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En-claves del pensamiento

On-line version ISSN 2594-1100Print version ISSN 1870-879X


RIOS ESPINOSA, María Cristina. Bernard Mandeville: la ética del mercado y la desigualdad social como base del progreso moderno. En-clav. pen [online]. 2007, vol.1, n.1, pp.13-38. ISSN 2594-1100.

This essay studies the origin of Bernard Mandeville's ethics of the market, he is a philosopher of liberalism, an ancestor of Adam Smith's economic liberalism. The main purpose of this essay is to criticize a social theory which attempts to legitimate exclusion by the defense of a market order based in the utility of poverty and work exploitation disguised as morality. The essay begins with a positive valoration of what Mandeville calls the "principle of honor" as a less exigent manner to make sociable the insociability in men within the market realm. For or this new kind of morality it is not necessary for men to be good in order to tame their more violent passions, their total elimination is not required, they only need to become adjusted within culture thanks to an imaginary compensation called flattery. Pride has the power to socialize humanity instead of reason, it imposes itself over the more violent passions of men. Nevertheless, from a critical perspective the market reveals a double morality: The ethics of the dominant class whose vices are of utility to commerce, and the ethics of the working class whose poverty and ignorance becomes useful for market societies as it allows "public benefits" or "common interest" which are none other than the values defended by ruling classes.

Keywords : ethics of the market; utility of poverty; ignorance; exclusion; pride; flattery.

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