The Moral Breakthrough to Capitalism | Newberry

The Moral Breakthrough to Capitalism

Led by Joseph Harrington. Four sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Thursdays, February 15 - March 8

2 - 4 pm

Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (January 9 at 10 am – January 26 at 4 pm): $170
Regular Registration Price (January 26 at 4 pm – first day of class): $187

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Online registration is closed, but you can still register by phone. Please call (312) 255-3700 to do so.

Excuse our dust!

Beginning January 2018 the Newberry will be undertaking renovation of much of the first floor. The Adult Education Seminars Program will still have use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Winter/Spring and Summer 2018 terms. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

There would be no modern economy if moral and political philosophers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had not overcome notions of virtue that equated the pursuit of self-interest with the sin of avarice. This seminar will examine the role that key thinkers in that period played in advancing the pursuit of self-interest as a beneficial means of curbing dangerous passions and promoting social harmony. Four sessions.

Joseph Harrington holds an MA in history from the University of Connecticut. He has led numerous Newberry seminars.

Materials List


  • Albert Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests. 20th anniversary edition, Princeton University Press, 1997. ISBN#: 978-0691015989

First Reading:

  • For the first class, please read pp. ix-30 of Albert Hirschman’s The Passions and the Interests

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.