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K-State Today

March 27, 2020

'Mandeville's Fable of the Bees' lecture postponed

Submitted by Whitney Croll

The lecture, "Mandeville's Fable of the Bees: Private Vice and Public Virtue in the Age of Twitter," by Brandon Turner, professor at Clemson University, originally scheduled for March 27, will be rescheduled for the fall semester.

Turner will discuss how Bernard Mandeville's "Fable of the Bees" shocked and scandalized his contemporaries in the early 18th-century, and his ideas have not lost their capacity to shock and scandalize today. In particular, Turner questioned whether those who display their virtue most publicly — those who grandstand on Twitter, perhaps — were really engaged in virtuous activity. How do we understand the desire to be good apart from the desire to seem good to others — and which desire are we more likely to serve when we post online?