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The defence of economic science and the issue of value judgments

On Abstract and Historical
Hypotheses and on Value
Judgments in Economic Sciences
Luigi Einaudi (1874–1961) was a leading liberal economist, economic historian
and political gure. This book provides the English-speaking world with a rst
critical edition of Einaudi’s – hitherto unpublished – rewriting of one of his most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
methodology of economic thought, role of economics and its relation to other
disciplines and to social values, and role of economists in the public sphere, while
also encompassing the discourse on man and the economist as a “whole man”. The
critical edition of On Abstract and Historical Hypotheses and on Value Judgments
in Economic Sciences includes a comprehensive introduction and afterword. An
extensive reappraisal of this newly discovered essay will help to cast light on
Einaudi’s uniqueness and originality within and beyond the Italian tradition in
public nance, thereby also illuminating his attempt to provide an epistemologi-
cal account of his long-lasting enquiry into the causes of good and bad polities.
This book is of great interest to those who study economic theory and phi-
losophy, as well as history of economic thought, public economics and legal and
political philosophy.
Luigi Einaudi (1874–1961) was a leading liberal economist, journalist, economic
historian, one of the major representatives of the Italian tradition in public nance
and political gure: Governor of the Bank of Italy, Minister for the Budget and
President of the Italian Republic.
Paolo Silvestri is Research Fellow in Economics at the Department of Economics
and Statistics “Cognetti de Martiis”, University of Turin. He is also Habilitated
Associate Professor both in Philosophy of Law and Political Philosophy.
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180 A Historical Political Economy of Capitalism
After metaphysics
Andrea Micocci
181 Comparisons in Economic Thought
Economic interdependency reconsidered
Stavros A. Drakopoulos
182 Four Central Theories of the Market Economy
Conceptions, evolution and applications
Farhad Rassekh
183 Ricardo and the History of Japanese Economic Thought
A selection of Ricardo studies in Japan during the interwar period
Edited by Susumu Takenaga
184 The Theory of the Firm
An overview of the economic mainstream
Paul Walker
185 On Abstract and Historical Hypotheses and on Value
Judgments in Economic Sciences
Critical Edition, with an Introduction and Afterword
by Paolo Silvestri
Luigi Einaudi
Edited by Paolo Silvestri
186 The Origins of Neoliberalism
Insights from economics and philosophy
Giandomenica Becchio and Giovanni Leghissa
187 The Political Economy of Latin American Independence
Edited by Alexandre Mendes Cunha and Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak
Routledge Studies in the History of Economics
For a full list of titles in this series, please visit
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On Abstract and Historical
Hypotheses and on Value
Judgments in Economic
Critical Edition, with an Introduction
and Afterword by Paolo Silvestri
Luigi Einaudi
Edited by Paolo Silvestri
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First published 2017
by Routledge
2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN
and by Routledge
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Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa
© 2017 selection and editorial matter, Paolo Silvestri; individual chapters,
Luigi Einaudi
The right of Paolo Silvestri to be identied as the author of the editorial
material, and of Luigi Einaudi for his individual chapters, has been
asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs
and Patents Act 1988.
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without intent to infringe.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Einaudi, Luigi, 1874-1961, author. | Silvestri, Paolo, 1974- editor.
Title: On abstract and historical hypotheses and on value-judgments in
economic sciences / Luigi Einaudi ; edited by Paolo Silvestri.
Description: Critical edition / with introduction and afterword by Paolo
Silvestri | Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2017. |
Includes bibliographical references.
Identiers: LCCN 2016017555 | ISBN 9780415517904 (hardback) |
ISBN 9781315637372 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Economics. | Economics—History
Classication: LCC HB71 .E34 2017 | DDC 330.01—dc23
LC record available at
ISBN: 978-0-415-51790-4 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-1-315-45793-2 (ebk)
Typeset in Times New Roman
by Apex CoVantage, LLC
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Editorial foreword ix
Preface xxiv
Acknowledgements xxxiii
Abbreviations xxxv
Introduction: The defense of economic science and the
issue of value judgments 1
Luigi Einaudi: On abstract and historical hypotheses
and on value judgments in economic sciences 35
I Abstract hypotheses and historical hypotheses 37
II On some abstract hypotheses concerning the state and on
their historical value 49
III On value judgments in economic sciences 66
Bibliographical note 92
Afterword: Freedom and taxation between good and bad
polity and the economist-whole-man 94
Bibliography 137
Index 153
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Editorial foreword ix
1 Towards the second edition: On Einaudi’s intention
and the chronology of the rewriting x
2 Conjectures on the reasons for the failure to publish
the second version xiv
3   The abstract and the summary of the rst edition: The 
itinerary of Einaudi’s arguments xv
4 The major structural changes xviii
5 Notes on the rewriting process: The debate with his
correspondents xix
6 Editorial decisions xxi
Preface xxiv
1 Relevance and uniqueness of Einaudi’s essay xxiv
2 Structure of this critical edition xxix
Acknowledgements xxxiii
Abbreviations xxxv
Introduction: The defense of economic science and the issue
of value judgments 1
1 The economist in the public sphere: Between governors,
governed and lay public 1
1.1 The most remote antecedent of the present essay 3
2 The methodological position of the 1930s: In defense
of economic science 5
2.1 The re-reading of Robbins: Instrumental reasoning
and signicance of economic science  7
3 The debate with Fasiani (1938–1943): From Myths and
paradoxes of justice in taxation to the present essay 10
3.1 An overview: The demarcation issue 10
3.2 Counsels and theorems: Normative and theoretical
language and their reciprocal translatability 14
Detailed contents
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viii Detailed contents
3.3 Science and history and the (alleged) detachment of the
scholar 18
3.4 Abstract versus historical schemata of state 21
4 The turning point of the 1940s: The issue of value
judgments 22
4.1 Historicity of economics and the “passionate
economist” 22
4.2 The nearest antecedent of the present essay 24
4.3 The debate with Croce: Liberism and liberalism,
economics and philosophy 26
Luigi Einaudi: On abstract and historical hypotheses
and on value judgments in economic sciences 35
I Abstract hypotheses and historical hypotheses 37
II On some abstract hypotheses concerning the state
and on their historical value 49
III On value judgments in economic sciences 66
Bibliographical note 92
Afterword: Freedom and taxation between good and bad
polity and the economist-whole-man 94
1 The schemata of the state and the search for a liberal good
polity 94
1.1   Engaging with the Italian tradition in public nance: 
Within and beyond the economic approach 98
1.2 Hypotheses and schema: Theory, interpretation
and communication of historical reality 105
1.3 The anthropological background: The individual
and the collective 111
2 Excursus 116
3  Value judgments, economics, philosophy  117
3.1 The issue of value judgments 119
3.2 Economics, philosophy and the whole man 123
Bibliography 137
Index 153
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1 The economist in the public sphere: Between governors,
governed and lay public
The rst section of the present essay has the character of a generic introduction
and bears witness to Einaudi’s combination of the inductive and deductive meth-
ods,1 but the part that in many ways best illuminates Einaudi’s intentions and his
endeavour to build up his arguments and keep together the diverse issues that led
to this essay is the second section. Since I will focus on these issues a number of
times in the following pages, it is worth reading the full section:
if economic science consisted only in considering abstract problems and
demonstrating similarly abstract laws, it would hardly benet from even that
minimal following among the lay public it does still enjoy, and it would not
exert the least inuence on human affairs, not even that innitesimal trace
which it can indeed boast. Following and inuence are due to the connec-
tions scholars and the lay public believe to exist between abstract schemata
and concrete reality, or which are held to link problems and rst approxima-
tion theorems with the problems and the associated urgent solutions in the
daily life of human society. Physicists, chemists and astronomers can, if they
so desire, spend their entire life without the slightest concern for the con-
crete applications others will draw from the theorems they, as scientists, have
discovered. Not so for the economist. No economist has ever stayed rigidly
closed up in the ivory tower of rst principles, rst approximation theorems.
Pantaleoni and Pareto, to mention but two of the celebrated economists of
the past generation, were combative ghters in the debate centering on the
everyday problems of their time just as much as they were great theoreti-
cians. The attitude they adopted in facing the battles of real life repeatedly
molded their manner of addressing theoretical problems. To be sure, they
took immense care to distinguish a theorem from counsels; they endeavored
to avoid any contamination between the one and the other; sometimes both
men especially one of the two (Pareto) spoke scornfully and ironically
of literary economists who mistook science for politics, giving counsels to
princes instead of declaring uniformities. Yet by dint of ne distinctions and
The defense of economic science
and the issue of value judgments
Paolo Silvestri
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2 Paolo Silvestri
clarications, they never ceased to reproach, criticize, contemptuously belittle
and only very seldom did they deign to praise – governors and the governed,
pointing out which path was best avoided and which was the right one to
take. It is a fact that in economic sciences, there exists a eld of theorems,
properly speaking, and a eld of counsels: but these two elds are not sepa-
rate and independent of each other. Economists who do have something to
say, even though sometimes delighting in contemptuously belittling the other
and perhaps better part of themselves, cultivate the land for the purpose of
knowledge and dig the land over for the purpose of acting upon reality; the
imitators, the servile pen-pushers, incapable of perceiving the links between
the two aspects of the whole person, construct insipid theory and supply the
counsels they know will nd favor with the powerful.
(p. 38)
It can be noted that some of the questions of greatest concern to Einaudi are
here clearly set out within these few lines. Even though not all of the issues men-
tioned here were developed in the rst edition, during the rewriting he tried to
recall and develop some of them in a new conclusion. Such questions summarize
and reformulate some of the main issues that Einaudi had addressed in previous
years, most of them prompted by the discussion with Fasiani. The issues touched
upon include the critique of Pareto, whom Einaudi chided for belittling literary
economists’, a critique which, in turn, sparked the discussion with Fasiani; the
relationship between theorems and counsels; the revisitation or, rather, the “use”
of Pareto (and Pantaleoni), whom Einaudi esteemed as ‘combative ghters’ in
the public sphere, against Pareto himself and, at the same time, against Fasiani’s
Paretian notion of science and the impersonal detachment of the scientist; the
relevance of passions and sentiments as ‘the other and perhaps better part’ of the
(economist as a) ‘whole person’; the critique of the (economist’s) servile pen-
pushers; and, above all, the ‘following’ and ‘inuence’ exerted by economics and
economists, or the signicance, credibility and legitimacy of economic science
and the economist as a clerc or intellectual in the public sphere addressing his
comments to the lay public and occupying a peculiar and always difcult position
between ‘governors’ and ‘governed’.
