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1 Burnside Economics- General

The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (Revised Edition)

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The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (Revised Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"No one, economist or civilian, could turn the pages of this book without spotting, time and again, some unexpected and arresting idea that really wants to be thought about. Paul Seabright takes the evolutionary point of view seriously and asks how human institutions make social life possible at all, especially when the many people on whom we depend for our subsistence are strangers. From biology to banking, it is a lively landscape."--Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

"For too long, economists have been talking only to each other. Paul Seabright's achievement is to locate economics firmly in the mainstream of modern intellectual life, and to do so with style and verve."--John Kay, author of The Truth about Markets, columnist for the Financial Times

"The Company of Strangers is a gem--an undiluted delight to read. It addresses some of the most central problems of social science with compelling arguments, lightly worn rigor and erudition, and utterly jargon-free language. Seabright has an amazing eye for the telling detail, whether drawn from fiction, biology, social science or current news. I can think of no better introduction to the problem of social order-how is it possible?"--Jon Elster, Robert K. Merton Professor of Social Science, Columbia University, author of Alchemies of the Mind and Ulysses and the Sirens

"The division of labor among strangers is humankind's most momentous invention, on which all modern society depends. Yet since Adam Smith pointed this out in 1776, the question of how such relations between strangers are possible has continued to puzzle us. Now Paul Seabright deepens, adjusts, and extends the idea in the light of what we now know from psychology, genetics, and economics about human motives. Drawing on an extraordinary breadth of study, he explains how, unique among species, we found ourselves with a nature that equipped us to build this division of labor and so come to treat strangers as honorary friends."--Matt Ridley, author of Nature Via Nurture and The Origins of Virtue

"Fascinating. If you really want to understand who we are today, and how we make a living, read The Company of Strangers to learn how, some 200, 500, even 140,000 years ago, we grew and evolved--in rather amazing ways."--Shlomo Maital, author of Executive Economics: Ten Essential Tools for Managers

Synopsis:

"No one, economist or civilian, could turn the pages of this book without spotting, time and again, some unexpected and arresting idea that really wants to be thought about. Paul Seabright takes the evolutionary point of view seriously and asks how human institutions make social life possible at all, especially when the many people on whom we depend for our subsistence are strangers. From biology to banking, it is a lively landscape."--Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

"For too long, economists have been talking only to each other. Paul Seabright's achievement is to locate economics firmly in the mainstream of modern intellectual life, and to do so with style and verve."--John Kay, author of The Truth about Markets, columnist for the Financial Times

"The Company of Strangers is a gem--an undiluted delight to read. It addresses some of the most central problems of social science with compelling arguments, lightly worn rigor and erudition, and utterly jargon-free language. Seabright has an amazing eye for the telling detail, whether drawn from fiction, biology, social science or current news. I can think of no better introduction to the problem of social order-how is it possible?"--Jon Elster, Robert K. Merton Professor of Social Science, Columbia University, author of Alchemies of the Mind and Ulysses and the Sirens

"The division of labor among strangers is humankind's most momentous invention, on which all modern society depends. Yet since Adam Smith pointed this out in 1776, the question of how such relations between strangers are possible has continued to puzzle us. Now Paul Seabright deepens, adjusts, and extends the idea in the light of what we now know from psychology, genetics, and economics about human motives. Drawing on an extraordinary breadth of study, he explains how, unique among species, we found ourselves with a nature that equipped us to build this division of labor and so come to treat strangers as honorary friends."--Matt Ridley, author of Nature Via Nurture and The Origins of Virtue

"Fascinating. If you really want to understand who we are today, and how we make a living, read The Company of Strangers to learn how, some 200, 500, even 140,000 years ago, we grew and evolved--in rather amazing ways."--Shlomo Maital, author of Executive Economics: Ten Essential Tools for Managers

Synopsis:

The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it.

Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

About the Author

Paul Seabright is professor of economics at the Toulouse School of Economics. He has been a fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford, and Churchill College, University of Cambridge.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xv

Trust and Panic: Introduction to the Revised Edition 1

Part I: Tunnel Vision 15

Chapter 1: Who's in Charge? 17

Prologue to Part II 33

Part II: From Murderous Apes to Honorary Friends: How Is Human Cooperation Possible? 35

Chapter 2: Man and the Risks of Nature 37

Chapter 3: Our Violent Past 55

Chapter 4: How Have We Tamed Our Violent Instincts? 65

Chapter 5: How Did the Social Emotions Evolve? 80

Chapter 6: Money and Human Relationships 91

Chapter 7: Honor among Thieves: Hoarding and Stealing 106

Chapter 8: Honor among Bankers? What Caused the Financial Crisis? 116

Chapter 9: Professionalism and Fulfillment in Work and War 134

Epilogue to Parts I and II 147

Prologue to Part III 151

Part III: Unintended Consequences: From Family Bands to Industrial Cities 155

Chapter 10: The City, from Ancient Athens to Modern Manhattan 157

Chapter 11: Water: Commodity or Social Institution? 172

Chapter 12: Prices for Everything? 186

Chapter 13: Families and Firms 204

Chapter 14: Knowledge and Symbolism 226

Chapter 15: Exclusion: Unemployment, Poverty, and Illness 244

Epilogue to Part III 263

Prologue to Part IV 265

Part IV: Collective Action: From Belligerent States to a Marketplace of Nations 269

Chapter 16: States and Empires 271

Chapter 17: Globalization and Political Action 288

Chapter 18: Conclusion: How Fragile Is the Great Experiment? 302

Notes 317

References 343

Index 365

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691146461
Author:
Seabright, Paul
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Foreword by:
Dennett, Daniel C.
Foreword:
Dennett, Daniel C.
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Sociobiology
Subject:
Social capital (Sociology)
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Biological Sciences.
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Psychology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 2010
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (Revised Edition) Sale Trade Paper
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$7.98 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691146461 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "No one, economist or civilian, could turn the pages of this book without spotting, time and again, some unexpected and arresting idea that really wants to be thought about. Paul Seabright takes the evolutionary point of view seriously and asks how human institutions make social life possible at all, especially when the many people on whom we depend for our subsistence are strangers. From biology to banking, it is a lively landscape."--Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

"For too long, economists have been talking only to each other. Paul Seabright's achievement is to locate economics firmly in the mainstream of modern intellectual life, and to do so with style and verve."--John Kay, author of The Truth about Markets, columnist for the Financial Times

"The Company of Strangers is a gem--an undiluted delight to read. It addresses some of the most central problems of social science with compelling arguments, lightly worn rigor and erudition, and utterly jargon-free language. Seabright has an amazing eye for the telling detail, whether drawn from fiction, biology, social science or current news. I can think of no better introduction to the problem of social order-how is it possible?"--Jon Elster, Robert K. Merton Professor of Social Science, Columbia University, author of Alchemies of the Mind and Ulysses and the Sirens

"The division of labor among strangers is humankind's most momentous invention, on which all modern society depends. Yet since Adam Smith pointed this out in 1776, the question of how such relations between strangers are possible has continued to puzzle us. Now Paul Seabright deepens, adjusts, and extends the idea in the light of what we now know from psychology, genetics, and economics about human motives. Drawing on an extraordinary breadth of study, he explains how, unique among species, we found ourselves with a nature that equipped us to build this division of labor and so come to treat strangers as honorary friends."--Matt Ridley, author of Nature Via Nurture and The Origins of Virtue

"Fascinating. If you really want to understand who we are today, and how we make a living, read The Company of Strangers to learn how, some 200, 500, even 140,000 years ago, we grew and evolved--in rather amazing ways."--Shlomo Maital, author of Executive Economics: Ten Essential Tools for Managers

"Synopsis" by , The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it.

Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

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