By Piero V. Mini (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349116513

ISBN-13: 9781349116515

ISBN-10: 134911653X

ISBN-13: 9781349116539

An exam of the values and outlook of John Maynard Keynes as prompted via his reports at Eton and Cambridge, and by means of G.E.Moore and Bloomsbury. the writer strains Keynes' rejection of Bentham's principles and the genesis of "The normal Theory", Keynes' blueprint for cultural reconstruction.

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Lawrence (for whose criticism of Bloomsbury Keynes was the only one of his group to show any sympathy1S), Carlyle may allegorically be addressing Bentham: 'Foolish Wordmonger and Motive-grinder, who in thy Logic-mill hast an earthly mechanism for the Godlike itself, and wouldst fain grind me out Virtue from the husks of Pleasure - I tell thee, nay. ,16 Carlyle would probably see lawyers, economists, public-relations experts, lobbyists, ad-men, political pundits and everyone, in fact, engaged in enlarging the realm of rights for themselves or their clients as magicians trying to produce the Good from a hedonistic philosophy.

The union of theory and practice, the eagerness to generalise, to take the whole world as the province of one's thought, was being threatened by the emergence of the specialist who wilfully cut himself off from Nineteenth-Century Anti-Benthamite Tradition 25 much of what surrounded him, withdrawing into a world of symbols. The new spirit was evident even in the realm of art within which a 'new aesthetics' was rising, its motto being 'art for art's sake'. Morris saw clearly that the aloofness of the new aesthetes was another symptom of the egoism of the richest and most cultured members of society, resulting from their efforts to cut themselves off from the masses.

Keynes's antiutilitarian, anti-mechanistic philosophy is first expressed in his pamphlets and biographies, but it eventually affected the very theories of his mature economic treatises. By the time he chose economics as one of his absorbing interests, Keynes had been exposed not only to the literary anti-Benthamism that we have sketched in the preceding pages, but to powerful institutions shaped by anti-utilitarianism. Among these institutions was Eton, to which we now turn. 2 Eton and Keynes Between the ages of fourteen and nineteen Keynes spent two-thirds of every year at Eton, a boarding school founded by Henry VI in 1440 with close links to King's.

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Keynes, Bloomsbury and The General Theory by Piero V. Mini (auth.)


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