Einaudi embodied the role of the economist-columnist in an era when com-
municating through newspaper feature articles could be just as important (if not
more so) as taking the stand in parliament. In his innermost mind, this role was no
less than a genuine and twofold vocation: the ‘priestly ministry of science’ and the
‘priestly ministry of journalism’ (Lett.: E. to Croci, November 28, 1925).2
As an economist-journalist, through thousands of articles (E. 1959–65, 2000),
Einaudi testied to his faith in the English liberal tradition which held that, from
the time of Hume onwards, government is based on opinion and a liberal govern-
ment on the possibility of criticism. This is indeed eloquently demonstrated by the
pseudonym Junius that Einaudi adopted in his own Lettere politiche di Junius (E.
1920c), which highlights his explicit reference to the tradition of a press that felt
free to criticize those who held power (Silvestri 2008a: 125–132).
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Introduction 3
As far as the Italian context was concerned, Einaudi felt that his allegiance
was to the tradition inaugurated by Ferrara, which attributed to the economist a
mission as an educator of public opinion: ‘Economists as a class gured from the
very start as a qualied component of the post-unity ruling class, an indispensable
link in the chain between governors and the governed, between the state and civil
society’ (Faucci 1982: 19).3
Einaudi’s nineteenth-century conception of the press and, in general, of the
public sphere as a place of mediation between civil society and the state, between
governors and the governed and also a place where criticism of the power of the
Establishment can be voiced, is crucial for an understand of various passages in
the present essay, which more or less explicitly presuppose the political func-
tion of critical debate in the public sphere (Silvestri 2008a: 139–144, 2012a:
74–88) and the idea that it may be possible to ‘enlighten’ the ‘public opinion’
(p. 80, 86) through the knowledge and tools of economic science (Silvestri 2010a).
Sufce it for the moment to point out that one of the greatest efforts made by
Einaudi in this essay is to explain if, how and to what extent the economist qua
economist can legitimately exercise a role of criticism vis-à-vis power but without
stepping beyond the connes of science and if, by doing so, he has, nevertheless,
made a value judgment. The “but” is fundamental here because the accusation of
a non-scientic mode of conducting his activity had already been levelled against
him by none other than Fasiani.
Before examining the discussion with Fasiani in greater detail, both in this
Introduction (par. 3) and in the Afterword, it is worth contextualizing its starting
point within the methodological reections of the 1930s. In effect, the discus-
sion with Fasiani had spurred Einaudi to reect critically on the methodological
discourse in defense of economics he had adopted during those years (par. 2)
and to have second thoughts on the issue of value judgments from the beginning
of the 1940s (par. 4) up to the present essay. In turn, in order to better grasp the
entire evolution of Einaudi’s thought, it is helpful to contextualize it within two
signicant limits: the most remote (par. 1.1) and the nearest (par. 4.2) antecedents
of the present essay.
1.1 The most remote antecedent of the present essay
Einaudi’s preface to his book La nanza della guerra e delle opere pubbliche [The
Finance of War and of Public Works] (1914) can be considered as the most remote
antecedent of the present essay, which is signicant at least to grasp Einaudi’s
conception of the role and responsibility of the economist in the public sphere,
the reasons behind his concern for economists’ language and his awareness of the
ambiguous uses of the rhetoric of “science”.
Einaudi presents his book as a sort of exercise in criticism of the governing
class and in unmasking its mistakes or the ‘illusions’ that have been built up to
conceal the truth: this is the ‘practical end’ that prompted him to write. He clas-
sies those forming part of the governing class as either reactive or a-reactive,
according to whether they are lovers or enemies of parliamentary control and
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4 Paolo Silvestri
of ensuring that public debate is within the public domain. In this regard, Ein-
audi criticizes the sociological approaches to public nance claiming a neutrality
stance against any ends pursued by politicians (Forte 2009: 75):
among writers on economics and nance, a ludicrous mania has come into
vogue, whereby they regard as ‘scientic’ only those investigations that are
least suited to practical applications [. . .]. It would seem quite legitimate to
propose that the throng of writers who delight in pure science, reputing that it
should limit itself to clarifying the conditions or causes on account of which
governors embrace now the economically advantageous, now the harmful,
solutions to the problems they nd themselves facing, should be asked also
to address the issue of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the various solu-
tions that can be put forward to deal with nancial problems.
(E. 1914: III)
According to Einaudi this type of scientic activity provided ‘just the right
excuse for unrepentant rulers, giving them an opportunity to show that their mis-
deeds and the villainous wrongdoings they perpetrated in public affairs were his-
torically inevitable’ in such a manner that their mistake was ‘eminently excusable’
and ‘the inevitable outcome of fate’. Hence Einaudi’s warning:
by merely taking never-ending note of the facts and the relations holding
among them, behaving in the fashion, as it were, of aloof bonzes [we may end
up] in a band of mercenary lackeys of the powerful; [. . .] allow me to recall
that the nest traditions of economic science and its most glorious achieve-
ments, both theoretical and practical, date back to the era when economists
were fairly unconcerned with trying to explain the genesis of the facts, nor
did they consider them all as equally and exclusively “interesting” objects of
study. Rather, they classied the facts according to whether the results spring-
ing therefrom were useful or detrimental to the generality or the majority of
the people or whether, on the contrary, they were useful to a limited number
and detrimental to the greater part of the community.
(E. 1914: VIII)
The impassiveness of modern science has the effect of smoothing the path
for governments to engage in harmful action, whereas the passional nature
of ancient science prompted people to react against the harm produced by
bad laws. Now, consider the following premises: rst, it is absolutely certain
that both the modern and the ancient modes fall within the realm of scien-
tic activity, and second, if reasoning is opened up to the multitudes and
becomes a cause of sentiment and action, it is likely to succeed in modifying
the behavior of men, whether governed or governing, and thus to become a
fact in its own right, capable of acting upon other facts. Since this is so, allow
me to voice the hope that after the protracted dominion of what has been
dubbed as “genetic”, “historical”, “impartial” science the mood will swing
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Introduction 5
back in favor of “critical” and “spirited” investigations, prompted by a pas-
sion for truth and hatred for error. Such investigations will serve as a valuable
tool in the hands of men who are active in the political and economic life of
the country and seek to combat those among their fellow men who live in
error and abhor the truth.
(E. 1914: IX)
A signal of the relevance of this preface, written in 1914, is to be found in the
date of its republication: Einaudi started to republish it in the already mentioned
section of Doubts and Queries that he began to include as an appendix to his Prin-
cipii di  scienza  della  nanza [Principles of Public Finance] (E. 1940b [1945]).
As we will see later (par. 4), the beginning of the 1940s coincides with a turning
point in Einaudi’s methodological reection and, in some respects, a return to the
position he expressed in this preface.
If this preface, as I said, testies to Einaudi’s conception of the role and respon-
sibility of economists in the public sphere and his concern for economists’ lan-
guage, as well as his awareness of the ambiguous uses of the rhetoric of “science”,
it can also be of help in understanding the kind of rhetoric of “science” used by
Einaudi in defense of economics during the 1930s.
2 The methodological position of the 1930s: In defense
of economic science4
A good way to understand the position held by Einaudi during the 1930s is
to start from the methodological discourse he developed in the rst edition of
MPJT (E. 1938b), which, in turn, is also relevant to understand the debate with
In Fasiani’s view, MPJT (E. 1938b) marked a substantial epistemological
change in the point of view previously held by his one-time master (Fossati, Sil-
vestri 2012): it represented a departure from a purely positive and value-free con-
ception of economic science, in which Fasiani believed he had been trained and
which he had embraced as a profession of faith, towards a more decidedly norma-
tive position, which Fasiani felt he could no longer recognize as coinciding with
his own position. Rather, he believed he was now separated from Einaudi by ‘a
distance that terries me’: indeed, Fasiani now felt that the distance was so great
as to undermine his own ‘scientic self’ (Lett.: Fasiani to E., June 1938, in Fossati,
Silvestri 2012: 72). Fasiani is referring to Einaudi’s critique of Pareto, perceived
by Fasiani as a sort of personal attack. As a reaction, Fasiani criticized MPJT
(E. 1938b) for being awed by a profound contradiction: that is to say, although it
started out from a critique of the “doctrinaires” and “planners” who were always
ready to offer counsels to whoever happened to be in power, in the conclusions,
Einaudi had started out on a quest to nd the ideal conditions of good government
and an ideal form of taxation conceived as taxation of the average income. Thus
it is important here to try to understand whether and why Einaudi had effectively
embraced a value-free conception of economic science, as Fasiani believed.
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6 Paolo Silvestri
MPJT can be seen, from as early as the introduction, as a tirade ‘against the
doctrinaires’, set against the background of the problem – or rather, of Einaudi’s
concern, which had become increasingly felt under fascism – about the ‘Trahison
des clercs’,5 or of the intellectual who bows to the powers-that-be and offers his
‘projects’ to serve the ‘political conditions or needs of the moment’ (E. 1959:
3–9), i.e. who ends up, intentionally or unintentionally, subscribing to the doings
of the regime.
Einaudi’s thoughts were further complicated by the fact that in his position
as the most inuential economic scientist, he had found himself constrained to
defend economic science not only against the attacks launched by the corporativ-
ist economists, who invoked a revitalisation of economic science to bring it in line
with the doctrine of corporatism6 but also against the various attempts to make the
construction of economic science dependent on some ideology or to subordinate it
to some other form of knowledge, such as law, morals or politics, thereby depriv-
ing it of any autonomy of its own.
