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Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture

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Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture

Dale Southerton

Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 06, 2011 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412994248 | Print ISBN: 9780872896017 | Online ISBN: 9781412994248 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Mandeville, Bernard (1670–1733)

Craig Carson

Born in the environs of Rotterdam in 1670, Bernard Mandeville obtained a medical degree from the University of Leiden in 1691. After settling in London, he began working as a physician treating nervous disorders while pursuing a modest literary career. In 1723, however, following several attempts to censor his chef d'oeuvre (masterpiece), The Fable of the Bees; Or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits , Mandeville unexpectedly became early eighteenth-century London's most infamous observer of changing societal and economic realities. The Fable , which insists that the motive force driving the increasingly liberal market economy was self-interest rather than a benevolent civic humanism, generated a scandal that lasted throughout the eighteenth century, eliciting replies from some of the most significant Enlightenment figures, including Francis Hutcheson, Bishop Berkeley, David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Adam Smith, and Immanuel Kant. Until his death from influenza in 1733, Mandeville continually retooled the Fable's central position Mandeville's ...

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