The Fable of the Bees

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The Fable of the Bees

Phillip Harth

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Format: Paperback

A physician with a particular interest in psychological disorders and satirist, Mandeville published versions of his notorious “Fable of the Bees” from 1714 to 1732. Each was a defence and elaboration of his short satirical poem “The Angry Hive, 1705”. The version of the Fable of 1723 and 1732 are the fullest defences of his early paradox that social benefit is the unintended consequence of personal vice. It is an argument that is generally held to lie behind Adam Smith's doctrine of the 'hidden hand' of economic development.

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