Several debates and essays are emblematic of the atmosphere of those years:
for instance the debate with the sociologist Michels, On the Manner of Writing
the History of the Economic Dogma (E. 1932a, E. 1932b, Michels 1932);7 or the
essay Morale et économique (E. 1936c) in which Einaudi takes up the positions
expressed in the celebrated Essay on  the  Nature  and  Signicance  of  Economic 
Science by Robbins (1932) (par. 2.1) in order to criticize the views put forward
by the philosopher of law Giorgio Del Vecchio, who proposed subordinating eco-
nomic science to law and to morals. Equally emblematic is the debate with Croce
on the relation between liberism and liberalism (par. 4.3). In particular, at the
beginning of the debate, Einaudi had formulated a ‘technical’ conception of eco-
nomic science as a means of disengaging it from any ideology, whether liberist
or communist, while at the same time endeavouring to safeguard the value of
liberism at least in the form of ‘practical rule’ or a rule of a prudential nature (E.
1928a), as in fact he had already suggested when arguing against Keynes’s The
End of Laissez-Faire (E. 1926a, Keynes 1926).8
In any case, Einaudi’s arguments concerning the autonomy or scientic nature
of economic science concealed the question of the intellectual’s independence
from the ruling powers; in other words, it was not so much an issue of neutrality
of economics as, rather, an issue of neutrality of the economist. Therefore, during
that period, the difculties and dilemma Einaudi found himself facing were as
On the one hand, he sought to preserve for economics an advisory or critical-
propositive function, while nevertheless avoiding the risk that such a function
could lay itself open to the charge of following the political convenience of the
moment, or that the economist could be reduced to the position of a (bad) counsel-
lor of the prince.
On the other hand, it was necessary to build a defensive wall around economic
science and insist on its “scientic” nature, with the latter implying in a mini-
mal sense an alleged neutrality or “indifference” of the economist, ends-means
instrumental reasoning and the possibility of a technical critique of values, but
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Introduction 7
without taking up any specic position vis-à-vis the political aims in question. In
effect, Einaudi seemed to fear that if economic science were to lose its label as
a “science” it would lose all defensive barriers and would fall into the hands of
charlatans or doctrinaires who were always ready to offer counsels to whoever
happened to be in power.
To better understand how Einaudi’s position evolved from the 1930s to the
beginning of the 1940s and how the debate with Fasiani had an impact on Einaudi’s
second thoughts, leading him to confess, in the present essay, that the alleged
indifference or neutrality was nothing but a mere rhetorical strategy he had
adopted in defense of economics, it is necessary to dwell on one of the most sig-
nicant moments of this defense.
2.1 The re-reading of Robbins: Instrumental reasoning
and signicance of economic science
In Morale et économique (E. 1936c), nettled as he was by the arguments of the
philosopher of law Giorgio Del Vecchio (1935), who was eager to subordinate
economic science to law and morals, Einaudi drew on a re-reading of Robbins’s
famous essay Essay on  the  Nature and  Signicance of Economic Science (Rob-
bins 1932).
Taking his cue from the line of reasoning put forward by Robbins, Einaudi
adopted a twofold approach: on the one hand, he reected on the nature of eco-
nomic science, while on the other he strongly claimed its signicance or impor-
tance. However, the fact of basing his discourse on both aspects implied a subtle
reorientation of the hypothesis of means-ends rationality, from a positive to a nor-
mative plane. Thus while establishing a clear-cut separation between economic
science – founded on the hypothesis of means-ends rationality – and other branches
of knowledge (ethics, politics, law and so forth), he also pointed to a possible
reunication between ethics and economics: his line of reasoning thus broadens
out to encompass (and is also directed to) the political sphere and society. In
this context, he expressed the hope that the hypothesis of means-ends rationality,
which is the core of economic science, would contribute to the education of the
ruling class and of society.
In other words, on the one hand, Einaudi refers to means-ends rationality in the
sense of a pure form of human behavior – that is to say, coherent and intentional
which the economist analyzes simply as a fact, i.e. the fact of the choice, precisely
because science is Wertfrei. On the other hand, however, Einaudi appealed to the
“logic” and the value of means-ends rationality which can contribute to the crea-
tion of an ‘ethically more perfect society’ (E. 1936c: 311).9 In this acceptation,
rationality is taken as a sort of Weberian ethic of responsibility that consists in an
ethic of the limit or of the sense of reality; accordingly, ideals or ends need to be
commensurate with the scarce means capable of pursuing them.
As noted years later by Del Vecchio, in Einaudi, the rationality hypothesis ulti-
mately coincides with the virtue of ‘prudence’ (Del Vecchio 1935 [1954]: 58),
or of the bonus pater familias. Effectively, Einaudi regarded this virtue as the
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virtue par excellence of the middle class and, at the same time, as the criterion
that should regulate the actions of the good governor. In this sense, to the extent
to which economic science teaches an informed awareness of ends and means,
it thereby also teaches how to deal with scarcity and thus with the sense of the
limit. It is with this concept in mind that Einaudi was wont to say he was compos-
ing Preachings (E. 1920a) and that what he preached was the value of knowing
economic science, which was elsewhere also expressed with the motto and warn-
ing addressed rst and foremost to the ruling class and the world of politics as
Conoscere per deliberare [Knowing for Decision Making] (E. 1956). And, nally,
it was with this concept in mind that Einaudi ascribed to economic science the
status and value of counsels, both cognitive and normative at the same time, with
normative taken not as a command or precept but, precisely, as a counsel that is
illuminated by the knowledge of economics. As he stated, many years later, in I
consigli del buon senso [Common Sense Counsels] – written as the introduction
to the Italian edition of the work by Wicksteed (1910), The Common Sense of
Political Economy Including a Study of the Human Basis of Economic Law –
[Wicksteed wrote] the treatise on good government of revenue and expendi-
ture, in the present and the past, of each of us, according to the advice an ordi-
nary man gleans from common sense [. . .]. In private life man is well advised
to study the elegant and cautionary ramications of the theory of choice, so as
to avoid the inevitable sanction of ruin, failure, poverty and desperation for
himself and his offspring. But what is advisable above all is for man in the
sphere of public life to make those rules into esh of his own esh, because
the sanctions resulting from mistaken choices in public life lamentably do not
fall on whoever was responsible for the mistakes, but on the innocent.
(E. 1961: 11–12)
Einaudi never forsook his claim of the value of (economic) science for political
action and society. He would return specically to this point later in the conclu-
sions added to the present essay, but in a different context in which his reections
broaden out to extend from economic science to the value of science and reason
in general and to the relation between science and philosophy (with an implicitly
polemical stance towards Croce: par. 4.3):
learning how to use the power of reasoning, to contemplate the external world
with open and discerning eyes, to replace mere intuition and wonderment with
critical reasoning, and to move towards an attitude whereby impulsive – i.e.
irrational – behavior gives way to a different behavioral mode in which human
action is preceded by conscious specication of it aims: does not all this con-
stitute the true value of science?
(p. 90)
The essay Morale et économique elicited a number of comments, in particular
from Bruguier Pacini (1936), Passerin d’Entrèves (1937) and Croce, and it cannot
be ruled out that such comments may have lain at the root of the second thoughts
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Introduction 9
Einaudi voiced in subsequent years. Among such second thoughts, a prominent
role is awarded to the critique by Pacini, who had already expressed doubts con-
cerning the position of indifference and neutrality Einaudi had espoused in the
essay in question:
in Einaudi the sense of concrete reality is far too vivid to stie the echoes
of the thousands of voices of his day. [. . .] Here he is no arid theoretician
closeted within the perimeter of his theorems [. . .]: rather, he is engrossed in
thought, a man steeped in awareness of the great drama of humankind [and
of the evils of the latter, a man for whom] it becomes the subject of his most
profound, intense, human empathy.
(Bruguier Pacini 1936: 708)
At the same time, Einaudi had also received praise from Croce for his ‘critical
attitude’ towards Del Vecchio, a ‘terribly unsophisticated brain, who is therefore
incapable of realizing that the science of economics is science and not philosophy
(Croce, Einaudi 1988: 87 (italics mine)). As we will see, Einaudi ended up call-
ing into question the dualism between economic science and philosophy: an issue
that led him to rewrite the conclusions of the present essay (Afterword, par. 3.2).
Here it is worth noting that in this process of rewriting, when Einaudi once more
pondered on the question of value judgments, he ended up revealing the reasons
behind his defense of economic science and, implicitly, the rhetorical or discursive
strategy of the position of indifference and neutrality held during the 1930s:
this indifference, which is the essence of the scientist’s garb, is the most
fundamental indeed I would say the one and only defense available to
economists in their attempt to impede charlatans and lackeys from bursting
into their eld. [. . .] What tool is available to economists to defend themselves
and thus all other men as well – against charlatans and lackeys? Precisely that
of adopting a position of indifference vis-à-vis the ends.
(p. 86)
With regard to the claim that the economist studies the pure fact of choice,
without making any evaluation as to the ends pursued in human action, it might
be worth noting that never before had Einaudi’s position ended up resembling
Pareto’s position so closely as in this essay on Robbins. And perhaps it is not by
chance that, years later, Fasiani pointed to Einaudi’s essay on Robbins as his refer-
ence model of “neutrality” of science (Fasiani 1951: 9, footnote). Perhaps this was
the only aspect of Einaudian discourse through which Fasiani could recognise his
master (and himself), even though mainly (if not exclusively) interpreted through
a Paretian lens (Fasiani 1951: 7, footnote). Indeed, it is likely that Fasiani never
understood that Einaudi was using Robbins’s methodological discourse in defense
of economics. In this regard, we cannot exclude that the aforementioned quote
by Einaudi on ‘indifference’ (the ‘scientist’s garb’) was also a sort of confession
addressed to Fasiani who believed that in MPJT his master had really “changed”
his methodological position.
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Moreover, Einaudi ended by claiming that it is not always possible to put ends
and values into brackets if one wants to fully grasp the meaning of human action,
the societal order and all the implications and consequences of policy making
(par. 4.2 and Afterword, par. 3.1).
