Among the various attempts to re-humanize economics, the ‘humanomics’ proposed by Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson stands out. We contribute to the “humanomics project” by mapping its territory – core, periphery and frontiers – with an eye, also, on future explorations. First, we critically study the core: Smith and Wilson’s interpretation and experimental application of Adam Smith’s ideas on beneficence and injustice. Using the distinction between reciprocal cooperation and reciprocal kindness, we provide a different interpretation of Smith which helps to (...) better understand the difference between exchange and trust, based on mutual advantage, and (reciprocal) beneficence proper. Secondly, we turn to the periphery, going beyond the ‘dichotomous representation of the human personality’ – personal-social/impersonal-economic – and showing other possible worlds: nuances of humans equally worthy of study, such as the personal-economic and the impersonal-social. Thirdly, we argue that the humanomics project should keep its frontiers as open as possible to human diversities and frailties. (shrink)
The publication of Guido Calabresi’s book “The Future of Law and Economics” has drawn a substantial amount of attention among law and economics scholars. We thought that the best way to devote special attention to this book was to devote a Special issue to it. This article situates Calabresi’s book among other reflections on the future of the discipline, introduces and explains the reasons behind this Special issue and discuss the organization and content of it. -/- We emphasize how Calabresi’s (...) historical-conceptual standpoint allows him to isolate the stakes of different future developments around the question of how could further appreciation of legal institutions that defy the standard economic assumptions help the field develop theoretically. Overall, the contributors all shared Calabresi’s attempt to restore the balance between Law and Economics and the need to better account for the “whole unanalysed experience of human race”, often neglected by the Economic Analysis of Law approach. Most disagreements are about the ‘how’. In any case, the search for the Law and Economics ‘not (yet) taken’ or for other “Law and … ” approaches is always open to the Future. (shrink)
The paper aims to address the following two questions: what kind of discourse is that which attempt to found or defend the autonomy or the boundaries of a discipline? Why do such discourses tend to turn into normative, dogmatic-excommunicating discourses between disciplines, schools or scholars? I will argue that an adequate answer may be found if we conceive disciplines as dogmatics, where such discourses often take the form of a discourse on the foundation of a discipline, a foundation in the (...) name of which the scholar speaks and with which he/she entertains an identity relationship. To this purpose I will re-examine the methodological discourses of (and debates between) Pareto, Croce and Einaudi on the demarcation issue between philosophy, economics and value-judgments as highly instructive to understand such issues. (shrink)
This introduction explains the reasons behind this Special issue and discuss the organization and content of it. The difficulty of a genuine dialogue and understanding between economics, law and humanities, seems to be due not only to the fragmentation of reflections on man, but to a real ‘conflict of anthropologies’. What kind of conceptions of man and human values are presupposed by and / or privileged by economics, law, economic approaches to law and social sciences? How and when do these (...) conceptions come into conflict within and between disciplines? How do these conceptions of man and his values influence the conceptions of economics, law and institutions, and vice versa, how do these last conceptions influence the former? What are the normative, regulatory and practical implications of assuming an anthropological and / or axiological perspective instead of another? This Special issue aims at exploring the possibility of finding a common ground for discussion between economics, law and humanities, through the analysis and comparison of both the conceptions of man, human action and values assumed by economics, law and humanities, and their normative implications. The contributions to this Special issue and its organization are outlined at the end of this introduction. (shrink)
Can taxation and the redistribution of wealth through the welfare state be conceived as a modern system of circulation of the gift? But once such a gift is institutionalized, regulated and sanctioned through legal mechanisms, does it not risk being perverted or corrupted, and/or not leaving room for genuinely altruistic motives? What is more: if the market’s utilitarian logic can corrupt or ‘crowd out’ altruistic feelings or motivations, what makes us think that the welfare state cannot also be a source (...) of corruption? To explain the standard answers to the abovementioned questions as well as their implications I will first re-examine two opposing positions assumed here as paradigmatic examples of other similar positions: on the one hand, Titmuss’s work and the never-ending debate about it; on the other, Godbout’s position, in-so-far as it shows how Titmuss’s arguments can easily be turned upside down. I will then introduce and reinterpret Einaudi’s “critical point” theory as a more complex and richer anthropological explanation of the problems and answers considered herein. Through the analysis of these paradigmatic positions I will develop two interrelated arguments. 1) The way these problems are posed as well as the standard answers to them are: a) subject to fallacies: the dichotomy fallacy and the fallacy of composition; b) too reductive and simplistic: we should at least try to clarify what kind of ‘gift’ or ‘corruption’ we are thinking about, and who or what the ‘giver’, the ‘corrupter’, the ‘receiver’ and/or the ‘corrupted’ party are. 2) The answers to these problems cannot be found by merely following a theoretical approach, nor can they be merely based on empirical evidence; instead, they need to take into account the forever troublesome, ambiguous and unpredictable matter of human freedom. (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.
