ALBERT HIRSCHMAN THE PASSIONS AND THE INTERESTS PDF

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Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. 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.

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.

Hirschman here offers a new interpretation for the rise of capitalism, one that emphasizes the continuities between old and new, in contrast to the assumption of a sharp break that is a common feature of both Marxian and Weberian thinking. Among the insights presented here is the ironical finding that capitalism was originally supposed to accomplish exactly what was soon denounced as its worst feature: the repression of the passions in favor of the "harmless," if one-dimensional, interests of commercial life.

To portray this lengthy ideological change as an endogenous process, Hirschman draws on the writings of a large number of thinkers, including Montesquieu, Sir James Steuart, and Adam Smith. Get A Copy. Paperback , 20th Anniversary Edition , pages. Published January 26th by Princeton University Press first published More Details Original Title. Lippincott Award Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about The Passions and the Interests , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Passions and the Interests. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Hirschman is a beast. I was hoping to find a few nuggets on the philosophies surrounding capitalism's original sin, but came away with so much more; and in such a short little book at that.

No wonder this is a classic in political economy View 2 comments. Sep 20, Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves: teaching-and-research. On this, my second trip through the history of economic thought with Albert Hirschman, I remain no less impressed that the first time around. The Passions and the Interests is Hirschman's examination of 17th and 18th century European thought, particularly as it related to the anticipated political, social, and economic effects of people acting in accordance with their material interests.

On balance, and for a variety of reasons, the thinkers Hirschman discusses here--Montesquieu, James Steuart, On this, my second trip through the history of economic thought with Albert Hirschman, I remain no less impressed that the first time around. On balance, and for a variety of reasons, the 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.

These early arguments about the ability of self-interest to restrain violent passions and constrain power hungry political leaders have not held up under the weight of history, but as Hirshman notes, we see more contemporary thinkers fall back on these ideas.

For that reason, it is important to revisit them, in order to "raise the level of our debate. The amount of research he has done for this thin volume is stunning, and he weaves seamlessly and clearly through the work thinkers as varied as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mandeville, Montesquieu, Steuart, Smith, Millar, Marx, Toqueville and many others.

One needn't have a thorough background in Western political philosophy to make sense of it, but if your response is anything like mine, you will want to make haste to the nearest library to delve into the theory you don't know. For, as Hirschman shows, we live in a society that is shaped by ideas and expectations. It is worth knowing more than we do about where those ideas originated and why expectations didn't play out as intended.

Very good summary of the intellectual currents that lead from the early Christian view that the pursuit of money is less than virtuous, to the view that pursuit of self-interest in the form of commerce is beneficial to human freedom by its necessary restraint on the power of the state. Of course, this idealistic view has since proven flawed. However, it remains helpful in understanding the context in which Adam Smith and others wrote in favor of what would become capitalism, and for today of som Very good summary of the intellectual currents that lead from the early Christian view that the pursuit of money is less than virtuous, to the view that pursuit of self-interest in the form of commerce is beneficial to human freedom by its necessary restraint on the power of the state.

However, it remains helpful in understanding the context in which Adam Smith and others wrote in favor of what would become capitalism, and for today of some of capitalism's benefits at least for those who get money.

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. Written in , in my mind it raises interesting questions about the future of the developing world, especially China, and for America as the economic future of the Middle Class continues to be threatened.

Dec 31, Franz rated it it was amazing. This short book was included in the bibliographies of many books I've read, so I thought it was time to read it.

Hirschman argues that capitalism developed as a means by the rising merchant class of the late middle ages to check the nearly tyrannical powers of the local aristocracy. Money making was a frowned upon activity, with avarice being sinful. Commerce, however, appealed to the rational interests of merchants and traders, and as their wealth and influence grew they counteracted the unruly This short book was included in the bibliographies of many books I've read, so I thought it was time to read it.

Commerce, however, appealed to the rational interests of merchants and traders, and as their wealth and influence grew they counteracted the unruly passions of the feudal leaders. The hope of theorists of the early modern period was that this would result in the wider spread of prosperity, resulting in far less wealth inequality.

Rational interests would overcome spontaneous passions; for a short time it did. Alas, however, by the time Adam Smith writes his classics, he had united interests and passions again; under the influence of the passions, people's interests were no longer satisfied with modest results--instead of being socially discouraged, avarice become an acceptable, indeed worthy, goal.

