In this article we introduce the reader to the reasons that led to this collection: an interdisciplinary exploration aimed at renewing interest in LuigiEinaudi’s search for «good government», broadly understood as «good society». Prompted by the Einaudian quest, the essays – exploring philosophy of law, economics, politics and epistemology – develop the issue of good government in several forms, including the relationship between public and private, public governance, the question of freedom and the complexity of the human (...) in contemporary societies. The common thread of these essays is that problematic but indissoluble knot that tells us something deeply human: our being torn between homing and roaming, institutional and individual, law and freedom, real and ideal. (shrink)
Italian Abstract: L'opposizione buon governo/mal governo è stato considerata uno dei grandi temi, se non il più grande, della riflessione politica di tutti i tempi. In questo libro mi propongo di qualificare teoreticamente il senso e il modo in cui LuigiEinaudi riattualizza il mito del buongoverno alla luce della portata dirompente dell’economico per la modernità e dei suoi effetti sul giuridico, il politico e l’etico. Il baricentro del liberalismo di LuigiEinaudi o del buon governo (...) va ricercato non tanto in una specifica teoria del liberalismo ma, piuttosto, nella "visione dell'uomo" di Einaudi riflessa dalla sua azione di economista-giornalista nella sfera pubblica, che testimonia di una cura costante per quel «bene supremo che è la libertà dell’uomo», nelle sue forme più «concrete», affinché ciascuno di noi possa «continuamente rompere la frontiera del noto, del già sperimentato, e muovere verso l’ignoto ancora aperto all’avanzamento materiale e morale dell’umanità». -/- English Abstract: The opposition good government/bad government has been considered one of the major issues, if not the major, of the legal and political reflection of all times. In this book I endeavour to provide a historical-theoretical account of the meaning and manner of LuigiEinaudi’s revisitation of the “myth of good government”, highlighting its contemporary relevance in the light of the momentous significance of economy for modernity, as well as its effects on the sphere of law, politics and ethics. I argue that the core of Einaudi’s liberalism and good government is to be found not so much in a specific theory of liberalism but, rather, in Einaudi’s “vision of the human”, reflected by his action in the public sphere as journalist-economist: a constant care for that “greater good that is the freedom of man” in its most “concrete” forms, so that every single man can “constantly break down the frontier of the known, of the already experienced, and move towards the unknown still open to the material and moral progress of mankind”. (shrink)
The book presents an interdisciplinary exploration aimed at renewing interest in LuigiEinaudi’s search for “good government”, broadly understood as “good society”. Prompted by the Einaudian quest, the essays - exploring philosophy of law, economics, politics and epistemology - develop the issue of good government in several forms, including the relationship between public and private, public governance, the question of freedom and the complexity of the human in contemporary societies.
I will argue here that Einaudi's thought reveals an awareness that the question of freedom has to do with two inter-related problems: the relation of individuals or communities with their respective limits and the question of going beyond these limits. Limits are to be understood here in the meaning of the foundation or conditions of possibility both of institutions (economic, political and juridical) and of thought and human action.
LuigiEinaudi was a leading liberal economist, economic historian and political figure. This book provides the English-speaking world with a first critical edition of an unpublished version of Einaudi’s most important epistemological essay. The issues analysed here lie at the core of the problem concerning the nature and scope of economic sciences and the role played by economists in the public sphere, with particular emphasis on the interaction between economists and the ruling class. The earlier version of (...) this essay has also been considered the "historical epilogue" of the Italian tradition in public finance. An extensive reappraisal of this newly discovered document will help to reconsider and cast light on that tradition. This critical edition includes a comprehensive introduction and conclusion, both of which aim to place Einaudi’s essay in the context of his earlier epistemological speculation and the associated debates, and to assess the unsettled questions he left as an enduring heritage for the current generation of social scientists. (shrink)
In this afterword I will try to re-launch the inquiry into the causes of good-bad polity and good-bad relationships between man and society, individual and institutions. Through an analogy between Einaudi’s search for good government and Calvino’s “Invisible cities”, I will sketch an account of the human and invisible foundations – first of all: trust/distrust – of any good-bad polity.