3 The debate with Fasiani (1938–1943): From Myths
and paradoxes of justice in taxation to the present essay
The simplest (albeit not the only) way of interpreting the present essay is to con-
sider it an epistemological explanation and a further development of MPJT and,
accordingly, a continuation and subsequent conclusion of the debate with Fasiani,
sparked shortly after the publication of the rst edition of MPJT (E. 1938b), which
Fasiani had criticized for adopting ‘an anti-scientic mode of proceeding’ (p. 66).
It was a critique that Einaudi perceived as a sort of excommunication.
Einaudi’s exchange of ideas with Fasiani is of such profound importance that
it can justiably be considered as the methodological “epilogue” (Bellanca 1993,
Fossati 2014b) of the Italian tradition in public nance, yet it has received little
attention, save for a few exceptions (Da Empoli 2010: 97–98; Forte 2009: 77–80;
Fossati 2011, 2012, 2014a, 2014b; Fossati, Silvestri 2012), despite the fact the
Einaudi devoted great effort to the interpretation and critical appraisal of Fasiani’s
works.10 Indeed, in terms of the intensity of the debate and the number of writings
devoted to Fasiani, his critical engagement with the latter was second only to his
debates with a select number of thinkers who were his contemporaries, including
Keynes, Croce and Griziotti. Furthermore, among these thinkers, only Fasiani
severely criticized the methodological approach adopted by Einaudi in MPJT,
which, up to the very end, he considered one of his most successful (and perhaps
best loved) books.
The controversy with Fasiani gave rise to an array of intricate and, sometimes,
overlapping issues. In order to help the reader better understand how Einaudi’s
thought evolved up to the rewriting of the present essay, I will rst provide an
overview of the Einaudi–Fasiani debate, with specic reference to the demarca-
tion issue (par. 3.1). Then I will analytically subdivide its main issues as follows:
the demarcation between counsels and theorems, normative and theoretical lan-
guage, and the issue of their reciprocal translatability (par. 3.2), the distinction
between science and history and the supposed detached or dispassionate knowl-
edge of the economist (par. 3.3), the epistemological nature of the types of state
used by Fasiani as compared to the ‘historical’ schemata of good/bad polities
used by Einaudi (par. 3.4) (to which I will dedicate a broader consideration in the
3.1 An overview: The demarcation issue
To understand the main issues of the debate with Fasiani that led Einaudi to write
the present essay, it is worth recalling the epistemological background, mainly
Paretian,11 in the name of which Fasiani (see, above all, Fasiani 1949 [2007])12
elaborated his major methodological critiques of Einaudi – namely, the great
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Introduction 11
positivistic demarcation between science and non-science. In this perspective,
“science” was not only ‘the search for laws and uniformities’ (Fasiani 1951: 5),
but also the reign of reason, logic-experimental, positive, neutrality, measurable,
objective and factual, while non-science was the reign of metaphysics, ethics, pol-
itics, normative economics, counsels, precepts, value judgments, passions, senti-
ments, beliefs, faiths, projects and “practical” aims, i.e. political and/or ethical
aims, all the way to the irrational. In turn, this conception of science, largely derived
from the analogy between economic science and natural sciences, implied the
identication of the economist with ‘physicists’, ‘chemists’ or ‘astronomers’
(Fasiani 1951: 6).
Here it is important to recall this demarcation issue for several reasons.
First of all, because of Einaudi’s debate with Fasiani, his reections at the
beginning of the 1940s, the paragraphs of the rst part dedicated to normative
and theoretical language and almost the entire third part of both the rst edition
and the present essay can be understood as an attempt to critically assess, clarify
and disambiguate some of the terms of the aforementioned dichotomy and to
rescue some of the terms of the non-science side of the dichotomy from the
negativity to which they were condemned. In this regard, one of the most sig-
nicant accomplishments of Einaudi’s reections was to show that the demar-
cation line between the two sides of the dichotomy was all but a clear-cut line
(see Afterword, par. 3).
Although the Einaudi–Fasiani debate took place long before the post-Popperian
debates aimed at introducing a solid demarcation criterion in economics13 and the
positive-normative distinction implied in the Einaudi–Fasiani debate seems to be
much closer to the traditional distinction between economics and ethics than to
logical positivism,14 it is in my view important to stress that one of Einaudi’s main
concerns was the rhetorical or even dogmatic use of science and the resulting
logic of excommunication for anything that is labelled as non-science (see Bobbio
1973: 6, Silvestri 2016). Einaudi’s awareness, in this regard, cannot be overlooked
since it is also connected to his awareness of the issue of language of science. For
example, one cannot overlook Einaudi’s remark in his review of Fasiani’s Prin-
cipii, according to which the Scienza delle nanze ‘took the name of “science”
only to give a name to the chair created in the Faculty of law in Italy’ (E. 1942a:
36). In my view, this statement was addressed to Fasiani not only because Fasiani
believed that he was really building up a science, while Einaudi believed that in
public economics ‘there is something that rebels against the scientic construc-
tion’, but also because, in the name of a certain conception of science, Fasiani
excommunicated Einaudi’s research in MPJT.
Second, Einaudi had criticized the Pareto–Fasiani conception of science and
the economists ever since his review of Fasiani’s Principii by adopting the rhe-
torical strategy of “using” Pareto, the ‘combative ghters’ in the public sphere,
against Pareto himself and, at the same time, against Fasiani’s Paretian notion
of science and the impersonal detachment of the scientist (par. 3.3). Einaudi
repeated this critique from the very beginning of the present essay (p. 38). With
considerable simplication, it could be said that the distance separating Einaudi
from Pareto (and Fasiani) is equal to that which, over time, separated Pareto from
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himself: the Pareto of the Cours, from the Pareto of the Manual. The Pareto whom
Einaudi admired was almost always exclusively the rst. As has been effectively
in the Cours the political passions and liberal battles of Pareto are clearly
present, the pure analysis of the world is mixed with political concern for the
Italian situation. In the Cours, Pareto writes not only for his fellow scholars,
but also for the media, for the policy maker, maybe with the hope of convert-
ing them to the correct use of reason. In the Manual all of this is abandoned,
with the feeling of repentance for a sin of youth. The economist, biologist-
like, deals with human beings as if they were ants, mushrooms, or grass, tak-
ing the place of the engaged scientist. From the pure theory all sentiments are
taken away; all metaphysics is expelled from science.
(Bruni, Montesano 2009: 2)
The distance between Einaudi and Pareto replicates the distance between Einaudi
and Fasiani, as Fasiani himself well understood: ‘You [Einaudi] feel you speak of
things concerning men, while I reason about them as if they were ants or bees’
(Lett.: Fasiani to E., June 1938, in Fossati, Silvestri 2012: 72).
Moreover, Einaudi’s insistence (particularly developed in the third part of the
present essay) on addressing the demarcation issue between science and non-
science, with specic reference to his attempt to legitimate the study of the ends of
human choices within the dominion of economic science, may be understood, in
my view, if one considers the already mentioned Fasianian critique of Einaudi in
the name of Pareto’s epistemology. Pareto, through the discovery of the pure and
‘naked fact of choice’ (Pareto 1900 [1953]), re-founded economics, distinguish-
ing the economic eld from the social (non-economical) eld through the dis-
tinction between logical actions (means-end rationality) and non-logical actions,
which were in the domain, respectively, of economics and sociology (Pareto 1916
[1964]).15 In Pareto’s epistemology, there is a structural analogy between the
positivistic demarcation science/non-science and logical/non-logical categories
(Albert 2004). In this regard, by attacking the alleged detachment or indifference
of the economist towards the ends of choices, Einaudi was also trying to defend
his own enquiry into the causes of good and bad polities – an enquiry where the
values and motifs implied by human choices played a fundamental role in under-
standing good and bad societies, state and non-state (see Afterword).
Last but not least, the shift of emphasis impressed by Einaudi on the rewrit-
ing of the conclusions, with reference to his intention to address the demarcation
between science and philosophy (see par. 4.3, and Afterword, par. 3.2) can be
interpreted as a further exploration and variation on the issue of demarcation.
In a nutshell, and to resort (with a bit of a stretch) to a useful distinction intro-
duced by Mongin, we may assert that Fasiani’s position was that of “strong
neutrality” thus “normative economics is illegitimate” while Einaudi’s posi-
tion was much closer to a “weak non-neutrality” position – thus “economics can-
not be entirely neutral”, and value judgments cannot always be disentangled from
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Introduction 13
facts and from the overall judgment regarding a situation analyzed by the econo-
mist” (Mongin 2006, but see also Baujard 2013).
As to the evolution of Einaudi’s thought, that can be traced by examining the
debate with Fasiani, by drawing up an extremely simplied overview of such a
debate – which, nevertheless, can be helpful to grasp the meaning of the title of
the present essay – it can be reduced to two main moments.
At the beginning, it was Fasiani who criticized Einaudi’s MPJT (1938b). In par-
ticular, he pointed out the contradiction between Einaudi’s initial admonishment,
addressed to economists, in which he favoured a scientic and neutral stance
against political interests and discouraged giving counsels to the powerful (read-
ing between the lines: to the fascist regime) and his concluding search for good
government. This was a quest which, in Fasiani’s view, went well beyond the bor-
ders of science, thus describing not what is but what ought to be (Lett.: Fasiani to
E., April 1938, in Fossati, Silvestri 2012: 59; Lett.: Fasiani to E., June 19, 1938).
Later, the publication of Fasiani’s Principles (1941), represented a denitive
turning point in Einaudi’s reection: he had become clearly aware that the scien-
tic and neutral stance of the economist and his claim of referring only to facts may
not only conceal his value-ladenness but, above all, could end up by legitimating
the powerful. This was Einaudi’s attitude towards the types of state introduced
by Fasiani, dened as the ‘modern state’ – that in which ‘power is exercised with
due concern for the interests of the public group, considered as a unit’ (Fasiani
1941, I: 42) – and towards Fasiani’s claim to take the ends of the ruling class as a
mere ‘fact, a given’ (Fasiani 1941, II: 59–60, here p. 75). In Einaudi’s view, such
a type of state runs the risk – by representing ‘that which is’, thus the organicism
of the corporative and nationalist fascist state16 – of playing into the hands of the
regime, if not indeed of legitimating it. By the same token, the attitude of consid-
ering the ends of the ruling class as a mere fact or given, without any possibility
of criticizing them (at least through a technical critique of values), risks turning
the economist into the ‘emperor’s advocate’ (p. 78).
