The Idea of Luxury: A Conceptual and Historical Investigation

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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 utilized 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.
 

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Must Read for all those involved in marketing & selling of luxury.

Contents

Luxury goods
3
THE CLASSICAL PARADIGM
43
The Platonic prelude
45
The Roman response
63
The Christian contribution
87
THE TRANSITION TO MODERNITY
99
The demoralisation of luxury
101
The eighteenthcentury debate
126
The historicity of needs
177
POLITICS NEEDS AND DESIRES
197
Luxury and the politics of needs and desires
199
Luxury necessity and social identity
231
Bibliography
243
Index
260
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