August, 2008 browsing by month


Mandeville Essay

Friday, August 29th, 2008 explains Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees as “an account of human society as a purely conventional construction, governed by economic and moral principles serving only to secure the rational self-interest of its individual citizens. The only motive for altruistic conduct, Mandeville supposed, is the condescending self-satisfaction an agent feels when proudly acting for the benefit of others.”

How do you describe Mandeville’s account of human society and do you agree with that account?

Koch Scholars as a “Select Society”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

On pages 192 and 193of How the Scots …, Herman writes about the social clubs of Edinborough where people gathered to discuss ideas and issues.

“The most important of these clubs was the Select Society…[which] by 1760 included virtually every prominant man of letters and taste in the Edinborough vicinity, as well as a host of physicians, arthitechts, military officers, merchants, magistrates, and above all lawyers.”

He says further, that the Select Society was “A place where all idea were created equal, where brains rather than social rank took pride of place, and where serious issues could be debated with ‘the sort of freedom which is taken amongst Gentlemen and Friends, who know each other well.'”

The Select Society is our model for Koch Scholars. They served wine, we will have to make do with a light meal and soda.