One might almost say that over time, this exchange of views became, as it were,
a pretext for Einaudi by enabling him to state his views more explicitly and to
reformulate his ideas more clearly (and thereby, rst and foremost, to clarify the
issues in his own mind). In particular, it allowed a specic focus on his epistemo-
logical reection and his related defense of economic science during the fascist
era. At the same time it enabled him to outline his own position in the Italian tra-
dition of public nance and the epistemological meaning of his enquiry into the
causes of good and bad polities.
This shift of emphasis is more noticeable above all else in the rewriting process
that led to the present essay: both in the added note (note 1, p. 65) at the beginning
of the second part (On Some Abstract Hypotheses Concerning the State and on
Their Historical Value), where Einaudi species that his observations reect his
own personal interpretation of the types of state portrayed by Fasiani (and by De
Viti De Marco), and also in the elimination of sizeable portions of the text which,
in the rst edition of this second part (§ 9, 10, 11), were explicitly devoted to the
earlier debate with Fasiani.
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Furthermore, the publication of Fasiani’s Principii (1941) had already prompted
Einaudi to seek to give a clearer account of the epistemological nature of the political-
economic and ‘historical schemas’ of good/bad polities he had used in the two
nal chapters added to the second edition of MPJT and to explain how his position
differed from that found in Fasiani’s schemas of a state.
In this regard, it is important to recall that these two nal chapters, signi-
cantly titled ‘The Supreme Taxation Paradox’ (i.e. the problem of taxation as
“coercion”) and ‘Historical Schemas and Ideal Schemas’, are fundamental for an
understanding of the present essay. As has recently been discovered (Fossati, Sil-
vestri 2012), the methodological (though not exclusively methodological) reec-
tions put forward by Einaudi in the conclusions of MPJT were themselves also an
outcome of the debate with Fasiani. They can effectively be seen as an attempt to
rework Fasiani’s critique of the rst edition of MPJT (E. 1938b), while, however,
setting such critiques within the broader framework of the more long-standing
legal-political and philosophical speculation on the theory of the elite and liberal
good government and good society, which was further developed in the second
and third part of the rst edition as well as in the present essay (see Afterword).
Last but not least, it is worth recalling the other shift of emphasis, mainly
spurred by Einaudi’s interlocutors, that might have led him to give less impor-
tance to the debate with Fasiani and, at the same time, to enlarge his reection:
namely the demarcation, established by Croce after the unfruitful epistemological
debate with Pareto, between philosophy and science (and economic science in
particular), which had deeply marked the epistemology of social sciences in Italy
and interrupted the communication routes between philosophers and economists.
3.2 Counsels and theorems: Normative and theoretical
language and their reciprocal translatability
Fasiani confessed he was particularly hurt by the arguments Einaudi adduced in
MPJT (E. 1938b) in defense of ‘literary economists’ and against Pareto’s ‘self-
importance’ – where Einaudi implicitly refers to the hot debate on the Paretaio
(Jannacone 1912, Sensini 1912).17 Years later, this debate would be recalled by
Einaudi himself for the ‘anti-historical tone with which [Pareto] treated great
economists’ rather badly, and for Pareto’s ‘intolerance’ and dogmatism against
anyone who did not think like him (E. 1928b [1933]: 101–102, n.).18
Fasiani felt that his “scientic self” was under attack. As a counter-reaction, he
criticized Einaudi, signalling that his master had now set off on the path of “pro-
jects” and “counsels” that were not science.
According to Einaudi,
it all began, unfortunately, with Pareto, a consummate scientist, when he
adopted a supercilious attitude to the so-called literary economists, contend-
ing that they were giving an imperfect vernacular rendering of theorems which
others, among whom Walras and Pareto himself, later expounded afresh in a
more rigorous and perfected form, or else that by adopting a discursive form
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Introduction 15
they were using normative rather than theoretical terminology. While admir-
ing those who, standing dispassionately on one side and almost aloof from
the world, have the ability to preserve rigorous or theoretical terminology
from the beginning to the end of their essays or books, I myself cannot share
the facile scornfulness displayed by certain gures among their ranks towards
poor fellows – some bearing names such as Galiani or Smith or Ricardo
or Ferrara! – who were not schooled in mathematics or who, passionately
concerned with the things of this world, acting as men among men, moved
seamlessly from purely theoretical to normative language and gave counsels,
provided men with guidelines for good behavior and outlined programs of
action. Down with self-importance and haughtiness! What is important is not
the dress in which a truth is attired, but the truth itself.
(E. 1938b: 256–257)
In this regard Fasiani complained to Einaudi of the
offenses you have inicted on the Paretian position, which is also mine. I am
exceedingly aggrieved, because if the theoretical form in question is aban-
doned, consoling oneself with the persuasion that the preceptistic form can
be translated into that form, then the path of logic is inexorably doomed to
lose its way.
(Lett.: Fasiani to E., June 24, 1938)
The issue was taken up again by Einaudi both at the beginning of the pre-
sent essay 2) where his critique of Pareto’s critique of literary economists
is reformulated in anthropological terms as to the relation between language and
passions, or the ‘other and perhaps better part’ of the whole man – and in § 5, in
an attempt to better clearify the relation between counsels and theorems, nor-
mative language and theoretical or hypothetical language (“if X then Y”). Their
relation is usually examined by Einaudi in two complementary ways: a) chrono-
logical-genetic – namely, economic science was originally expressed in the form
of counsels, subsequently transformed or “enrobed” in scientic, theoretical or
hypothetical garb – and b) logical-linguistic – namely, normative and theoretical
propositions are mutually translatable (which is a claim that Einaudi shared with
the philosopher Giovanni Vailati19). As noted earlier, it was this second claim that
became the main target of Fasiani’s critique.
In Einaudi’s view, recognising the possibility of such a translation fullled at
least two functions: a) as a warning addressed to whoever claimed to have dis-
covered something new, in that such pretensions often turned out to be little more
than a reformulation, using a different language, of thoughts already expressed by
other thinkers, and b) a pedagogic function that involved learning how to distin-
guish one language from another to ‘inculcate the need to dene concepts very
clearly, to clarify the premises of an argument, to avoid mistaking action for a
historical or sociological explanation of action, and the analysis of its causes for
its effects’ (E. 1940b [1945]: 532).
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16 Paolo Silvestri
This notwithstanding, one sometimes has the impression that Einaudi tended to
use the translatability of normative propositions into theoretical propositions for
defensive purposes. Anticipating the charge of having written in a preceptive and
therefore non-scientic form, Einaudi’s typical reply was that it would sufce to
translate his “counsels” into the form “if X, then Y” to guarantee their “scientic-
ity” (see also E. 1949a: XVI).
However, Einaudi seems to realise that there is a limit to translatability, for he
does not go so far as to maintain ‘that the ancient and modern precepts can always
be so easily translated into theoretical principles’ (p. 43). Nevertheless, he does
not specify the when and why of the impossibility of translating (we will see that
Fasiani, focusing on the same point, attempts to be more precise by invoking none
other than Pareto himself).
One might thus surmise that Einaudi’s interest focused on a different aspect
pertaining to the limits of translatabilty: when the ‘translation is impossible’ and it
has been ‘demonstrated that the proposition has no scientic meaning in the eld
of economic science’, this need not mean that such a proposition is a non-sense:
quite the opposite, it will have ‘meaning from some other point of view, e.g. polit-
ical, juridical or social’ (Einaudi 1940b [1945]: 532). This testies to Einaudi’s
awareness that all the social sciences are established by a language, which in turn
establishes a “point of view” of the world. Such a realization explains why Ein-
audi warned against the “excommunications” uttered by “schools” of thought – as
often happened between the approaches of the different “schools” of the Italian
tradition of public nance or by whoever claims to have a privileged vantage
point over the world; accordingly, his admonishments warned against
[discussions] on the political, economic, sociological and juridical character
of nancial investigations if the comments are designed to inict an amusing
excommunication on those who take pleasure in studying a problem from a
perspective distinct from that laid down by the heads of the so-called political,
economic, sociological and juridical schools in the eld of nancial studies.
(Einaudi [1940b] 1948: 533)
Later, after the publication of the rst edition of the present essay, Fasiani
resumed the debate with Einaudi, taking up a position in defense of Pareto. Fasiani
was particularly keen to point out to his master that Pareto was perfectly ‘aware of
the possibility of translating a proposition starting “one must” into another propo-
sition starting “if one wishes’ and he added,
to seriously think that Pareto or any other ever dreamt to deny all this, or
believed they had invented everything, after carrying out a series of such
translations is to tilt against the largest windmills I have ever come across.
(Fasiani 1949 [2007]: 282)
To clarify the point, Fasiani brought up again Pareto’s arguments:
political economy tells us that bad money drives out good money. This prop-
osition is of a scientic kind, and it is only up to science to check if it is true or
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Introduction 17
false. But if one said that the State must not issue bad money, one would have
a proposition that would have nothing to do with science. [Nevertheless, this
proposition] could be elliptical, and in this case it would become scientic, if
the ellipsis were to be aptly eliminated. For example, if one wishes to obtain
maximum utility for the society, and if what is meant by that maximum utility
were dened through facts, then the proposition would become susceptible of
experimental verication and would therefore be scientic.
(Pareto 1906, §§ 39–40, quoted from Fasiani 1949 [2007]: 281)
On this particular issue, the differences between Fasiani and Einaudi seemed
almost to fade, although neither the one nor the other delved more deeply into the
crux of a problem that sprang from this very same Paretian argument – namely,
who decides whether a given proposition is “elliptical”? This decision always pre-
supposes a certain dose of interpretation, if not indeed of discretionary decision-
making power on the part of whoever performs the translation.
