Phylosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Mause I 37
Common Interests/Montesquieu: Thesis: that "everyone pursues the general good by believing he/she is pursuing his/her private interests". (1)
Montesquieu's observation, which is here in the political-theoretical context of his theory of government and refers specifically to the positive effects of individual ambition in a monarchy, appears, literarily inspired by Bernard de Mandeville's bee fable, a quarter of a century later in the shape of the famous figure of the invisible hand with which Adam Smith describes the emergent order of the market from the actions of self-interested actors. (2)


1. Montesquieu, Baron de, (Charles-Louis de Secondat), Vom Geist der Gesetze, Hrsg. Kurt Weigand, Stuttgart 2011, S. 127.
2. Hirschman, Albert O. Leidenschaften und Interessen. Politische Begründungen des Kapitalismus vor seinem Sieg, Frankfurt 1987, S.18.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Monte I
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu
De l’esprit des lois, Paris 1748
German Edition:
Vom Geist der Gesetze Stuttgart 2011

Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-05-27
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