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An age of risk : politics and economy in early modern Britain

Author: Emily C Nacol
Publisher: Princeton ; Oxford Princeton University Press [2016] © 2016
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In "An Age of Risk", Emily Nacol shows that risk, now treated as a permanent feature of our lives, did not always govern understandings of the future. Focusing on the epistemological, political, and economic writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, and Adam Smith, Nacol explains that in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain, political and economic thinkers reimagined the future as a terrain of risk,  Read more...
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Named Person: Thomas / 1588-1679 / Philosophy Hobbes; John / 1632-1704 / Philosophy Locke; David / 1711-1776 / Philosophy Hume; Adam / 1723-1790 / Philosophy Smith; David Hume; Thomas Hobbes; Adam Smith; John Locke
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Emily C Nacol
ISBN: 9780691165103 0691165106
OCLC Number: 964682506
Accession No: (DE-604)BV043791738
Description: xii, 169 Seiten
Contents: Acknowledgments ix Chapter 1 Introduction 1 Chapter 2 "Experience Concludeth Nothing Universally" Hobbes and the Groundwork for a Political Theory of Risk 9 Chapter 3 The Risks of Political Authority Trust, Knowledge, and Political Agency in Locke's Politics and Economy 41 Chapter 4 Hume's Fine Balance On Probability, Fear, and the Risks of Trade 69 Chapter 5 Adventurous Spirits and Clamoring Sophists Smith on the Problem of Risk in Political Economy 98 Chapter 6 An Age of Risk, a Liberalism of Anxiety 124 Notes 131 References 157 Index 167
Responsibility: Emily C. Nacol.

Abstract:

In "An Age of Risk", Emily Nacol shows that risk, now treated as a permanent feature of our lives, did not always govern understandings of the future. Focusing on the epistemological, political, and economic writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, and Adam Smith, Nacol explains that in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain, political and economic thinkers reimagined the future as a terrain of risk, characterized by probabilistic calculation, prediction, and control. In these early modern sources, Nacol contends, we see three crucial developments in thought on risk and politics. While early modern thinkers differentiated uncertainty about the future from probabilistic calculations of risk, they remained attentive to the ways uncertainty and risk remained in a conceptual tangle, a problem that constrained good decision making. They developed sophisticated theories of trust and credit as crucial background conditions for prudent risk-taking, and offered complex depictions of the relationships and behaviors that would make risk-taking more palatable.

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"This fine study will repay the attention of those who want to understand early modern political philosophy as well as those seeking to puzzle out the native human ambivalence about risk."---Thomas Read more...

 
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