Moreover, Einaudi’s main concern as to the issue of counsels and the polemic
on literary economists seems to hide two problems: how is the “good” counsel
distinguished from the “bad” counsel? What is the foundation of the excommuni-
cation of passionate language from the realm of science? In Einaudi’s reection,
these two questions seem to be connected in the following way: the bad counsels
are those having ‘the aim of achieving advantages for themselves or for a social
class or professional group or of currying favor with the powerful or the common
crowds’ (p. 42), but such an aim may be pursued and masked precisely by those
who claim a purication of the language and a dispassionate stance of scientic
neutrality or indifference. It is also in this sense that, in my view, one may inter-
pret the sentence concluding § 2 as an implicit warning to Fasiani: ‘[those who
are] incapable of perceiving the links between the two aspects of the whole per-
son, construct insipid theory and supply the counsels they know will nd favor
with the powerful’ (p. 38).
Finally, as we have seen (par. 2.1), Einaudi constantly ascribed to economic
science the possibility of providing counsels on the basis of its cognitive strength.
There is no doubt, however, that Einaudi’s language is full of pathos (Della Valle
2010)20 and that, in this regard, by trying to save the language of counsels, he was
also trying to defend himself and at the same time trying to save passions, which
had been condemned to a sort of epistemological and anthropological clandestin-
ity by Pareto and Fasiani in the name of a presumed and unjustied superiority of
science and reason.
What is worth noting, however, is that Fasiani did not embark on a critical
examination of the polemical issue of literary economists, which, however, was
the question that seemed to be of greater interest to Einaudi, as would appear to
emerge from his last letter written to Fasiani after reading the essay by the latter
on Pareto. In Einaudi’s vision, the crucial question was to gain insight into the
reasons behind Pareto’s ‘scorn’ (Lett.: E. to Fasiani, June 25, 1949)21 for the liter-
ary economists, given that his expostulations sounded surprisingly like excom-
munications. And as we have seen, Einaudi regarded these excommunications as
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18 Paolo Silvestri
unjustiable, both from an epistemological perspective the plurality of points
of view – and, above all, from an anthropological perspective – the whole man.
3.3 Science and history and the (alleged) detachment of the scholar
Einaudi has often been remembered for his sense of history and the concrete,
as well as for his continuous attempts to fertilize a fruitful exchange between
history and theory in economics. In Schumpeter’s words, at a time when Italian
economics ‘was second to none’, Einaudi was a representative of the ‘historical
or empirical work, which in Italy made a seminal contribution to general econom-
ics and did not enter [. . .] into conict with theory’ (Schumpeter 1954: 855).22
Moreover, by writing many works on economic history, ‘Einaudi was probably
[among Italian twentieth-century economists] the one most open and receptive
to the themes of history’ (Romeo 1974: 93). In effect, in his approach to applied
economics, Einaudi considered history the “great ally” of economic theory (Forte,
Marchionatti 2012: 599–608).
All these meanings and uses of history are touched upon in various ways by
Einaudi in the present essay. Yet at the same time, another Einaudian meaning of
history can be found here. It concerns the selective and reconstructive gaze of the
historian, in addition to history as the reign of the individual. Both these interpre-
tations are used by Einaudi against scientic-sociological approaches to history,
economics or public nance, as also against any naïve conception of facts taken
as “that which is”:
history does not lend itself to being reduced to schemata and uniform types.
[. . .] History is made up of individual facts, single events, not of types. To
be sure, the historian must have an idea, a guiding thread that prompts him
to choose the individual facts he deems to be most important amongst the
innumerable facts and trivia that are devoid of any real importance or any
importance at all.
(p. 48)
This quote, drawn from § 8 of the present essay (but see also E. 1936d: 155),
refers implicitly to Einaudi’s previous critique of the ambiguous or undecided
nature of Fasiani’s type of state: between history and theory (see Afterword,
par. 1.2), which was formulated by Einaudi in the review devoted to Fasiani’s
Einaudi’s review bore the telling title Scienza e storia, o dello stacco dello
studioso dalla cosa studiata [Science and History, or on the Scholar’s Detach-
ment from the Question Studied] (E. 1942a), which also reects the turning point
in Einaudi’s reections of the 1940s (par. 4). For the moment, we will restrict
the discussion to what appear to be Einaudi’s two main critical observations,
which were distinct yet linked. Fasiani professed a dispassionate and a value-
free conception of the economic scientist, yet he 1) did not consistently adhere to
this conception, betraying that he too, like every human being, had passions and
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Introduction 19
ideals and 2) failed to realize that it was precisely these ‘sentiments’ that guided
his research and, in primis, the conguration and choice of the types of state on
which he founded his subsequent hypothetical-deductive arguments pertaining to
the effects of taxation. Fasiani, Einaudi felt, was pursuing the aim of
standing back dispassionately – almost as if he were living in a world beyond
the human dimension – from the passions, sentiment and ideals that so dra-
matically affect the motions and emotions of men. The same proposals have
been put forward by others; and one’s mind immediately goes to the great
theorist [Pareto] who sought to build, on this same basis, a “General sociol-
ogy”,23 of which the present [Fasiani’s] “Financial sociology” is presumed to
be a chapter. But where in Vilfredo Pareto one discerns, under the detachment
of the pure scientist, the ardent and passional spirit of a man who [had fought]
the liberist ght, [or opposed] the predominance of the divisive and disrup-
tive forces that threatened [. . .] Europe [. . .], in Fasiani one nds no trace
whatsoever of political or moral passion.
(E. 1942a: 32)
This notwithstanding, Einaudi pointed out that a number of Fasiani’s references
to the troubles of the present time [. . .] or to political ideals (“The nation state
represents the nal and most vivid expression of the evolution of European
civilization”, Fasiani 1941: I, 55) would seem to suggest that Fasiani is a
man among men and suffers and cherishes hopes like all other men, [. . .] [as
also shown by the] dedication to the two brothers “who fell for Italy” [. . .]
[Therefore the] detachment imposed upon him by the scientic imperative
must have cost him, like any other man strongly swayed by sentiment, a far
from triing effort.
(ivi: 32–33)
Perhaps Einaudi was seeking to ‘unmask’ – as also noticed later by Solari (see
Editorial Foreword) – what seemed to him to be his pupil’s ‘political’ passion for
the ‘nation state’ or fascist corporatism,24 or at the very least to bring him face-
to-face with the responsibility for the choice of an ideal type that would represent
such a state as a starting schema of his arguments. And it should be recalled that
a few years earlier, Fasiani had confessed to Einaudi his ‘grave disagreement’
with De Viti and his criticism of the “cooperative state” advocated by the latter,
which Fasiani saw as a representation of the liberal state – a form he regarded
as dead and gone forever (whereas Einaudi believed it should be rebuilt on new
even if he does not say so forthrightly, De Viti sets out his argument as if
the liberal organization were the nal stage of social evolution: whereas for
it is one stage, one historical moment, and a short moment, which will not
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20 Paolo Silvestri
be repeated. Therefore, scientically speaking, his is a theory (of rudimental
approximation) of that which was, and it is of little use in explaining that
which is.
(Lett.: Fasiani to E., December 18, 1937)
Thus Einaudi’s review of Fasiani’s book, although written in the style of the
benevolent master who chides his pupil and gives him suggestions for future
developments of his work, seems to contain – reading between the lines – a much
sterner and more severe admonishment: the type dened as the “modern state”
introduced by Fasiani – described as the state in which ‘power is exercised with
due concern for the interests of the public group, considered as a unit’ (Fasiani
1941: I, 42) by representing the organicism of the corporative and nationalist
fascist state as “that which is” runs the risk of legitimating such a regime.
Otherwise stated, the following would seem to have been Einaudi’s real con-
cern: the aim, as pursued by Fasiani, of making public nance into a “scientic
theory”, taken here in the sense of neutral or value-free, in order to “explain that
which is”, in the fascist era cannot but mean “explaining” or describing the one
and only present reality – namely, fascism. But for Einaudi, explaining, represent-
ing, talking about and giving visibility to the fascist state through a theory of the
types of state was quite a different matter from opting not to speak of it at all, or
speaking of alternative political-social types, as he did in MPJT. Words, Einaudi
believed, especially if uttered in the public sphere, carry a weight of their own
and are always potentially capable of producing communicative, normative or
performative effects (see also Afterword, par. 1.2).
Accordingly, in drawing up a commentary on Fasiani’s types of state in a note
of the rst edition of the present essay, Einaudi appears to have endeavored to
be even more explicit (albeit still within the limits of what could be said against
fascism25). Einaudi wrote that he intended to ‘abstain’ from the ‘equivocal’ use of
those ‘adjectives’ and ‘synonyms’ utilized by Fasiani to characterize the types of
state. For Einaudi, the “liberal” state was not the same thing as the “cooperative”
state, because the former had ‘a far broader and more complex content than the
adjective cooperative’, and the latter a content more appropriate (from the point
of view of public nance) for indicating the ‘economic’ aspect of the state. Analo-
gously, the “modern” state was by no means the same as “nationalist” or “corpo-
rative”, since the latter was ‘limited to a phenomenon within our own country’,
while the nation states, contrary to the claim put forward by Fasiani, appeared to
be something from the past that was dying out ‘in comparison to modern tenden-
cies towards the great ultranational political groupings’. Therefore, only in refer-
ence to these new political entities should one speak of “modern” states (Einaudi
1942–1943 [2014a]: 302, note 7). Here Einaudi not only refers to his prophetic
reection on the European federation as the only solution to the crisis of the dogma
of sovereignty, meant as the legal-political foundation of nation states (1943b),26
but also to the fact, as he wrote in another essay, that Fasiani’s characteristics of
the state (partly derived from Seligman 1926) seem to uncritically introduce the
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Introduction 21
‘dogma’ of state sovereignty into public economics, thus assuming such a dogma
as a mere given (E. 1942e).
