Download e-book for kindle: Interest (Concepts in the Social Sciences) by Richard Swedberg

By Richard Swedberg

ISBN-10: 0335216145

ISBN-13: 9780335216147

One of many significant questions in social technological know-how is 'Why do humans behave as they do?' a standard social clinical resolution is, 'because in their interests'. regardless of the significance of the idea that of curiosity for the social sciences, it's been strangely little mentioned, and lots of points of its common historical past and lots of makes use of are mostly unknown. during this publication, Richard Swedberg makes an attempt to treatment this example via an simply available advent to the subject, beginning with a historical past of the idea that covers the beginning of the observe and its early use in philosophy, political technological know-how, literature and daily language. He then pioneers an research of the emergence of curiosity as a sociological inspiration through the nineteenth century. Arguing that economists have diminished the idea that of curiosity to that of monetary curiosity, he emphasizes that sociologists, by contrast, have tried to improve a versatile and social idea of curiosity. relocating directly to a dialogue of the modern use of the idea that of curiosity in economics, sociology and political technological know-how, the e-book concludes with a dialogue of the potential for the concept that of curiosity as a coverage instrument.

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Example text

And lastly, the eighteenth-century psychology of man had been abandoned. g. Hirschman 1977). But he was also nonpsychological by design, in the sense that the economists explicitly stated that economic analysis did not (and should not) have anything to do with psychology. Still, there is no doubt that in his own way homo economicus was a social being. The place par excellence where homo economicus could be found was the market, where the price was set through interactions between buyers and sellers.

Individualism is of democratic origin and it threatens to develop as conditions become equal. : 483) Interest Becomes a Social Science Concept 39 Interest in the Old World, according to Marx Like Tocqueville, Marx’s thinking was to a large extent formed by the eighteenth century, and this goes for its content as well as its form. Marx, in all brevity, was very familiar with the works of Adam Smith, David Hume, and so on, and also the way in which they used the concept of interest. As opposed to Tocqueville, however, Marx primarily applied the concept of interest to the Old World, that is, to Europe with its strong heritage of feudalism or ‘aristocracy’.

In Capital, on the other hand, the concept of interest is basically absent from the economic analysis, which is presented with the help of a new set of terms that Marx had developed in his attempt to better understand the nature of capital (surplus value, variable capital, primitive accumulation, and so on). But it is also possible to find some echoes from the eighteenth-century use of the term ‘interest’ in Capital; and one example of this would be Marx’s reference to ‘the most violent, mean and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest’ (Marx [1867] 1906: 15).

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Interest (Concepts in the Social Sciences) by Richard Swedberg

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