Paolo Silvestri

Paolo Silvestri
University of Catania | UNICT · Department of Law

Degree in Economics; PhD in Philosophy of Law

About

63
Publications
11,854
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249
Citations
Introduction
My current research interests lie at the intersection of History and Philosophy of Economics, Legal and Political Philosophy, with a specific focus on: Theories of Justice and tax justice; freedom and liberalism; reciprocity and gift-giving in fiscal contract; Ethics and Economics; Institutional Economics and gift; Solidarity; percentage philanthropy institutions; value Judgements and normativity in Economics and in Law&Economics; Italian tradition in public finance.
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - October 2015
The London School of Economics and Political Science
Position
  • Visiting
July 2015 - August 2015
Cornell
Position
  • Researcher
July 2015 - August 2015
University of Freiburg
Position
  • External Senior Fellow

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
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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 institut...
Book
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‘Percentage Philanthropy’ or ‘Percentage Tax Designation’ institutions, known in Italy as ‘Otto per mille’ and ‘Cinque per mille’ – existing in several countries of southern and central-eastern Europe – allow taxpayers to allocate a little percentage of their taxes to organizations pursuing public utility purposes. The choice of designation of a be...
Book
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Mainstream economics offers a perspective on the gift which is constructed around exchange, axioms of self-interest, instrumental rationality and utility-maximisation – concepts that predominate within conventional forms of economic analysis. Recognising the gift as an example of social practice underpinned by social institutions, this book moves b...
Article
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“Percentage Tax Designation Institutions”, also known as “Percentage Philanthropy Laws”, are fiscal institutions through which taxpayers can freely designate a certain percentage of their income tax to organizations whose main activity is of public interest: churches, third-sector organizations, political parties, etc. A comprehensive explanation o...
Article
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We will try to show the potential of a research perspective that we have tentatively called an Institutional Economics of Gift (IEG). For this purpose, we dwell on two key issues that any nascent research perspective is expected to address: the subject matter and the method. Without any claim to exhaustiveness, the subject matter of an IEG will be...
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Paolo Silvestri interviews Deirdre Nansen McCloskey on the occasion of her latest book, Bettering Humanomics: A New, and Old, Approach to Economic Science (2021). 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...
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This conversation between Geoffrey M. Hodgson and Paolo Silvestri touches on the main themes of Hodgson's 2021 book on Liberal Solidarity. In the book Hodgson uses insights from institutional and evolutionary economics. Here he explains the differences between solidaristic liberalism and the ideas of Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig Mises,...
Article
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Silvestri interviews McCloskey about her forthcoming book, ‘Beyond Behaviorism, Positivism, and Neo-Institutionalism in Economics’, critical of recent economics, especially of neo-institutionalism. Neo-institutionalism uses the ugly character ‘Herr Max U’ as its central idea: the elevation of Prudence to the only virtue. Institutions are mainly int...
Preprint
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Hodgson is a scholar who has reflected a lifetime on the role, meaning and importance of institutions in and for the economy. In turn, he has also created 'Institutions'. The time seems ripe to celebrate his work. In this review essay we will first attempt to summarize the chapters of Institutions and Evolution of Capitalism. Essays in Honour of Ge...
Article
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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 th...
Article
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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 ma...
Cover Page
https://www.mimesisjournals.com/ojs/index.php/tcrs/issue/view/34
Chapter
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In questo capitolo fornisco una breve introduzione ai principali e contemporanei approcci economici al diritto. Inizierò con una sintetica ricostruzione storica della riflessione filosofica sul rapporto tra diritto ed economia, spiegando inoltre la principale differenza tra approcci di diritto ed economia (o approcci giuridici all'economia) ed appr...
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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 disci...
Article
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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 th...
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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 huma...
Article
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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? In this paper I wil...
Book
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Luigi Einaudi (1874-1961) was a leading liberal economist, economic historian and political figure. This book provides the English-speaking world with a first critical edition of Einaudi’s – hitherto unpublished – rewriting of one of his most unique and thoughtful essays. The relevance of this essay is crucial from several perspectives: history and...
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With this paper I try to sketch a research agenda on the basis of which humanities and social sciences might interact with each other, searching for a human common ground in tax issues. To this purpose I shall proceed as follows: (§2) I will sketch two working hypotheses showing how and why tax system raises anthropological issues at the intersecti...
