By Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, Brian Young
Economic system, Polity and Society and its spouse quantity historical past, faith and tradition objective to collect new essays by way of a few of the prime highbrow historians of the interval. The essays in financial system, Polity and Society start by way of addressing points of the eighteenth-century test, really within the paintings of Adam Smith, to come back to grips with the character of "commercial society" and its designated notions of the self, of political liberty, and of monetary growth. They then discover the variations of and responses to the Enlightenment legacy within the paintings of such early nineteenth-century figures as Jeremy Bentham, Tom Paine, Maria Edgeworth and Richard Whately. ultimately, in discussions that diversity as much as the center of the 20th century, they discover fairly telling examples of the clash among fiscal pondering and ethical values.
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Additional info for Economy, Polity, and Society: British Intellectual History 1750-1950
17 ‘The spectator therefore preserves his understanding, notwithstanding the liveliest emotion. He receives the impression of the passions, but without . . 19 These ‘impartial spectators’, Addison added, are able to ‘consider all the different pursuits and Employments of Men, and . . 20 The polite, theatrical presentation of self demanded in the everyday life of the modern civic realm stood in constant but not disabling tension with the requirements of morality. III Mandeville agreed that an individual’s character could best be understood as a distinct amalgam of discrete passions.
Rothblatt’s analysis, then, resists any monocausal explanations: the demands of a growing bureaucracy, both domestic and imperial, the forces driving intellectual specialisation, the tendency towards ‘established unbelief’, and the social ambitions of genteel middle-class families were all among the sources shaping the character of the newly multiplied and much expanded universities in the second half of the century. Presentation of Economy, Polity, and Society In the final essay, Donald Winch examines some of the successive reworkings of the idea of an essential fault-line in British culture from the early nineteenth century onwards, a division variously described as being between the tradition of Utilitarian and economic reasoning on one side and its Romantic and radical critics on the other, or, in Arnold Toynbee’s famously succinct formula, between ‘economists and human beings’.
Connections with the wider European, especially French, intellectual world also figure in Marilyn Butler’s essay, though the principal affiliation here is with the legacy of the kind of eighteenth-century Scottish thinking discussed in part I. Butler focuses on the writings, fictional and nonfictional, of the Anglo-Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth from the s and s, the years around the Union. She establishes the close intellectual, and in some cases personal, links between the Edgeworth family circle and the enlightened world of late eighteenth-century Scotland, especially that of Dugald Stewart and his pupils, and she explores some of the resemblances between Edgeworth’s writings on education and those of Adam Smith, especially their common emphasis on the cultivation of individual judgement in the child.