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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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. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals.

Explore the Home Gift Guide. Keohane, Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albert Otto Hirschman. 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.

Understanding Society: Hirschman on the passions

Hirschman noted that words including “vice” and “passion” gave way to “such bland terms” as “advantage” and “interest. London School of Economics.

Dec 21, Lee rated it really liked it. The irony–one that Hirschman is careful to point out–is that the negative effects on the character of a state’s citizens is now pwssions as one of the principle downsides to Capitalism. What was “lust for wealth” in Machiavelli’s day has become “rational self-interest” since Adam Smith.

Albert Otto Hirschman [1] born Otto-Albert Hirschmann ; April 7, — December 10, was an influential economist and the author of several books on political economy and political ideology.

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Albert O. Hirschman: The Passions and the Interests

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.

This page was last edited on 27 Decemberat Nov 23, Said Abuzeineh rated it really liked it. Slbert author wishes to highlight an intellectual process whereby the question 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”.


Featuring a new afterword by Jeremy Adelman and a foreword by Amartya Sen, this Princeton Classics edition of The Passions and the Interests sheds light on the intricate ideological transformation from which capitalism emerged triumphant, albeft reaffirms Hirschman’s stature as one of our most influential and provocative thinkers.

This book is a brisk perusal of intellectual history from Machiavelli to late 18th century. This in turn allowed the analysis of political economy based on private gain that accompanied the rise of capitalism in late 18th century.

Augustine to Friedman- a well written, Pages with related products.

Albert O. Hirschman: The Passions and the Interests – Waggish

East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. A delightful and elegant, if somewhat theoretical, slim book on how the ideas underpinning capitalism came to be accepted intellectually in the modern world. 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.

Dec 31, Franz rated it it was amazing. One implication of Hirschman’s analysis is that it de-radicalizes current arguments about capitalism. InHirschman proposed a market concentration pasdions which was the square root of the sum of the squares of the market share of each participant in the market. Add both to Cart Add both to List.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Inhe won the Benjamin E. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. 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.


It is rare to pick up a book for academic research and find it a pleasure to read, but this was certainly the case thee Hirschman’s delightful prose.

Albert O. Hirschman

This short book is an eye opener, for all of us w ho struggles with the concept of interest in it reduced form. By showing that the same arguments about the relative strengths of the passions and the interests were central to early writers in capitalism’s history as modern writers, we should probably be less inclined toward the view that “capitalism changes everything” and normative political economy should start from a blank slate.

Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. For that reason, it is important to revisit them, in order to “raise the level of our debate. Learn more about Hirxchman Prime. 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.

Herfindahl proposed a similar index but without the square root inapparently unaware of the prior work. Thd effect Administered prices Barriers to entry Bounded rationality Conspicuous consumption Conspicuous leisure Conventional wisdom Countervailing power Effective competition Herfindahl index Hiding hand principle Hirschman cycle Instrumentalism Kuznets cycles Market concentration Market power Market structure Penalty of taking the lead Satisficing Shortage economy Structure—conduct—performance paradigm Technostructure Theory of two-level planning Veblen goods Veblenian dichotomy.

Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. I was hoping to find a few nuggets on the philosophies surrounding capitalism’s original sin, but interetss away with tye much more; and in such a short little book at that.

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