This introduction provides a re-reading of LuigiEinaudi’s "On Abstract and Historical Hypotheses and on Value Judgments in Economic Sciences", focusing on how Einaudi conceived the relationship among economics, the humanities and values. In particular, its aim is: (§ 1) to explain the reasons why this essay can be considered a confession of a humanist-economist who constantly stepped “beyond the hedge of the garden reserved to the economist”; (§ 2) to clarify the nature of one of the (...) main doubts that Einaudi had concerning the issue of value judgments, with specific reference to the problem of entanglement of fact and value; (§ 3) to cast further light on why, at the end of his life, Einaudi claimed: “I proudly place economic disciplines within the humanities”. (shrink)
Psychophysical experiments have demonstrated large and highly systematic perceptual distortions of tactile space. Such a space can be referred to our experience of the spatial organisation of objects, at representational level, through touch, in analogy with the familiar concept of visual space. We investigated the neural basis of tactile space by analysing activity patterns induced by tactile stimulation of nine points on a 3 × 3 square grid on the hand dorsum using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used a searchlight (...) approach within pre-defined regions of interests to compute the pairwise Euclidean distances between the activity patterns elicited by tactile stimulation. Then, we used multidimensional scaling to reconstruct tactile space at the neural level and compare it with skin space at the perceptual level. Our reconstructions of the shape of skin space in contralateral primary somatosensory and motor cortices reveal that it is distorted in a way that matches the perceptual shape of skin space. This suggests that early sensorimotor areas critically contribute to the distorted internal representation of tactile space on the hand dorsum. (shrink)
Galvani's discovery provoked an animated debate that lasted for about a decade. So far, historians have studied only the controversy between Volta and Galvani. I show that a more extensive examination of the response to Galvani's treatise reveals a number of important issues that were characteristic of the contemporary physics and physiology but have not much attracted the attention of historians. In particular, the analysis shows the need to reappraise Galvani's role in establishing animal electricity.
Luigi Giussani, a high school religion teacher throughout the 1950s and 1960s, grounded his teachings in the vast body of experience to be found in Christianity's two-thousand-year history. He told his students, “I'm not here to make you adopt the ideas I will give you as your own, but to teach you a method for judging the things I will say.” Throughout his life, education was one of Giussani's primary intellectual interests. He believed that effective education required an adequate (...) background in the Christian tradition, presented within a lived experience that underscored the capacity of the faith to answer universal questions. What he proposed was a process that allowed one to sift through tradition, critically examining it and comparing it against the ultimate criteria for judgment: the desires of the heart. In Giussani's view, the primary concern was to “educate the human heart as God made it.” In The Risk of Education he states that fear leads students to associate this process of criticism with negativity or doubt. Yet, without an education in criticism, students cannot develop conviction. At a time when young people are abandoning the church and questioning the value of faith, Giussani's method of judging and verifying Christianity as an experience seems a necessary intervention. In The Risk of Education he argues that, ultimately, education and the Christian message reveal themselves through human freedom. (shrink)
The early writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau were dismissed by his contemporaries as the paradoxes of a madman. Later critics, weighing the early works against such classics as the Confessions and Emile, were convinced that the views of the young Rousseau could not be reconciled with those of his more famous period. In this stimulating book Professor Einaudi argues that the denigrators of Rousseau's early work were wrong: the early and later views can be reconciled. Indeed, full understanding of the (...) mature Rousseau can be gained only through appreciation of the writings completed between 1737 and 1756. In developing his argument, the author refers not only to such well-known early works as the Discourse on the Arts and Sciences and the Discourse on Inequality, but also to the less familiar writings of the same period—the essays on political economy and the state of war, the