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.
In this article we introduce the reader to the reasons that led to this collection: an interdisciplinary exploration aimed at renewing interest in Luigi Einaudi’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)
In this essay I intend to analyze the issue of good government in the works of Adam Smith, the importance of which seems to have not received due attention. The reconstruction is driven by three hermeneutical hypotheses concerning the role played by the idea of good government in the development of Smith's speculation: 1) the «good government» has a synthetic character, holding together the different aspects – moral, legal, economic and political – of his reflection; 2) it emerges against the (...) backdrop of the first acquisitions of the Theory of Moral Sentiments about the ‘mediating’ role of the middle class, and especially during the reflection that goes from the Lectures on Jurisprudence to the Wealth of Nations, and then feeds back into the subsequent rewritings of the Theory; 3) From the moment the «good government» appears, it becomes a descriptive and prescriptive idea of the social order. In the conclusions I will show how these hermeneutical hypotheses might have implications in the history of political, legal and economic thought. (shrink)
Italian Abstract: Il testo propone una rilettura critica della filosofia di Croce, articolata attorno ai quei due snodi che la teoria degli «pseudoconcetti» mira a trattare unitariamente: il finzionale e l’istituzionale. Tentando di rinnovare il nominalismo e contro ogni ipostatizzazione metafisica, lo pseudoconcetto si incarica di rendere conto della logica dell’astratto e dell’‘empirico’: le leggi, i tipi, i modelli e gli schemi delle scienze sociali, ma anche le istituzioni e le leggi degli ordinamenti giuridici, politici ed economici. Donde la riconfigurazione, (...) elaborata congiuntamente con la costruzione della filosofia della pratica, del rapporto tra filosofia e scienze, finzione e realtà, vero e utile, conoscere e volere, legge e libertà. Muovendo dal dibattito epistemologico con Pareto sino ad arrivare al dibattito su liberismo e liberalismo con Einaudi, il testo problematizza il senso del nesso crociano tra finzioni-istituzioni e Realtà-Spirito-Libertà, onde tentare di ripensare, con Croce ma oltre Croce, l’istituzionale e il finzionale come strutture dogmatiche (istituite e istituenti), dove la posta in gioco, nel bene e nel male, è la libertà umana nella sua contingente e indeducibile concretezza. -/- English Abstract: This book provides a critical analysis of Croce’s epistemology and practical philosophy, articulated around the two pillars that the theory of “pseudo-concepts” aims to treat as a unit: the fictional and the institutional. Trying to renew nominalism and against any metaphysical hypostasis, the theory of pseudo-concepts is committed to account for the logic of the abstract and the empirical: laws, types and models of social sciences, but also legal political and economic institutions and laws, in an attempts to reconfigure the relationship between philosophy and science, fiction and reality, knowledge and will, law and liberty. Moving from the epistemological debate with Pareto on the foundation of Economics up to the debate with Einaudi on the nexus between Liberism and Liberalism, the text aims, with and beyond Croce’s philosophy, to rethink the fictional and the institutional as dogmatic structures, “instituted and instituting”, where the stakes are ultimately, for better or for worse, human freedom in its contingent and non-deductible concreteness. (shrink)
This introduction provides a re-reading of Luigi Einaudi’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)
The book presents an interdisciplinary exploration aimed at renewing interest in Luigi Einaudi’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.