Instead of balancing the greed of the powerful with the sober and relatively modest merchants of what became the middle class, capitalism has become what it had once checked: a powerful driver of inequality. A wonderful analysis with insights derived from the study of Machiavelli, Hume, Bacon, Spinoza, Smith, Montesquieu, and others from the Scottish Enlightenment and the French physiocrats.

Very enlightening. Nov 03, Katie rated it really liked it. Hirschman is a master rhetorician and scholar. His ability to explain complex concepts in a lucid, memorable manner makes even economic theory interesting to read, which is, in my mind, an incredible feat. His arguments for the prioritization of intellectual history over histories of events are compelling.

Sep 30, Jayesh rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. History of arguments for Capitalism. In sum, capitalism was supposed to accomplish exactly what was soon to be denounced as its worst feature. Dec 03, Faiaz rated it really liked it. 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!

It was fascinating to see how economics evolved from seeing 'passions and interests' as the worst side of human beings, which should always be kept in check; to using the passion of greed and self-interest as a force which triumphs other 'harmful' passions and thus helps people to live 'good' lives. The model, most econom 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!

The model, most economic philosophers followed before 20th century, involved this 'fight' between different passions and interests of human beings. In this framework, capitalism was justified by showing how capitalism, harnessing the power of self-interest and greed, can dominate other harmful passions and lead human society to progress.

Nov 07, Jacob Vorstrup Goldman rated it liked it. I Enjoyed Hirschman's analysis, which, however, is quite narrow in its scope and is elucidated very early. This essentially means that the rest of the book is him reiterating the more or less same argument through the eyes of Montesquieu, Steuart, Smith etc. Capitalism thus sprung out of a dire necessity to deal with a war-mongering aristocracy and their inferior gove I Enjoyed Hirschman's analysis, which, however, is quite narrow in its scope and is elucidated very early.

Capitalism thus sprung out of a dire necessity to deal with a war-mongering aristocracy and their inferior governance. The most interesting part is probably when he discusses how alienation and a loss of autonomy was the crucial argument of the philosophers when emphasising the need for a vastly expanded commercial sector - they desired what has become a key capitalist critique later on. Oh, and skip the Sen foreword, that was a complete waste of time. The afterword is nice though. Dec 02, Ali Rahnamae rated it it was amazing Shelves: economics.

A very compact and a bit difficult reading of history of economic and political ideas. Hirschman tried to show that how many in 17th century believed that economic progress would lead to a more fair political system but the course of events and more careful analysis questioned that optimistic view.

Adam Smith, he argued, was between the latter intellectuals who not only mentioned the possible negative effects of market society but by excluding the result of following individual passions by each A very compact and a bit difficult reading of history of economic and political ideas. Adam Smith, he argued, was between the latter intellectuals who not only mentioned the possible negative effects of market society but by excluding the result of following individual passions by each person to the material well-being of the society paved the way for studying an independent discipline named economics.

Jan 31, Pranav rated it it was amazing. The original justifications for Capitalism have been lost because they were the intended consequences which have not come about, while the unintended consequences of Capitalism are now widely believed to be the original justifications. This book traces the economic thought that preceded and accompanied the rise of the Capitalist ethos in the period starting from to the present. An interesting point made towards the end of the book is that even famous economists like Keynes, Schumpeter have u The original justifications for Capitalism have been lost because they were the intended consequences which have not come about, while the unintended consequences of Capitalism are now widely believed to be the original justifications.

An interesting point made towards the end of the book is that even famous economists like Keynes, Schumpeter have used historically discredited arguments in the defence of Capitalism. Aug 06, Jeff rated it really liked it.

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The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before Its Triumph

London School of Economics. Albert Otto Hirschman [1] born Otto-Albert Hirschmann ; April 7, — December 10, was an economist and the author of several books on political economy and political ideology. His first major contribution was in the area of development economics. He argued that disequilibria should be encouraged to stimulate growth and help mobilize resources, because developing countries are short of decision making skills. Key to this was encouraging industries with many linkages to other firms.

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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. Hirschman here offers a new interpretation for the rise of capitalism, one that emphasizes the continuities between old and new, in contrast to the assumption of a sharp break that is a common feature of both Marxian and Weberian thinking. Among the insights presented here is the ironical finding that capitalism was originally supposed to accomplish exactly what was soon denounced as its worst feature: the repression of the passions in favor of the "harmless," if one-dimensional, interests of commercial life. To portray this lengthy ideological change as an endogenous process, Hirschman draws on the writings of a large number of thinkers, including Montesquieu, Sir James Steuart, and Adam Smith. Albert O.

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