David Wootton, “Power, pleasure and profit: insatiable appetites from Hobbes to Smith” (09/05)

David Wootton (Anniversary Professor, University of York) présentera sa communication “Power, pleasure and profit: insatiable appetites from Hobbes to Smith” autour de son livre Power, Pleasure and Profit (Harvard UP, 2018) jeudi 9 mai 2019 de 17h30 à 19h. Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, Paris 6e , salle D421

“My argument is that moral, social, and economic life was transformed in line with Hobbes’s claim that pleasure and happiness are purely subjective, and that there is no summum bonum or highest good. I trace the impact of this view through the moral, political and economic thinking of the Enlightenment, particularly the British Enlightenment, from Locke to Bentham. In my talk I will touch briefly on some of the key themes of my book (with particular reference to Hume), and I will look in particular at a topic where much of the pioneering intellectual work was French, but which lie at the heart of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776): the question of famine. I will argue that Smith’s inability to think about famine is symptomatic of the intellectual failures of the post-Hobbesian Enlightenment. These intellectual failures continue to be our own.”

David Wootton is Anniversary Professor of History at the University of York. He works on European cultural and intellectual history from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. He has published widely on the history of science and medicine (Bad Medicine: Doctors doing harm since Hippocrates, 2006, Galileo: Watcher of the Skies, 2010 and The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution, 2016). His latest book, Power, Pleasure and Profit: Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison was recently published by Harvard University Press (2018). 

Discutante : Catherine Marshall (Cergy-Pontoise)

Contact : Emmanuelle de Champs: emmanuelle.de-champ@u-cergy.fr