In actual fact, Fasiani, building on the Paretian conceptual framework, had also
given two more concise and technical denitions of the two types of state: ‘coop-
erative being that in which the governing class aspires to a maximum of utility for
society, and modern that in which those in power aspire to a maximum of utility
of society’ (E. 1942–43 [2014]: 303n.). Furthermore, at a later date, after Einaudi
pointed out the aforementioned terminological “ambiguities”, Fasiani would sub-
sequently proceed to eliminate them in the second edition of his Principii (Fasiani
1951: 53, note 12), which was rewritten after fascism had fallen. Here “modern
state” would be replaced by “tutorial state”, in which he placed greater emphasis
on the two technical concepts of maximum of utility for society and of society.
However, the third volume of Principii in which Fasiani was planning to deal
with the characteristics of the “modern” state in greater detail would never be
composed, on account of his untimely death.
However, quite apart from the technical concepts of maximum of utility for
society and of society, the aspects that most greatly interested (and worried) Ein-
audi, as we have seen, involved the role (and the responsibility) of the economist
in the public sphere when an economist seeks to “describe” the behavior of the
ruling class and summarize it in a type of state.
3.4 Abstract versus historical schemata of state
It is also worth highlighting here three further points of Einaudi’s review of
Fasiani’s book, which, in many respects, pregure the arguments developed in the
second part both of the rst edition and of the present essay.
First, the critique of Fasiani’s types of state for their historical-theoretical ambi-
guity – thus their undecided nature between the historical and the abstract – and
second, their internal contradiction or a “aw” of self-confutation:
they are historical because they endeavour to give a synopsis of a set of uni-
formities capable of being repeated at different times and in different countries.
They are theoretical precisely because they do not intend to refer to a given time
and place; on the contrary, they rule out that there has ever been created during
the course of history a state which fully conforms to the “type”. Yet they wish
to portray what a state would be like if its essential characteristics were taken
to the limit. The difculties of the investigation are extremely severe. I do not
know, apart from the denition and a brief contrast with the cooperative type,
what Fasiani’s “modern” state is supposed to consist of, and therefore nothing
can be said about it at all. But the two types of the monopolistic and the coopera-
tive state have within themselves, in my view, the fatal aw of their own denial.
The former seems to me to live for the purpose of destroying itself, while the
second for the purpose of dissolving into the single individuals that compose it.
(Einaudi 1942a: 35–36)
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22 Paolo Silvestri
Third, but not least in importance, Einaudi also seized the opportunity to high-
light the difference between such schemata and his own “nancial typology of
states” that he had developed in the nal chapter, ‘Historical Schemata and Ideal
Schemata’, added to the second edition of MPJT.
[In my] nancial typology of states [I described the types] of the Greek tyrant,
the Periclean city, Bourbon nance, Cavourrian nance and that of Wicksell,
otherwise known as that of compromise and accession. But what I drew up
were schemata that conformed to a given historical situation in a given coun-
try, and only the last one intended to depict the tendency of the states that Le
Play termed “prosperous”.
(Einaudi 1942a: 35)
In MPJT, Einaudi had started out on a search for ideal types of state and of
nance, but in order to avoid the charge of utopianism, he coupled them with his-
torical experiences which, albeit exceptional, had genuinely existed.
Fasiani had raised the objection that precisely because such types referred to
unique historical experiences and special political conditions, they could not be
treated in terms of scientic generalizations. That typology ‘is none other than a
way to cast in ne suasive literary garb all the teachings Einaudi wants to impose’
(Lett.: Fasiani to E., June 12, 1942).
This critique obliged Einaudi to provide a better epistemological account of
his historical enquiry into the causes of good and bad polity, later reformulated in
terms of the dialectical contrast between state and non-state, based on a historical-
anthropological foundation. To this aspect he devoted almost the entire second
part of the present essay. I will return to this in greater detail in the Afterword.
4 The turning point of the 1940s: The issue
of value judgments
In order to understand the entire evolution of Einaudi’s thought that led to the
present essay, it is now necessary to analyze the most signicant steps and turning
points of the 1940s. Among them, I will take into account Einaudi’s reection on
the historicity of economics and the “passionate economist”; the nearest anteced-
ent of the present essay, which contains Einaudi’s explicit confession of his sec-
ond thoughts as to the issue of value judgments; the epistemological aspects of the
debate with Croce on the relation between liberalism and liberism, which is also
important for understanding the rewriting of the conclusions of the present essay.
4.1 Historicity of economics and the “passionate economist”
In Einaudi’s reection, the awareness that the economist cannot always put in
brackets the issue of values represented a true turning point. This became clear
in Einaudi’s mind when Cabiati published an article that reopened the so-called
Socialist Calculation Debate (Cabiati 1940),27 which years earlier had seen the
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Introduction 23
participation of a number of protagonists, including Barone, Mises and Hayek
(Hayek 1935). Cabiati, adopting the Barone–Pareto line, had insisted that the logi-
cal and mathematical demonstration of the possibility of a collectivist economy
was in no way awed. In this regard, Einaudi stated his position in the essay Le
premesse del ragionamento economico e la realtà storica [The Premises of Eco-
nomic Reasoning and the Historical Reality] (E. 1940c). The essay marked the
beginning of a profound rethinking of his earlier epistemological reection and
put forward two main arguments.
First, he called for renewed attention to the “historicity” nature of economic
science and of the economist, contending that the very premises or the rst postu-
lates of economic science arose in specic historical contexts and therefore could
not be transferred into other contexts (such as communist Russia) without the
risk of making a travesty of such premises or postulates. But this, in turn, implied
abandoning the presumed universality of economic science and the corresponding
conception of the neutral observer.
In this regard, Einaudi went as far as to maintain – in strong agreement with
Röpke’s perspective (Die Gesellschaftskrisis der Gegenwart [The Social Crisis of
our Time]) (1942) – that the claim to construct an argument sub specie aeternitatis
is a ction devised by economists, who, however, tend to lose track of its ctive
character, so that the premises of value on which the very argument is based are
sidelined and relegated to a position within brackets (Einaudi, 1942b: 51–52).
Secondly, he maintained that even if the quantitative tools and the logic of eco-
nomic science were to succeed in demonstrating the possibility of collectivism,
other far more serious problems would still be disregarded – namely, authoritarian-
ism and the ‘denial of all freedoms’ that a communist system of such a kind would
need in order to be able to function. This is why, Einaudi went on, ‘economic
science cannot restrict itself [to mere calculation of the means] but rather, is irre-
sistibly obliged to question itself about the problem of the ends’ (E. 1940c: 199).
Finally, a signicant indication of the epistemological revision Einaudi was
undertaking during those years can be found in his insistence on the genetic
moment of theories. Turning his attention in this direction, Einaudi had gradu-
ally moved towards a more favourable reappraisal of a) the historical-social con-
text from which the premises of theories or reasoning were drawn – the ifs of a
hypothetico-deductive reasoning (p. 72) and b) the subjective point of view of
the scholar in the very act of “feeling” the problem: as Einaudi wrote, following
a work by Passerin d’Entrèves (1939), who in turn was guided by the Crocean
historicism and his notion of ‘historical judgment’, there is always something
‘spiritual’ or axiological in the very act of the scholar who captures the problem
(E. 1939).
This also led Einaudi to a more open opposition against the devaluation of the
passional, faith, beliefs and “Weltanschauung”, which were considered as if they
were non-science, irrational or simply meaningless. Emblematic of the reections
of those years is the essay Sismondi economista appassionato [Sismondi, Pas-
sionate Economist] (E. 1941c). Here Einaudi talks about Sismondi, but he is also
talking about himself: ‘his gaze was directed above all towards concrete reality,
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24 Paolo Silvestri
which he experienced passionately. His analysis of the concrete was passional;
he was very sensitive to human suffering’. Here passion becomes, as it were, the
‘limit’ ‘of application of abstract truths’, but also their possibility condition: that
which had allowed Sismondi to ‘see that “a” problem existed’ (ivi: 127–134) – the
very problem which, through its solution, gives rise to theories.
As Einaudi wrote, in the pages added to § 22 in which part of these earlier
reections were implicitly recalled, even the most theoretical or abstract econo-
mist (as Fasiani claimed to be) were ‘drawn to economic science by their feeling
of human involvement in the problems they found themselves addressing’ (p. 73).
Einaudi’s insistence on the economist’s Weltanschauung – which, in some
respects, may be paralleled to Shumpeter's (1949) reection on ‘Ideology’ or pre-
analytical assumptions – did not imply that the ensuing analysis made by the
economist is to be considered entirely normative or vitiated by value judgments,
since the economist can always reach a logical conclusion through a ‘deduction of
well-placed and well-dened premises’ (E. 1941d: 176).
4.2 The nearest antecedent of the present essay
The nearest antecedent of the present essay, a short preface written for a book by
Bresciani Turroni (E. 1942g), is extremely signicant and in certain respects,
even more signicant than its most remote antecedent (par. 1.1) – since it encap-
sulates some of the major problems, thoughts and second thoughts that troubled
Einaudi in the previous years and that he further developed and reformulated in
the rst edition and in the rewriting of the present essay. As Einaudi confessed,
I myself also long believed that the economist’s task did not consist in setting
governments a number of ends to pursue, but rather in offering a reminder,
like the slave sitting on the victor’s chariot, that the Tarpeian Rock is close to
the Capitol: in other words, whatever happen to be the ends pursued by those
wielding power in the political process, the means adopted must be adequate
and appropriate. Today I have misgivings and I may end up concluding that
an economist cannot divorce his duty to criticize the means from his duty
to declare the ends, and that a study of the ends forms parts of the science
fully on a par with a study of the means, to which economists presently limit
themselves. But I have to acknowledge that seeking to ascertain whether the
means are adequate to achieve the ends and whether the means are logically
consistent with one another is far more arduous and certainly no less mor-
ally elevated than addressing the other question, namely an inquiry into the
dignity and acceptability of the ends. However the greatest advancements
in the difcult construction of that science of reconciling limited existing
means with multiple and unlimited ends that has become known by name of
economic science have not been achieved by thinkers who were genuinely
indifferent. The latter are always ready to advise on matters concerning the
government’s desire to pursue a particular end or a whole host of possibly
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Introduction 25
contrasting ends, and they have no qualms about bolstering politicians’ pro-
posals with the aid of specious or biased arguments of proposals based on
stealth. Only economists who are profoundly conscious of the good or evil
inherent in certain ends have succeeded in giving a full scientic demonstration
of the adequacy or inadequacy of the means chosen in pursuit of a given end.
