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The fable of the bees : or, private vices, publick benefits

Author: Bernard Mandeville; Irwin Primer
Publisher: New York : Capricorn Books, ©1962.
Series: Capricorn giant, 216.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Mandeville, Bernard, 1670-1733.
Fable of the bees.
New York, Capricorn Books, [1962]
(OCoLC)624569559
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Bernard Mandeville; Irwin Primer
OCLC Number: 1421916
Description: 268 pages ; 21 cm.
Contents: An inquiry into the origin of moral virtue : Flattery instrumental in civilizing the savage ; The political origin of virtue and vice ; Opposes Sir Richard Steele's praise of human nature ; Alexander the Great: pride, ambition, lust for fame ; Ethical judgments require a knowledge of the agent's motivation ; This account of the origin of moral virtue not offensive to Christianity --
Remarks: Definition of honor, dishonor, and shame ; On female modesty ; Shame proceeds from pride, and is necessary to make us sociable ; On chastity ; Shame and modesty not innate but acquired, and not necessarily virtues ; Definition of manners and good breeding ; The pleasures of hidden pride --
Virtue is made friends with vice --
Even the dregs of society are beneficial ; The evil effects of gin on the poor, and the good derived from the sale of gin --
Opposing groups assist each other ; Virtuous women unknowingly promote prostitution ; Virtue dependent upon the existence of vice ; Prostitution in Amsterdam, Italy, England and Germany --
On prodigality and avarice ; Frugality, like honesty, a mean starving virtue ; Prodigality and avarice, in the interaction, a good medicine for society --
On luxury ; A strict definition of it ; Luxury more beneficial than frugality to a nation ; example of trade with Turkey ; The need for a favorable balance of trade ; Other requisites "to aggrandize a nation" ; luxury need not be enervating ; The working classes ; Love and honour ; Luxury not incompatable with a well-kept army --
On pride ; A definition ; Pride odious to all, hence all are troubled with it ; Pride in clothing ; Pecuniary emulation, or the ladder of fashion ; The enjoyment of well-disguised pride --
On envy, a compound of grief and anger ; Among various groups: the fair, the rude and unpolished, men of letters, and even animals ; Envy related to emulation ; Envy among children, painters, married women ; Envy breeds malice ; On hope, and "a certain hope" ; What is meant by love ; The conflict of the sexual impulse and strict morality ; On Platonic love, and its hypocrisy --
On pleasure ; The dispute as to what Epicurus meant by pleasure ; The pleasures of "the worldly minded, voluptuous, and ambitious man," and how he covets the good opinion of the world ; The Stoic philosophy, basically maintained by most wise men since --
Mandeville's realistic view of pleasure: not what may say is best, but what they seem most pleased with ; The difficulty of rendering the passions subordinate to reason ; A luxurious manner of living, not necessary to awe the multitude --
The real pleasures of all men are worldly and sensual, hence the recurring contradictions n men's theory and practice --
On the state of the poor ; Many things formerly regarded as luxuries for the rich, now the necessities of the poor ; Examples: beer, feather pillows ; Inconsistency in customs: meat-eating, burial of the dead ; Animal killing: the fable of the lion and the Roman merchant ; Descartes' notions of animal life, opposed On frugality ; national frugality not beneficial ; Frugality proportionate to nation production ; How to make a nation prosperous: guarding of property, encouragement of trade and navigation ; Opinion from Sir William Temple ; The decline of Spain traced to her importation of bullion ; Full employment necessary for national happiness ; National wealth consists in the fruits of the earth and labor --
Further remarks on honor, in its figurative sense ; Men of honor, only among people of the better sort ; Courage required by men of honor ; Analysis of courage ; Its relation to fear and to our appetites ; Peaceful society dependent upon man's fear of punishment ; How to inspire courage in men ; Tarquin and Lucretia ; Pride in self-sacrifice ; Bruno and Vanini ; Pride in soldiers ; On dueling ; Modern honor directly opposite to the principles of religion --
On the luxury of married women ; The evils to which they compel their husbands ; But much of the nation's prosperity dependent upon "the deceit and live stratagems of women" ; People ought to be virtuous, but national wealth requires the vices of man ; Mandeville does not expect the approval of the multitude ; His preference for virtue ; Sketch of a nation returned to virtue, and objections by an Epicure --
On decency and convenience: their ambiguity, and dependence upon social rank ; Postscript, including a summary of Mandeville's doctrines --
