Bernard Mandeville

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mandeville, Bernard


Born in 1670, in Dordrecht, Hol-land; died Jan. 21, 1733, in London. English author.

Of French descent, Mandeville received a medical education in Leiden. In 1705 he published the satire The Grumbling Hive, or Knaves Turn ‘d Honest. This was reprinted in 1714 and 1723 under the title The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Publick Benefits (Russian translation, 1924). The life of a beehive was an allegory for bourgeois society, with its competition, corruption, and social oppression. Mandeville “shows that in modern society vices are necessary and useful. This was scarcely an apology for modern society” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 2, p. 146). Mandeville led the way in English social thought toward a sober and ironic critique of the bourgeois social structure.


Mandeville’s Travels. London, 1968.
The Fable of the Bees. London, 1970.
In Russian translation:
Deborin, A. Kniga dlia chteniia po istorii filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow. 1924.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, book 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945. Pages 296-301.
Kaye, F. B. “The Influence of Bernard Mandeville.” Studies in the Literature of the Augustan Age. New York, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.