How can gift and gift-giving studies be relevant to the study of institutions and vice versa? This is the question we broadly address in the introduction to this symposium while drawing on the contributing articles and sketching out a possible future research in a perspective of integration between these two fields of study. Is the gift an institution? What types of methodological approaches would be most suitable in view of such integration? We define the gift as transfers underpinned by institutions, (...) including customs and norms. We contend that the institutional thought can employ empirical and qualitative research methods used by anthropology and that there are important and fruitful lines of tension between gift-giving and institutions – from the relationship between freedom and obligation to the role of third sector between state and market – worthy of further research in the future. (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 Luigi Einaudi 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 Luigi Einaudi 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 Luigi Einaudi’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)
Italian Abstract: Mosca, Ruffini ed Einaudi vennero da molti riconosciuti come “Maestri di libertà”, soprattutto in virtù della loro strenua difesa della libertà durante il consolidamento del regime fascista. In questo articolo miro a ricostruire l’idea di libertà che emerse nelle loro riflessioni in quel torno di tempo. Mostrerò come, al di là delle differenze tra la loro riflessione politica, giuridica ed economica, l’idea di libertà si sostanzi nell’intreccio tra le istituzioni fondamentali del liberalismo ottocentesco: mercato e società civile, opinione (...) pubblica e diritti di libertà. -/- English Abstract: Mosca, Ruffini and Einaudi were variously identified as "Masters of Freedom", particularly in light of their strong defense of freedom during the consolidation of the fascist regime. In this article I aim to reconstruct the idea of freedom that emerged in their reflections during that period. I will show how, beyond the differences between their political, legal and economic approach, the idea of freedom is entailed in the intertwining between the fundamental institutions of nineteenth-century liberalism: market and civil society, public opinion and rights of freedom. (shrink)
Luigi Einaudi 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)
Taking as its starting-point Guido Calabresi’s latest book – The Future of Law and Economics – the present article aims to explore the often neglected issue of value judgments and normativity in Law and Economics. I will show the importance of enquiring Calabresi’s methodological distinction between Law and Economics and Economic Analysis of Law and the related bilateralism thesis in order to understand the problematic relationship between methodological value judgments and ethical value judgments, the ‘distance’ between Calabresi and Posner and (...) the problematic notion of reformism. Then I will try to introduce a different notion of normativity. I will also show the existence of an unresolved tension in Calabresi’s methodological discourse between a positive approach, which seems to be privileged in this book, and his insistence on the inevitability of value judgments in economic analysis. Finally, I clarify the reasons for the ‘ignorance’ of values by the economist by distinguishing between economists’ “lack of self-awareness”, economists’ idolatry and the economists’ lenses. (shrink)
The paper deals with three interrelated Pareto’s contributions to fiscal sociology of relevant contemporary importance, i. e., the maximum of utility of the community as a sociological process (Pareto II criterion of maximum welfare), the non logical actions consisting of derivations based on residuals and the theory of the elites. Pareto II welfare criterion of sociological maximization of individual utilities is compared with Pareto I welfare criterion, commonly known as Pareto criterion, introducing the process of valuations by the elite of (...) the utilities of different social groups weighed according to their residuals. Derivations are essentials to persuade the masses to move to the points designed by the elite. The process is subject to the law of circulation of the elites which leads to different sociological equilibriums. The theories of the elites of Pareto and Mosca, criticized by Einaudi, are then compared. For a disenchanted analysis of the fiscal processes and designs, Pareto’s sociology may still provide to the economist more than a help. (shrink)