A search into the nature of society : Mandeville's opposition to the Shaftesbury's views on virtue, vice and human nature ; Mandeville's aesthetic and ethical relativism ; Changing tastes in flowers, in beards, in clothing, in church architecture, in burial vestments, in morals (witness polygamy) and in religion itself ; Our reason subservient to our passions --
Shaftesbury's "middle way" and "calm virtues" derided ; Courage and fear of death ; Alexander the Great, Cicero, Cato ; A character of an ideal companion for conversation ; Which companions to be sought; which avoided ; Further arguments against Shaftesbury's benevolism and praise of sociableness ; True causes of sociableness in man: the multiplicity of his desires and the opposition encountered in gratifying them ; Man in the golden age not impelled to create vast, thriving societies ; Definition of society ; Man in the wild state of nature ; Hypocrisy necessary in society ; A mercer and a young lady, his customer ; A country bumpkin in London ; Importance of inventions and economic factors in history ; The role of imitation in increasing such necessities of life as coffee, tea, tobacco ; Economic benefits of shipping and navigation ; Economic importance of material decay, superannuation and accidental losses ; The value of the division labor ; Relativity of values ; Conflict of interests and desires ; Private vices may be turned into public benefits --
From the forth dialogue : On anger ; Man eminently fit for society ; The causes of sociableness in man ; Hobbes ; Accidental discoveries and improvements result from man's continuing quest for happiness ; The effect of man's prolonged childhood and youth upon man's sociablness ; Man's sociableness not to me attributed to any natural love for his species ; The permanence and regularity of natural law, opposed to the slow, tentative growth of human knowledge ; Complex causes of man's sociableness ; Locke ; sociableness not natural to the child, but acquired through education in society ; Critique of Sir William Temple's views on the early development of society --
From the fifth dialogue : The pineapple and early man ; How to account for modern savages as descendants of Noah ; Society from primitive families ; Origin of religion: fear of mysterious causes precedes gratitude to God ; On Emperor Alexander Severus ; On Moses and monotheism ; Notions of right and wrong not innate, but acquired ; On the obligation of children to their parents ; The birth of children, separated from conscious desire to improve society ; The irrational mystery of procreation ; The first step towards society: common danger from beasts of prey ; Origin of fabulous creatures ; The lion's physical admirably suited to its purpose ; The lion in Paradise Lost ; Freedom of the will upheld ; Man suffers more from man than from wild beasts ; Wolves, boars ; The economy o nature in the succession fo living beings ; The struggle for survival ; How fish multiply ; The importance of death in the economy of nature, or Providence ; War consistent with the divine plan ; Nature replenishes the loss of males in the higher male birth-rate ; Society's dependence upon menial labor ; God, the author of evil ; His purposes unfathomable ; All races form the sons of Noah --
From the sixth dialogue : The second step to society, the danger men are in from one another ; The powerlessness of religion alone in enforcing human obligations ; Contacts upheld more easily after the tird step to society, the invention of letters ; On the origin of language ; Speech not primarily designed to make our thoughts know to others ; The span of time required to make a civilized society from those in the wild state ; Slow accumulation of experience society ; But wars and disasters destroy arts and sciences more easily than building or inscriptions ; A final shot at Shaftebury.
Series Title: Capricorn giant, 216.
Responsibility: newly edited, with an introduction by Irwin Primer.

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Man's sociableness not to me attributed to any natural love for his species ; The permanence and regularity of natural law, opposed to the slow, tentative growth of human knowledge ; Complex causes of man's sociableness ; Locke ; sociableness not natural to the child, but acquired through education in society ; Critique of Sir William Temple's views on the early development of society -- From the fifth dialogue : The pineapple and early man ; How to account for modern savages as descendants of Noah ; Society from primitive families ; Origin of religion: fear of mysterious causes precedes gratitude to God ; On Emperor Alexander Severus ; On Moses and monotheism ; Notions of right and wrong not innate, but acquired ; On the obligation of children to their parents ; The birth of children, separated from conscious desire to improve society ; The irrational mystery of procreation ; The first step towards society: common danger from beasts of prey ; Origin of fabulous creatures ; The lion's physical admirably suited to its purpose ; 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