•  26
    Everyone has heard of "the invisible hand," the famous metaphor used by Adam Smith (1723-1790) in The Wealth of Nations. Although he uses the expression only once in the book, it has given rise to controversy that has lasted for over two centuries. The famous expression has been understood, in (at least) two very different ways. In one way by most of academia, and in a very different way by Keynes, Noah Chomsky and more lately by Mark Blaug (in the second edition of The New Palgrave, 2008). In t…Read more
  •  20
    One of the most disputed questions among economists is that of "the role" and "size" that the public sector should have in a rich and developed country like France. The importance of this question is understandable, because the history of nations is filled with examples of a sector (or a branch) of the economy becoming too large, or remaining too small, hampering growth or making the economy more vulnerable. A recent case is that of the "Financial Corporations Sector", which doubled in size in …Read more
  •  187
    Les fondements philosophiques du libéralisme
    Editions la découverte, Paris. 2002.
    This book describes the philosophical principles underlying the doctrine (the political project) often called “classical liberalism”. By this expression we mean, in this book, the project for society proposed, during the second half of the eighteenth century, by David Hume and Adam Smith in Great Britain, Turgot and Condorcet in France, Thomas Jefferson in the United States and Kant and Humboldt in Germany. The differences between the principles of “classical liberalism” and those of the extreme…Read more
  •  234
    Bentham and Mill on the "Quality" of Pleasures
    Revue d'Etudes Benthamiennes 9 (2011). 2011.
    John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham are often said to have held opposed views concerning the way “the value” of different pleasures should be estimated. Mill is accused of being an inconsistent utilitarian because he thought that, when comparing the value of two pleasures, we should not forget to take their “quality” into account. Bentham, on the other hand, is said to have believed that we should take “only quantity” into consideration. By verifying what they actually wrote, and reflecting on w…Read more
  •  404
    The prestigious French publisher Presses Universitaires de France has recently brought out (November 1995) a new French edition of Elie Halévy's well known book "The Growth of Philosophical Radicalism", first published in France in three volumes as "La formation du radicalisme philosophique" (1901-1904) and translated into English in 1926. The prevailing opinion on this book is that it gives an excellent account of English utilitarianism. Thus, in the International Encyclopedia of Social Science…Read more
  •  16
    Entre intervención Y laisser-faire (el “sistema” Y Los “principios” de turgot)
    Anales de la Cátedra Francisco Suárez 38 203-218. 2004.
    Historians of ideas have, frequently, misunderstood the founders of liberalism. Often, they say that authors like Adam Smith or Turgot are inconsistent in their adherence to a supposed .principle of state non-intervention., since they find that those classic authors defend many examples of public intervention in the economy. But the truth is that none of the great economists, whether French or British, have ever professed such an absurd principle as that of non-intervention. They have, however, …Read more
  •  13
    En este trabajo se cuestiona la opinión dada a menudo de acuerdo con la que la economía política se separa de la moralidad en los escritos de Adam Smith y su escuela. Según esta vieja idea, fuertemente defendida en el libro de Louis Dumont, From MandeVille to Marx los grandes economistas clásicos ingleses pensaron que en el espacio económico los hombres podían seguir exclusivamente su propio interés sin ninguna referencia a las reglas morales. Se muestra que esto es estrictamente lo contrario de…Read more