Italian Abstract: Per giustificare l’autorità e la validità della scienza economica, gli economisti sono spesso ricorsi all’argomento che le leggi e i postulati di questo sapere sono verità scientifiche, nel senso di verità empiriche, logiche o autoevidenti. Tuttavia, questo discorso, in quanto discorso legittimante o discorso sull 'importanza' della scienza economica, sembra contraddire una siffatta argomentazione giacché non statuisce né verità empiriche né verità logiche, e tanto meno verità autoevidenti. A quale tipo di verità, allora, fa riferimento la predica della (...) scienza economica? Perché la scienza economica, in quanto sapere, viene predicata come una ‘legge’ a cui bisognerebbe obbedire? Esiste un legame storico e teoretico tra la struttura giuridico-politica della legittimità e la predica, la retorica e/o il discorso della scienza economia nella sfera pubblica? In che senso un sapere è un 'istituzione'? -/- In questo articolo esamino il ‘caso Einaudi’ come exemplum dei discorsi sulla scienza economica fatti dagli economisti nella sfera pubblica. Analizzando la predicazione e la riflessione epistemologica di Einaudi e confrontandola con quella di Pareto, Robbins, Weber e Schumpeter, vedremo come sullo sfondo di note dicotomie quali positivo/normativo, fatti/valori, essere/dover essere, analisi/visione, si stagli la contrapposizione epistemologico-antropologica tra Ragione e passioni, spesso assimilata a un’altra perdurante antitesi: Ragione e fede. Muovendo dalla prospettiva dell’«antropologia dogmatica» di Pierre Legendre, e attraverso un rovesciamento solo apparentemente paradossale delle categorie giuridiche e teologiche presenti nel discorso einaudiano, cercherò di formulare una nozione di normatività della scienza economica, estendibile anche ad altri saperi, in vista di un superamento della (falsa) contrapposizione tra Ragione e passioni. -/- English Abstract: To legitimate the authority and the validity of the economic science, economists have often claimed that the laws and the postulates of this savoir are scientific truths, in the sense of empirical, logical or self-evident truths. However, this discourse, as a legitimating discourse, or as a discourse on the ‘significance’ of the economic science, seems to contradict such a claim since it does not assert either empirical, logical or self-evident truths. To what type of truth, then, does the preaching of the economic science refer? Why is the economic science, as a savoir, preached as a ‘law’ to which one should obey? Is there an historical and theoretical nexus between the legal-political structure of the legitimacy and the preaching, rhetoric or discourse of the economic science? What does it mean that a savoir is an ‘institution’? -/- In this article I examine the ‘Einaudi case’ as an exemplum of the discourses on the economic science done by economists in the public sphere. Analysing Einaudi’s preaching and epistemological speculation and comparing it with that of Pareto, Robbins, Weber and Schumpeter, I will show how from the background of well known dichotomies – such as positive/normative, fact/values, to be/ought to be, analysis/vision – the epistemological-anthropological opposition between Reason and passions emerges. This opposition is often assimilated to another long-lasting antithesis: that between Reason and faith. Moving from the perspective of Pierre Legendre’s «dogmatic anthropology», and by an apparently paradoxical reversal of the juridical and theological concepts of Einaudi’s discourse, I will try to formulate a notion of normativity of economic science, which is also applicable to other sciences, in view of an overcoming of the (false) opposition between Reason and passions. (shrink)
Paolo Silvestri interviews Deirdre Nansen McCloskey on the occasion of her latest book, Bettering Humanomics: A New, and Old, Approach to Economic Science. The interview covers her personal and intellectual life, the main turning points of her journey and her contributions. More specifically, the conversation focuses on McCloskey’s writings on the methodology and rhetoric of economics, her interdisciplinary ventures into the humanities, the Bourgeois Era trilogy with its history of the ‘Great Enrichment’, her liberal political commitments, and the value and (...) meaning of liberty, equality, and solidarity. Finally, the conversation returns to McCloskey’s ‘humanomics’ approach: an economics with the humans left in. (shrink)