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Luigi Taparelli's Natural Law Approach to Social Economics


  • Behr Thomas

    (University of Houston)


Luigi Taparelli, S.J. (1793-1862) sought to "baptize" classical liberal economic thinking by re-establishing it on the basis of a modernized Aristotelico-Thomistic conception of human nature and society. With its flawed anthropology, Taparelli argued that economics as it stood was illequipped to understand the actual character of socio-economic problems and therefore dangerous as an instrument of public policy. Applying his principles of solidarity, subsidiarity, just legal order and piety, Taparelli drew attention to the relationship of moral-cultural factors to economic life and described the limits of government intervention subject to maximum regard for personal liberty."Le Père Luigi Taparelli (1793- 1862) chercha à « baptiser » la pensée économique libérale classique en la fondant sur une conception Aristotelico- Thomiste modernisée de la nature humaine et de la société. Taparelli avançait quavec son anthropologie erronée, la science économique de lépoque était mal équipée pour comprendre le caractère des problèmes socio-économiques et de plus dangereuse en tant quinstrument de politique publique. En se fondant sur les principes quil avait élaborés, ceux de solidarité, de subsidiarité, dordre judiciaire juste et de pitié, Taparelli attira lattention sur la relation des facteurs moraux et culturels de la vie économique et décrivit les limites de lintervention étatique à laune de lespace maximum de liberté personnelle.

Suggested Citation

  • Behr Thomas, 2003. "Luigi Taparelli's Natural Law Approach to Social Economics," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-23, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:2:n:5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Noell, Edd S., 2001. "In Pursuit of the Just Wage: A Comparison of Reformation and Counter-Reformation Economic Thought," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(04), pages 467-489, December.
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