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Luxury And The Creation Of A Good Consumer

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author reconsiders the Natural History's dealings with luxury by taking into account themonetized status of knowledge in the text. The author suggests that the interest Pliny takes in luxury is motivated by a desire to demonstrate financial ethics and to produce such ethical behavior among the lapsed members of society. His relationship to luxury is not simply a matter of voicing criticism. He does this by sharing practical information about purchasing luxury goods that bears the stamp of his views on proper market behavior - by imposing his financial code on consumers of luxury, in other words. But Pliny may be hoist by his own petard. At the end of the chapter, the author looks at how luxury has infiltrated the very domain of learning that he tries to serve as antidote, so implicating Pliny in the world from which he tries to distance himself.

Keywords: consumers; luxury goods; Pliny



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