Albert Hirschman is an important social theorist, generally classified as evident in Hirschman’s book, The Passions and the Interests (). The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before its. Triumph. Albert O. Hirschman. Princeton: Princeton University Press, , pp. x, . ALBERT O. HIRSCHMAN, The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before its Triumph. Pp. vii, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton.

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If anyone wants to read a well-written book which summarizes the developments in economic philosophy before 20th century through a coherent narrative, this is the book for you! This in turn allowed the analysis of political economy based on private gain that accompanied the rise of capitalism in late 18th century.

Feb 17, Radwa rated it really liked it Shelves: He was not necessarily trying to convince me, his reader, of any one thing, anr rather to open my eyes to the train of past arguments and to make me see that it is important to educate myself in past rhetoric before attempting m This book was required reading for a class.

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. The Rhetoric of Reaction: Return to Book Page. Books by Albert O. National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade.

Understanding Society: Hirschman on the passions

It is worth knowing more than we do about where those ideas originated and why expectations didn’t play out intdrests intended. It also raises the issue that as capital is threaten, so too may be liberty, as those with capital prefer law and order over freedom. Feb 22, katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: Hirschman here of 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.


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On balance, and for a variety of reasons, passiojs thinkers Hirschman discusses here–Montesquieu, James Steuart, Adam Smith and others–predicted that the pursuit of self-interest and growth of commerce to be a net positive for societies. Economics and Christian Desire. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Nov 13, Vicky P rated it really liked it Shelves: Hirshmann believes that economic history can raise the tone of debate about capitalism above simplistic cliche. Sep 20, Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves: It is rare to pick up a book for academic research and find it a pleasure to read, but this was certainly the case with Hirschman’s delightful prose.

Albert O. Hirschman: The Passions and the Interests

Sep 23, Craig Bolton added it. In this way, the author’s conclusion, that those that advocated for capitalism could not have fathomed the capitalists excesses at the 19th and 20th century seems pat and condescending. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Hirschman offers a revisionist intellectual history of capitalism thee which, rather than revolution of bourgeois norms against aristocratic ones, the spirit of capitalism was actually the result of a revolution in thinking among elites about the relative merits of the passions and the interests.

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Capitalist activities came into favor among the intellectual elite “not because the money-making activities were approved in themselves, but because they were thought to have a most beneficial side passione The Odyssey of Albert O. Overall, the pursuit of individual interest is assigned the role of a mid-way countervailing force, a force that contains the passions of humanity, and particularly the passions of political leaders. Money making was a frowned upon activity, with avarice being sinful.


Be the first to ask a question about The Passions and the Interests. Interesting book, well written, of economic history. What was “lust for wealth” in Machiavelli’s day has become “rational self-interest” since Adam Smith. How nasty can we afford to be to other human beings if acting in such a way damages our material interest?

There are merits to this book, mainly that it shows a good grasp of the literature surveyed, so the intereptation seems legitimate.

Mitigation better than damage control. Oct 30, Nick Geiser rated it it was amazing. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

The author wishes to highlight an intellectual process whereby the psssions of the earlier period, how to manage passionate people now that religion doesn’t seem to work, gave rise to the idea that one can subsume the motives of men to one overarching idea of “interest”.

University of California Press. This is an immensely fascinating book.

Albert O. Hirschman – Wikipedia

Nov 21, Humphrey rated it it was amazing. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Inteeests of simply oscillating between one extreme and the other, we should recognize that our current discontent may in fact be the result of attempts to resolve integests problems, and that by abandoning current policies we may unwittingly return to an older but nevertheless still unsatisfactory paradigm.

Jan 30, Ferda Nihat Koksoy rated it really liked it Shelves: You can say that this book is Hirschmann’s analysis of Machiavelli.