The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce

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University of Chicago Press, 2010 M03 15 - 634 páginas
For a century and a half, the artists and intellectuals of Europe have scorned the bourgeoisie. And for a millennium and a half, the philosophers and theologians of Europe have scorned the marketplace. The bourgeois life, capitalism, Mencken’s “booboisie” and David Brooks’s “bobos”—all have been, and still are, framed as being responsible for everything from financial to moral poverty, world wars, and spiritual desuetude. Countering these centuries of assumptions and unexamined thinking is Deirdre McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues, a magnum opus that offers a radical view: capitalism is good for us.

McCloskey’s sweeping, charming, and even humorous survey of ethical thought and economic realities—from Plato to Barbara Ehrenreich—overturns every assumption we have about being bourgeois. Can you be virtuous and bourgeois? Do markets improve ethics? Has capitalism made us better as well as richer? Yes, yes, and yes, argues McCloskey, who takes on centuries of capitalism’s critics with her erudition and sheer scope of knowledge. Applying a new tradition of “virtue ethics” to our lives in modern economies, she affirms American capitalism without ignoring its faults and celebrates the bourgeois lives we actually live, without supposing that they must be lives without ethical foundations.

High Noon, Kant, Bill Murray, the modern novel, van Gogh, and of course economics and the economy all come into play in a book that can only be described as a monumental project and a life’s work. The Bourgeois Virtues is nothing less than a dazzling reinterpretation of Western intellectual history, a dead-serious reply to the critics of capitalism—and a surprising page-turner.

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - neurodrew - LibraryThing

This is a long and wordy book. The idea is to counter the assumption, common among academics, that the merchant, businessman and tradesman is without honor and virtue. It is, according to the author ... Leer comentario completo

The bourgeois virtues: ethics for an age of commerce

Crítica de los usuarios  - Not Available - Book Verdict

McCloskey (economics, history, English, & communication, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago;Crossing: A Memoir ) intends her new book as the first in a quartet defending the bourgeois class. She incorporates ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

A Brief for the Bourgeois Virtues
1
Appeal
55
Love
89
Faith and Hope
149
Prudence and Justice
251
Part V Systematizing the SevenVirtues
301
Part III The Bourgeois Uses of the Virtues
405
The unfinished case for the bourgeois virtues
509
Notes
515
Works Cited
557
Index
589
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Acerca del autor (2010)

Deirdre N. McCloskey is distinguished professor of economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Among her many books are Crossing: A Memoir and If You’re So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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