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Veritas, Auctoritas, Lex. Scienza economica e sfera pubblica: sulla normatività del 'Terzo'
[Veritas, Auctoritas, Lex. Economic Science and Public Sphere: On the Normativity of the 'Third']

Author

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  • Silvestri, Paolo

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvestri, Paolo, 2010. "Veritas, Auctoritas, Lex. Scienza economica e sfera pubblica: sulla normatività del 'Terzo'
    [Veritas, Auctoritas, Lex. Economic Science and Public Sphere: On the Normativity of the 'Third']
    ," MPRA Paper 59538, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:59538
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/59538/1/MPRA_paper_59538.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paolo Silvestri, 2008. "On Einaudi's Liberal Heritage," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 16(1-2), pages 245-252.
    2. Forte, Francesco & Silvestri, Paolo, 2015. "Luigi Einaudi," MPRA Paper 62319, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
    3. Nicolo Bellanca & Marco Guidi, 1997. "Uchronies and the History of Economic Knowledge," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 116-142.
    4. Francesco Forte & Roberto Marchionatti, 2012. "Luigi Einaudi's economics of liberalism," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 587-624, August.
    5. Silvestri, Paolo, 2006. "Il buon governo nel pensiero di Einaudi e Mosca: tra governo della legge e governo degli uomini
      [The good government in the thought of Einaudi and Mosca: between ‘rule of law’ and ‘rule of men’]
      ," MPRA Paper 59942, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.
    6. Riccardo Faucci, 2007. "Max Weber's Influence on Schumpeter," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 15(1), pages 111-133.
    7. Silvestri, Paolo, 2009. "Mosca, Ruffini ed Einaudi: Politica, diritto ed economia in difesa della libertà
      [Mosca, Ruffini and Einaudi: politics, jurisprudence and economics in defence of freedom]
      ," MPRA Paper 59548, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hid:journl:v:24:y:2016:3:9:p:187-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Paolo Silvestri, 2016. "Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries: Philosophy, Economics and Value Judgments," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 24(3), pages 187-221.
    3. Silvestri, Paolo, 2015. "Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries. Philosophy, Economics, Value Judgments," CESMEP Working Papers 201504, University of Turin.
    4. Silvestri, Paolo, 2012. "The ideal of good government in Luigi Einaudi's Thought and Life: Between Law and Freedom," MPRA Paper 55351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Silvestri, Paolo, 2010. "Liberalismo, legge, normatività. Per una rilettura epistemologica del dibattito Croce-Einaudi
      [Liberalism, law, normativity. For an epistemological re-reading of the Croce-Einaudi debate]
      ," MPRA Paper 60051, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
    6. Silvestri, Paolo, 2015. "Anthropology of freedom and tax justice: between exchange and gift. Thoughts for an interdisciplinary research agenda," MPRA Paper 67644, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Veritas; Auctoritas; Lex; law and economics; economic discourse; public sphere; ‘external Third’; legitimacy of power; legitimacy of savoir; normativity; fiction; Reason and passions; Pierre Legendre; Luigi Einaudi; Vilfredo Pareto; Lionel Robbins; Max Weber; Joseph Schumpeter;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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