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In a book that looks at the birth of the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism in the 17th and 18th centuries, the author argues that economic change--including change today--depends less on foreign trade, investment or material causes and more on ideas and what people believe. By the author of The Bourgeois Virtues.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2011-11-15
File: 571 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780226556741

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The big economic story of our times is not the Great Recession. It is how China and India began to embrace neoliberal ideas of economics and attributed a sense of dignity and liberty to the bourgeoisie they had denied for so long. The result was an explosion in economic growth and proof that economic change depends less on foreign trade, investment, or material causes, and a whole lot more on ideas and what people believe. Or so says Deirdre N. McCloskey in Bourgeois Dignity, a fiercely contrarian history that wages a similar argument about economics in the West. Here she turns her attention to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe to reconsider the birth of the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism. According to McCloskey, our modern world was not the product of new markets and innovations, but rather the result of shifting opinions about them. During this time, talk of private property, commerce, and even the bourgeoisie itself radically altered, becoming far more approving and flying in the face of prejudices several millennia old. The wealth of nations, then, didn’t grow so dramatically because of economic factors: it grew because rhetoric about markets and free enterprise finally became enthusiastic and encouraging of their inherent dignity. An utterly fascinating sequel to her critically acclaimed book The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity is a feast of intellectual riches from one of our most spirited and ambitious historians—a work that will forever change our understanding of how the power of persuasion shapes our economic lives.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2010-11-15
File: 592 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780226556666

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BOOK EXCERPT:

The big economic story of our times is not the Great Recession. It is how China and India began to embrace neoliberal ideas of economics and attributed a sense of dignity and liberty to the bourgeoisie they had denied for so long. The result was an explosion in economic growth and proof that economic change depends less on foreign trade, investment, or material causes, and a whole lot more on ideas and what people believe. Or so says Deirdre N. McCloskey in Bourgeois Dignity, a fiercely contrarian history that wages a similar argument about economics in the West. Here she turns her attention to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe to reconsider the birth of the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism. According to McCloskey, our modern world was not the product of new markets and innovations, but rather the result of shifting opinions about them. During this time, talk of private property, commerce, and even the bourgeoisie itself radically altered, becoming far more approving and flying in the face of prejudices several millennia old. The wealth of nations, then, didn’t grow so dramatically because of economic factors: it grew because rhetoric about markets and free enterprise finally became enthusiastic and encouraging of their inherent dignity. An utterly fascinating sequel to her critically acclaimed book The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity is a feast of intellectual riches from one of our most spirited and ambitious historians—a work that will forever change our understanding of how the power of persuasion shapes our economic lives.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2010-11-30
File: 587 Pages
ISBN-13: 0226556654

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The last 200 years have witnessed a 100-fold leap in well-being. Deirdre McCloskey argues that most people today are stunningly better off than their forbearers were in 1800, and that the rest of humanity will soon be. A purely materialist, incentivist view of economic change does not explain this leap. We have now the third in McCloskey's three-volume opus about how bourgeois values transformed Europe. Volume 3 nails the case for that transfiguration, telling us how aristocratic virtues of hierarchy were replaced by bourgeois virtues (more precisely, by attitudes toward virtues) that made it possible for ordinary folk with novel ideas to change the way people, farmed, manufactured, traveled, ruled themselves, and fought. It is a dramatic story, and joins a dramatic debate opened up by Thomas Piketty in his best-selling Capital in the 21st Century. McCloskey insists that economists are far too preoccupied by capital and saving, arguing against the position (of Piketty and most others) that capital induces a tendency to get more, that money reproduces itself, that riches are created from riches. Not so, our intrepid McCloskey shows. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, among the biggest wealth accumulators in our era, didn't get rich through the magic of compound interest on capital. They got rich through intellectual property, creating billions of dollars from virtually nothing. Capital was no more important an ingredient to the original Apple or Microsoft than cookies or cucumbers. The debate is between those who think riches are created from riches versus those who, with McCloskey, think riches are created from rags, between those who see profits as a generous return on capital, or profits coming from innovation that ultimately benefits us all.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2017-10-13
File: 768 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780226527932