Article
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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...
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The publication of "Miti e paradossi della giustizia tributaria" in 1938 originated an important epistemological debate between Einaudi and Fasiani. In "Miti e paradossi", 'useful' projects are considered as part of the scientific approach, and science has an interest in good governance and in the ideal economic tax, understood as tax on average or...
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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 welfar...
Book
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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 t...
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English Abstract: 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 «goo...
Book
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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 re...
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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: tr...
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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 – devel...
Article
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Italian Abstract: L’articolo persegue un duplice obiettivo: 1) far luce su un aspetto ignoto del pensiero einaudiano: l’esistenza di un paradigma 'narrative' dell’imprenditore; 2) mostrare come e perché tale paradigma: a) è da ricondursi nell’alveo della più ampia riflessione di Einaudi sul buongoverno e la società aperta, b) si staglia all’interno...
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Italian Abstract: L’articolo intende mostrare l’esistenza di un filo conduttore che attraversa la riflessione einaudiana sul pareggio di bilancio, e che va da "Le entrate pubbliche nello stato sabaudo" (1907) sino ad arrivare a "L'interpretazione dell’articolo 81 della Costituzione" (1948). Muovendo dal comune riferimento di questi due scritti alla...
Preprint
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L'articolo intende mostrare l'esistenza di un filo conduttore che attraversa la riflessione einaudiana sul pareggio di bilancio, e che va da "Le entrate pubbliche nello stato sabaudo" (1907) sino ad arrivare a "Sulla interpretazione dell'articolo 81 della Costituzione" (1948). Muovendo dal comune riferimento di questi due scritti alla virtù della «...
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ITALIAN ABSTRACT In questa voce di dizionario mi concentrerò sulla storia del concetto di Buon governo soffermandomi soprattutto sulla reinterpretazione di esso da parte di alcuni studiosi appartenenti alla storia del liberalismo Italiano. In particolare analizzerò: 1) Il buon governo come problema e come ricerca; 2) Significati classici del buong...
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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' de...
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Italian abstract: In questo saggio intendo rileggere, disarticolare e problematizzare il dibattito Einaudi-Croce sul rapporto tra liberismo e liberalismo muovendo da una prospettiva epistemologica lato sensu costruttivista, volta a mostrare l’insufficienza esplicativa della dicotomia ‘empirismo vs idealismo’ quale chiave di lettura delle loro recip...
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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 del...
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In questo articolo alcuni snodi della vita e del pensiero di Luigi Einaudi vengono riletti ed elaborati in cinque variazioni, ognuna delle quali individua una figura emblematica del nesso Legge-Libertà. La tesi dell’autore è che nel pensiero di Einaudi emerge fenomenologicamente la consapevolezza che la questione della libertà ha a che fare sia con...
Book
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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 contemporar...
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Italian Abstract: Scopo di questo saggio è interrogare il dibattito Croce-Einaudi sul rapporto tra liberismo e liberalismo in termini categoriali: a che cosa pensano quando si riferiscono a ciò che del liberalismo è l’economico, l’etico, il giuridico e/o il politico? Cosa si sta difendendo quando si sostiene l’unità e/o la distinzione e/o la separa...
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Italian Abstract: Con questo saggio intendo fare luce sulla presenza e la rilevanza teoretica dell’idea del buongoverno nel pensiero di Einaudi, attraverso un confronto con il pensiero di Mosca basato su identità e differenze tra le loro concezioni del governo della legge, l'opinione pubblica, il governo misto, il ruolo del ceto medio, la teoria d...

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Projects (2)
Project
Why do we pay taxes? What kind of reciprocities are involved in paying taxes and in redistributive policies? Is it possible to conceive taxation as a form of gift? The main purpose of the present research is to build up an anthropology of taxation – based on an interdisciplinary dialogue about the notion of reciprocity – capable of providing new answers to these old questions. The two main steps towards such an anthropology of taxation are: 1) developing a model of good/bad societies and governments, aimed at re-modelling the social pactum as a three-dimensional social contract at the intersection between horizontal, vertical and intertemporal relationships of reciprocity; 2) developing an empirical enquiry into the “percentage philanthropy mechanism”, which is the only existing legal mechanism through which taxpayers can freely devolve part of their income tax as a gift to the third sector. Overall, this approach aims to forge new lens through which to re-read the fiscal system as a key factor of social bond, and to conceive the possibility of a new welfare society and of a new fiscal democracy.