Bernard Mandeville’s social aesthetics

Andrea Gatti


This paper aims at showing the theoretical pattern which underlies Mandeville’s reflections on society and politics. In many passages of his works Mandeville refers to aesthetic classical categories such as harmony, proportion, balance; he even takes in consideration – and tries to explain – the blemishes of social structure by analogies with the work of art. Such aesthetic principles are obviously revisited and adapted to the peculiar system and social critique expressed by Mandeville, who appears nonetheless well aware of the main topics debated by the theorists of art in the first decades of the eighteenth century.


Aesthetics; Mandeville; Society

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