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For a century and a half, the artists and intellectuals of Europe have scorned the bourgeoisie. And for a millennium and a half, the philosophers and theologians of Europe have scorned the marketplace. The bourgeois life, capitalism, Mencken’s “booboisie” and David Brooks’s “bobos”—all have been, and still are, framed as being responsible for everything from financial to moral poverty, world wars, and spiritual desuetude. Countering these centuries of assumptions and unexamined thinking is Deirdre McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues, a magnum opus that offers a radical view: capitalism is good for us. McCloskey’s sweeping, charming, and even humorous survey of ethical thought and economic realities—from Plato to Barbara Ehrenreich—overturns every assumption we have about being bourgeois. Can you be virtuous and bourgeois? Do markets improve ethics? Has capitalism made us better as well as richer? Yes, yes, and yes, argues McCloskey, who takes on centuries of capitalism’s critics with her erudition and sheer scope of knowledge. Applying a new tradition of “virtue ethics” to our lives in modern economies, she affirms American capitalism without ignoring its faults and celebrates the bourgeois lives we actually live, without supposing that they must be lives without ethical foundations. High Noon, Kant, Bill Murray, the modern novel, van Gogh, and of course economics and the economy all come into play in a book that can only be described as a monumental project and a life’s work. The Bourgeois Virtues is nothing less than a dazzling reinterpretation of Western intellectual history, a dead-serious reply to the critics of capitalism—and a surprising page-turner.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2010-03-15
File: 634 Pages
ISBN-13: 0226556670

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Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.

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Genre: Psychology
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Release: 2012-09
File: 802 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780143122012

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We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing—completely and entirely—the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCloskey's account of her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" unearth fundamental questions about gender and identity, and hatreds and anxieties, revealing surprising answers.

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Genre: Social Science
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2009-10-27
File: 282 Pages
ISBN-13: 0226556727

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An insightful and passionately written book explaining why a return to Enlightenment ideals is good for the world The greatest challenges facing humankind, according to Deirdre McCloskey, are poverty and tyranny, both of which hold people back. Arguing for a return to true liberal values, this engaging and accessible book develops, defends, and demonstrates how embracing the ideas first espoused by eighteenth-century philosophers like Locke, Smith, Voltaire, and Wollstonecraft is good for everyone. With her trademark wit and deep understanding, McCloskey shows how the adoption of Enlightenment ideals of liberalism has propelled the freedom and prosperity that define the quality of a full life. In her view, liberalism leads to equality, but equality does not necessarily lead to liberalism. Liberalism is an optimistic philosophy that depends on the power of rhetoric rather than coercion, and on ethics, free speech, and facts in order to thrive.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: Deirdre Nansen McCloskey
Publisher:
Release: 2019-10-15
File: 400 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780300235081

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The 'vices' are three bad habits into which economists have fallen over the past fifty years: bad statistics, bad theory, and bad applications of statistics and theory to public affairs. This book details the vices, tracing them to the influence of three giants of the 1940s and 1950s in economics, the Americans Lawrence Klein and Paul Samuelson, and the Dutchman Jan Tinbergen. McCloskey recommends a 'bourgeois', even feminine, virtue to replace the aristocratic and masculine vices of modern economics. She sees intellectual life as a bourgeois market of negotiating equals. What is good for a liberal democracy is good for intellectual life, she argues, even in the forbiddingly mathematical world of modern economics.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey
Publisher: Leiden University Press
Release: 1996
File: 135 Pages
ISBN-13: 9053562443

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In everything from philosophical ethics to legal argument to public activism, it has become commonplace to appeal to the idea of human dignity. In such contexts, the concept of dignity typically signifies something like the fundamental moral status belonging to all humans. Remarkably, however, it is only in the last century that this meaning of the term has become standardized. Before this, dignity was instead a concept associated with social status. Unfortunately, this transformation remains something of a mystery in existing scholarship. Exactly when and why did "dignity" change its meaning? And before this change, was it truly the case that we lacked a conception of human worth akin to the one that "dignity" now represents? In this volume, leading scholars across a range of disciplines attempt to answer such questions by clarifying the presently murky history of "dignity," from classical Greek thought through the Middle Ages and Enlightenment to the present day.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Remy Debes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 2017
File: 416 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780199386000

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