letter to Voltaire on the Lisbon earthquake, the fragments on history and education, the Discourse on Wealth, and Rousseau's replies to his critics. Rousseau's reputation has steadily grown until he is today regarded by many as the most important thinker of the eighteenth century. His views on a variety of topics—man and society, private and public life, economics and government, war and peace—seem astonishingly relevant to the problems of the twentieth century, and for this reason he is now read with a thoroughness and sympathy that were seldom accorded him in his lifetime. This major contribution to the current Rousseau revival is the first full-length study in English to take into account the insights of recent European scholars, such as Starobinski, Derathé, and Vossler. (shrink)
Since the 1980s the concepts of “neoliberalism” and “technoscience,” although both of them were coined earlier, have almost simultaneously become rather prominent conceptual tools in various fields of social science research. The starting point of Neoliberalism and Technoscience: Critical Assessments, edited by Luigi Pellizzoni and Marja Ylönen, is the assumption that this temporal overlap is not just a coincidence and that it would be “quite surprising, then, to find no or merely casual connections between neoliberalization processes and technoscience” . (...) There is already some work in science and technology studies and the sociology of science investigating the impact of neoliberalism on science, frequently focusing on the management of scientific institutions; in addition, there are a number of studies, often inspired by Michel Foucault’s work on biopolitics and governmentality, on the close relations of science and neoliberalism in the field of biomedicine .. (shrink)
Nel mio articolo propongo una lettura dei §§ 79-84 della Critica del Giudizio, parte della sezione Metodologia del Giudizio teleologico. Dapprima mi interrogo sul significato di una Methodenlehre del Giudizio teleologico, che rintraccio in un’attività metariflessiva del Giudizio; procedo poi ad una lettura analitica del testo nelle sue varie articolazioni, nella quale passo in rassegna le questioni attinenti alla specificità dello statuto epistemologico della teleologia, alla possibile convivenza tra finalismo e meccanicismo nella scienza della natura, all’origine della vita, allo scopo (...) ultimo della natura e allo scopo finale della creazione; approdo, infine, ad un’interpretazione per cui l’intera teleologia rationis humanae, che si estende dalla teleologia naturale alla teleologia morale passando per l’antropologia e per la filosofia della storia, viene in questa sezione riarticolata intorno ad un nuovo fulcro concettuale di livello trascendentale, che può garantire l’effettivo collegamento tra queste diverse parti della filosofia proprio perché esso non si esercita in forma di dominio legislativo, ma in forma di riflessione sul molteplice empirico e sulla causalità teleologica propria dell’uomo. (shrink)
We examined the neural basis of tactile distance perception by analyzing activity patterns induced by tactile stimulation of nine points on a 3 x 3 square grid on the hand dorsum using functional magnetic resonance (fMRI). We used a searchlight approach within pre-defined regions of interests (ROIs) to compute the pairwise Euclidean distances between the activity patterns elicited by tactile stimulation. Then, we used multidimensional scaling (MDS) to reconstruct skin space at the neural level and compare it with skin space (...) at the perceptual level. Our reconstructions of the shape of skin space in contralateral primary somatosensory (SI) and motor (M1) cortices reveal that it is distorted in a way that matches the perceptual shape of skin space. This suggests that early sensorimotor areas are critical to processing tactile distance perception. (shrink)
The relentless exploitation of the earth's resources and technologys boundless growth are a matter of urgent concern. When did this race towards the limitless begin? The Greeks, who shaped the basis of Western thinking, lived in mortal fear of humanity's hidden hunger for the infinite and referred to it as hubris, the one true sin in their moral code. Whoever desired or possessed too much was implacably punished by nemesis, yet the Greeks themselves were to pioneer an unprecedented level of (...) ambition that began to reverse that tabu. If it is true that no culture can truly repudiate its origins, and that gods who are no longer potent can vanish but still leave behind a body of myth which coninues to live and assert itself in modernized garb, then our concern with the limits of growth reflects something more than an awareness of new technological problems - it also brings to light a psychic wound a a feeling of guilt which are infinitely more ancient. (shrink)