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Ilija Vujačić orcid id ; Fakultet političkih nauka Univerziteta u Beogradu, Beograd, Srbija

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 146 Kb

str. 84-108

preuzimanja: 851



In this paper, the author focuses on the work of Bernard Mandeville as predecessor
of Scottish Enlightenment and liberal tradition of thought. Starting
from the social, political and economic context of the all-embracing crisis of
the society in transition of his time, special attention is devoted to his moral,
social and economic views based on methodological individualism. The author
argues that Mandeville’s controversial thought resists one-sided labeling
and unambiguous fitting into mutually opposed camps of mercantilism and
market liberalism, i.e. constructivism and evolutionism. This is the reason behind
the variety of interpretations, and sometimes even completely opposite
readings of his work. He was a satirist, social critic, physician, philosopher
and economist, who effectuated a shift and a turn with regard to the habitual
perceptions of the age in all those segments of his reflection and activity, and
he launched a sort of “revolution in thought”, which will be given its definitive
formulation and elaboration in the second half of the 18th century by the
Scottish moral philosophers.
The author concludes that Mandeville was, first and foremost, a man of his
time and responded to the acute problems of his age. It would thus be inappropriate
and wrong to apply his ideas from the beginning of the 18th century to
the present time with a clearer precising of intellectual and political projects,
and declare him either a mercantilist or an interventionist, or else an advocate
of laissez-faire. Nonetheless, Mandeville came up with answers that would later
be incorporated in the liberal tradition. One may therefore say that he
greatly influenced the Scottish Enlightenment and contributed to the birth of
liberalism, although he was not a consistent economic liberal himself, of the
type that was familiar to the late 18th century.

Ključne riječi

liberalism; civic humanism; virtue; happiness; human nature; passions; morality; spontaneous order; Mandeville

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