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The Idea of Luxury Christopher J. Berry (University of Glasgow)

The Idea of Luxury By Christopher J. Berry (University of Glasgow)

The Idea of Luxury by Christopher J. Berry (University of Glasgow)


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Summary

In this far-ranging and innovative study Christopher Berry explores the meanings and ramifications of the idea of luxury, and suggests that the value attached to luxury is a crucial component in any society's self-understanding.

The Idea of Luxury Summary

The Idea of Luxury: A Conceptual and Historical Investigation by Christopher J. Berry (University of Glasgow)

In this far-ranging and innovative study Christopher Berry explores the meanings and ramifications of the idea of luxury. Insights from political theory, philosophy and intellectual history are utilised in a sophisticated conceptual analysis that is complemented by a series of specific historical investigations. Dr Berry suggests that the value attached to luxury is a crucial component in any society's self-understanding, and shows how luxury has changed from being essentially a negative term, threatening social virtue, to a guileless ploy supporting consumption. His analytic focus upon the interplay between the notions of need and desire suggests that luxuries fall into four categories - sustenance, shelter, clothing and leisure - and these are exemplified in sources as diverse as classical philosophy and contemporary advertising.

The Idea of Luxury Reviews

Berry's monograph, written throughout with great clarity, provides keys to an understanding of the origins of these contemporary issues. His research will prove useful to historians of ideas and also to specialists in ethics, legal philosophy, economics and politics. The Oyster Club, The Scottish Journal of Philosophy

Table of Contents

Part I. Preliminary Essay: 1. Luxury goods; Part II. The Classical Paradigm: 2. The platonic prelude; 3. The Roman response; 4. The Christian contribution; Part III. The Transition to Modernity: 5. The de-moralisation of luxury; 6. The eighteenth-century debate; 7. The historicity of needs; Part IV. Politics, Needs and Desires: 8. Luxury and the politics of needs and desires; 9. Luxury, necessity and social identity.

Additional information

NLS9780521466912
9780521466912
0521466911
The Idea of Luxury: A Conceptual and Historical Investigation by Christopher J. Berry (University of Glasgow)
New
Paperback
Cambridge University Press
19940616
292
N/A
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