Andreas Blank
Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt
Gabriel Bonnot de Mably takes up the republican commonplace that the desire for esteem is what could motivate the fulfilment of duties of civic virtue. This commonplace, however, has become problematic through the discussion of the problem of human corruption in philosophers such as Blaise Pascal and Nicolas Malebranche. In this article, I will show that Mably takes this problem seriously. However, his critique of Malebranche’s solution to this problem and his critique of the economic reinterpretation of Malebranche’s concept of natural order in the work of Le Mercier de la Rivière motivate his own republican defense of the moral value of the desire for esteem. What makes this defense plausible is his argument that distorted esteem derives from imagination that is distorted, not only as a result of natural factors, but in many cases rather as a result of misguided politics. If some cases of distorted esteem derive from misguided politics, Mably argues, then they can be modified by republican constitution building that modifies the imagination of citizens.
Keywords civic virtue   imagination   legislation   perfection  civic virtue  imagination  legislation  perfection  social esteem  social esteem
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DOI 10.32881/jomp.142
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References found in this work BETA

The Search After Truth.Nicholas Malebranche, Thomas M. Lennon & Paul J. Olscamp - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (1):146-147.
The Search After Truth.Nicolas Malebranche - 1991 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
How to Distinguish Self-Respect From Self-Esteem.David Sachs - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (4):346-360.
D’Holbach on (Dis-)Esteeming Talent.Andreas Blank - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):10.
Treatise on Ethics.Nicolas Malebranche - 1993 - Springer Verlag.

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