (Oxford, ), p. . John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination. English Culture in the Eighteenth Century (New York, ), pp. –. -B. Du Bos, Réflexions critiques sur la poesie et sur peinture,  vols. (Paris, ; second revised edition, ); English translation, .

Ed. John M. Robertson,  vols. (London, ), I, p. , where the mind is referred to as ‘a spectator or auditor of other minds’. See, too, Jonah Barish, The Anti-Theatrical Prejudice (Berkeley, ), pp. –, and Joseph J. Spengler, ‘Smith Versus Hobbes: Economy Versus Polity’, in F. R. , ), p. , who points out that the ‘invisible hand’ was compared by Fontenelle in Pluralité des mondes (), a work Smith knew, to ‘that of an Engineer who, hidden in the pit of a French Theatre, operated “the Machines of the Theatre” in motion on the stage’.

To examine our own passions and conduct, and to consider how these must appear to [others] . . [w]e suppose ourselves the spectators to our own behaviour, and endeavor to imagine what effect it would, in this light, produce upon us. 44 With their Scots colleague Adam Ferguson, who worried that moderns in polite societies ‘rate our fellow-citizens by the figure they are able to make’ and thereby ‘lose every sense of distinction arising from merit’,45 Hume and Smith concurred that the abiding problem posed by commercial sociability was to show how individuals could be thought of as moral if they were irreducibly prideful and vain, and that the dynamics of commerce depended upon the encouragement of these disturbing natural propensities.

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