18th century Dutch philosopher, physician and satirist
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  • Bernard Mandeville, or Bernard de Mandeville (15 November 1670 - 21 January 1733), was an Anglo-Dutch philosopher, political economist and satirist. Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, he lived most of his life in England and used English for most of his published works. He became famous for The Fable of the Bees.


    Bernard Mandeville, by Victor L. Nuovo, The Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century British Philosophers
    Includes bibliography, related works and suggestions for further reading
    "Mandeville's fame or notoriety derives from The Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits, first published in 1714. The work is constructed around a satirical poem, The Grumbling Hive; or, Knaves turn'd Honest, originally published as a pamphlet in 1705. ... In fact, most of Mandeville's works subsequent to the first edition of The Fable of the Bees are elaborations or defences of the argument of that work. Thus, Mandeville's literary output, or most of it, is the product of a single philosophical programme whose central theme is the ambivalence of modern civil society and of civic virtue."
    Mandeville, Bernard (1670-1733) | Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, by George H. Smith, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Bernard Mandeville, a Dutch physician who settled in London shortly after earning his degree in medicine at the University of Leyden, is best known as the controversial author of The Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits (6th ed., 1729). ... Written over a period of 24 years, it began as a brief poem, 'The Grumbling Hive: or, Knaves Turn'd Honest' (1705). In later years (beginning in 1714), Mandeville appended a number of essays, remarks, and dialogues to subsequent editions until what began as a poem of 433 lines came to fill two substantial volumes."


    1670, in Rotterdam, Netherlands


    21 Jan 1733, in London

    Web Pages

    Bernard Mandeville - Online Library of Liberty
    Includes short biography, links to versions of Mandeville's works and to selected quotations
    "Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733) was born in Holland in 1670 into a family of physicians and naval officers. He received his degree of Doctor of Medicine at Leiden in 1691 and began to practice as a specialist in nerve and stomach disorders, his father's specialty. Perhaps after a tour of Europe, he ended up in London, where he soon learned the language and decided to stay. ... His most famous work, The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, came out in more than half a dozen editions beginning in 1714 (the poem The Grumbing Hive upon which it was based appeared in 1705) ..."


    Selected Bibliography: Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733), by Charles W. A. Prior, 28 Aug 2004
    International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies; includes list of various editions of Mandeville's works as well as books and essays by others criticizing his writings
    "Very little is known about Mandeville's life, outside of what can be gleaned from the writings. However, much is made of what there is by Kaye (1924), and by Irwin Primer, 'Bernard Mandeville,' Dictionary of Literary Biography 101 (1991): 220-39. See also M. M. Goldsmith's entry in the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography."


    Bernard Mandeville: Philosopher of the Month, by Alex Voorhoeve, The Philosophers' Magazine, Oct 2003
    Short biographical essay examining the main themes in Mandeville's The Fable of the Bees
    "Thus, through flattery, people are instilled with a sense of pride and shame, the two emotions that ready us for society. Once part of society, people's desire to see themselves admired and their inexhaustible desires for goods spur industry and the division of labour, through which wealth increases. Therefore, it is vanity and all its attendant vices that, when properly managed, make a society function and prosper. As Mandeville puts it: 'what we call Evil in this World [...] is the Grand Principle that makes us sociable Creatures.'"


    The Grumbling Hive: or, Knaves Turn'd Honest, 1705
    Edited by Jack Lynch, transcribed from the 1705 edition, with some illegible passages taken from the 1714 edition of The Fable of the Bees
    "The Root of evil Avarice,
    That damn'd ill-natur'd baneful Vice,
    Was Slave to Prodigality,
    That Noble Sin; whilst Luxury.
    Employ'd a Million of the Poor,
    And odious Pride a Million more
    Thus Vice nursed Ingenuity,
    Which join'd with Time;and Industry
    Had carry'd Life's Conveniencies,
    It's real Pleasures, Comforts, Ease,
    To such a Height, the very Poor
    Lived better than the Rich before;
    And nothing could be added more:"

    The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.