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Anthropologists in the Stock ExchangeA Financial History of Victorian Science$
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Marc Flandreau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226360300

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226360584.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

Acts of Speculation

Acts of Speculation

Chapter:
(p.124) Chapter Six Acts of Speculation
Source:
Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange
Author(s):

Marc Flandreau

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226360584.003.0007

This chapter provides an account of the “bona fides” man in Victorian Britain. It elaborates on a heretofore unnoticed parallel between financial history and the history of sciences. Both separately emphasize the role of certain forms of sociability (in particular something conventionally referred to as “gentlemanliness”) and their relation to trust. This chapter provides an economic interpretation to the parallel, underscoring that, seen as a social technology, gentlemanliness served an identical purpose in both science and finance: It helped to make statements credible. This explains the overlap between scientific truths and financial truths and enables one to explain the sociological aspects of the disputes between the Anthropological Society and the Ethnological Society and the ritualization of scientific performances.

Keywords:   bona fides, trust, gentlemanly science, gentlemanly capitalism, displays, rituals, gentlemanliness

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