(E. 1942g [2014]: 195–196)
The intricacy and the implicit difculties of this passage closely linked to
Einaudi’s ‘misgivings’, which, in turn, were mainly sparked by the debate with
Fasiani and his second thoughts from the beginning of 1940s – may be claried by
analytically distinguishing (at least) two major issues encapsulated in the key sen-
tence ‘an economist cannot divorce his duty to criticize the means from his duty
to declare the ends, and that a study of the ends forms parts of the science fully on
a par with a study of the means, to which economists presently limit themselves’:
a) the difculty of separating rigorously the study of the means and the ‘study
of the ends’, which is an issue mainly referring to an economist’s work and to
his analysis of society in general;
b) the economist’s ‘duty to declare the ends’, which is an issue mainly referring
to the relationship between the economist and the ruling class. Thus when the
ends are established by the ruling class, the economist feels that his own ends
are in contrast with those of the ruling class.
The rst problem derives from Einaudi’s enquiry into the causes of good and
bad, prosperous and decadent polities and governments – an enquiry that was sig-
nicantly developed in MPJT and epistemologically justied in the present essay,
introducing the dialectical contrast between state and non-state. As Hayek com-
mented, underling that his position had become similar to that of Einaudi, with
specic reference to the ‘false belief that science has nothing to do with values’:
the existing factual order of society exists only because people accept certain
values. With regard to such a social system, we cannot even make statements
about the effects of particular events without assuming that certain norms are
being generally obeyed. From such premises containing values it is perfectly
possible to derive conclusions about the compatibility, or incompatibility, of
the various values presupposed in an argument.
(Hayek 1970 [2014]: 355)28
The second problem, on the other hand, seems to hide (at least) three sub-
issues: a) the responsibility of the intellectual-economist towards civil society in
terms of speaking the truth to power and, depending on the circumstances, even
‘his duty to declare the ends’; b) the ‘morality’ of ends-means reasoning as an
instrument of criticism, at least in the sense of technical critique of the ends pur-
sued (or imposed) by governments; and c) the issue of the alleged ‘indifference’ or
neutrality of the economist and the ambiguous use of ends-means reasoning, since
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26 Paolo Silvestri
it can always become an instrument in the hands of the self-proclaimed indifferent
to legitimize any end pursued by governments.
These sub-issues betray the great deontological dilemma that was pressing and
worrisome, especially under fascism, and which, perhaps, Einaudi could not state
explicitly, precisely because of fascism: should the economist remain super partes
or take sides – should he remain in the ‘ivory tower’ or enter the ‘tumultuous arena
of passions’ (E. 1950c)? It was not so much an issue of to be or not to be engaged
in the public sphere, because Einaudi, as an economist-journalist, was always
engaged. However, he believed that the economist would betray his duty if and
only if he were to go to the public square pursuing or fostering a political passion
or ideology or if he were to claim a moral position without declaring it explicitly.
Einaudi’s growing awareness of the problem of ends and value, which weighed
on his mind increasingly from the 1940s onwards, i.e. after the second draft of the
MPJT, thus merged with his growing awareness that the very claim of the neutral-
ity of science itself was none other than a discourse (by the scholar) on science
and that such a claim could serve to mask what was effectively an enslavement
of the economist and economic science to the demands of any power whatsoever.
Thus for Einaudi, the problem of aims and values became the problem of nding a
way to formalize not only in what sense but also within what limits it is legitimate
for the economist to take up a position with regard to the ruling powers, and this
also implied a return to the position that he had stated in the earlier mentioned
preface of the 1914 text and republished in the 1940 text – namely, the recognition
that not all aims can be pursued equally.
4.3 The debate with Croce: Liberism and liberalism,
economics and philosophy
As we have seen (par. 2.1), Croce’s praise addressed to Einaudi for his endorsement
of Robbins’s epistemology was formulated in the name of the distinction between
philosophy and economics. This praise came precisely at a moment of his debate
with Einaudi, on the relation between liberism and liberalism (Croce, Einaudi
1957), in which the technical and neutral conception of economic science embraced
by Einaudi had relegated economics to a subordinate position vis-à-vis philosophy.
With reference to the distinction between philosophy and economics, it is
also worth noting that when Einaudi began the debate with Croce (E. 1928a), he
opened the discussion precisely by recalling the split that had come about between
Croce and Pareto (Croce 1900 [1953], 1901 [1953], Pareto 1900 [1953], 1901
[1953]) on the question of the epistemological status of the premises or the initial
hypotheses of economic arguments. Einaudi seemed to want to avoid reopening
that wound, which Croce himself had subsequently remarked with the distinction
between “philosophy of the economic” and “economic science”, philosophy and
science, pure concept and pseudo-concept (or ctional concepts), reality-history
and abstraction. The debate with Pareto ended with Croce’s injunction against
economists: ‘save yourselves the trouble of philosophizing. Calculate and don’t
bother to think!’ (1909 [1945]: 263). Those remarks are conventionally held, in
Italy, to mark the breakdown of the “communication routes” between philosophy
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Introduction 27
on the one hand and economics and social sciences on the other, as Einaudi also
recalled years later (E. 1950a). After the Croce–Pareto debate, only Einaudi was
“bold” enough to re-open the dialogue with the philosopher, and, spurred by
Croce himself, Einaudi was constrained to dwell once more on the problem of the
premises of economic arguments and of their relationship with historical reality.
The Croce–Einaudi debate (Croce, Einaudi 1957), in extremely concise terms,
and with specic reference exclusively to epistemological questions, can be sum-
marized as follows.29 At rst, Einaudi took up a neutral position towards liberism,
as he was concerned (as indeed were many economists after Marx) about unfet-
tering economic science from the charge of liberist ideology or from the accusa-
tion of deriving its theorems from an ideology. Subsequently, Einaudi endorsed a
‘technical’ (E. 1928a) conception of economic science, leaving the realm of ends
in the hands of the philosophers (Croce), moralists or politicians.
However, at the same time, Einaudi also had to defend liberism – plastically
represented by the competition model against an excessive cheapening of its
value, as claimed by Croce. In Einaudi’s perspective, liberism, as free competi-
tion and free trade, presupposed a series of values, in primis freedom, of which
economic freedom was an aspect, but such values also included private property,
freedom of contract, freedom of initiative, freedom of choice and social well-
being and eventually led to a model of society composed of small producers and
consumers, where power is fairly fragmented. Hence the nexus between liber-
ism and liberalism, in Einaudi’s world view. Defending liberism meant setting
aside all reserve and admitting its axiological character. But if liberism is indeed
channelled and rendered visible by the competition model, this also implies the
admission that the competition model, and the economic science as well as the
economist who takes such a model as a premise, presupposes values.
It is also in this regard that Einaudi, with an implicit reference to his liberal
values – the liberal values that drove his enquiry into the causes of state and non-
state, good polity and bad polity (held in his MPJT and then further explained in
the second and third part of the present essay) – thought that it was time to ‘pub-
licly’ declare his own liberal reasons:
he [the economist] decides in favor of one or the other decision [of the ruling
class] for some reason he considers to be valid, and the reason that is valid
for him – which he has to make public – is [. . .], as stated by many, and in the
opinion of this writer, the imperative of the moral and therefore also material
elevation of man.
(p. 66)
In the conclusions of the rst edition, such a claim was further developed and
explained in an attempt to sum up both his critical observations on Fasiani and his
reections of the 1940s:
dispassionateness and objectivity do not exist in human affairs. An economist
who knows what kind of rules govern a liberal or communist or plutocratic-
protectionist economic society cannot have failed to make his choice, in
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28 Paolo Silvestri
accordance with his ideal of life, and it is his duty to declare the reasons
underlying such a choice. Whoever, as is the case of this writer, abhors the
communist or plutocratic-protectionist ideal cannot refrain from declaring
himself to be a champion of the liberal ideal; and this vision of life cannot but
exert a major inuence on his treatment of economic problems.
(p. 92)
In the rewriting process Einaudi decided to cut out these conclusions and
put them in the Bibliographical Note. Though the reasons for such a cut are not
entirely clear (since the further comments that Einaudi should have added to the
Bibliographical Note are missing; see Editorial Foreword), it is very likely that
Einaudi had second thoughts spurred by the comments of his interlocutors.
First of all, Solari, who, after reading Einaudi’s essay on Röpke, praised Ein-
audi’s ‘shift from the scientic to the philosophical plane’ and noticed an analogy
between Einaudi’s liberal vision and Croce’s liberalism, thus relaunching the issue
of value judgments within the distinction between natural sciences and moral sci-
ences. The comment by Solari was later placed by Einaudi as an epigraph in the
COP addressed to all his correspondents (see Editorial Foreword, par. 5).
Though in a different epistemological context, Bruguier Pacini likewise
remarked on the Crocean background of Einaudi’s reection (partly mediated by
Passerin d’Entrèves) concerning history and Weltanschauung (Bruguier Pacini
1943: 23).
In turn, while Solari praised Einaudi for his reawakened interest in philosophy
via Röpke’s thought, Einaudi received an opposite evaluation by Giolitti as to
the issue of value judgments. As we have seen (par. 4.1), in the essay on Röpke,
Einaudi claimed that economists too often forget to render explicit the value judg-
ments that are implicit in the premises of their reasoning. Giolitti objected that
economists ‘do not have to formulate value judgments on the premises of their
enquiry’, since they make ‘science and not philosophy’ (Giolitti 1943), which
implicitly called into question the Crocean distinction between science and phi-
losophy and, respectively, between abstraction and history-reality. Einaudi replied
that the refusal to make value judgments is based on a not very clear ‘distinction’
that would require a ‘more precise formulation’ (Lett.: E. to Giolitti, 1943).
As seen in the Editorial Foreword (par. 5), by setting Solari’s comment as an
epigraph in the COP, Einaudi was probably aiming to receive further comments
on it from all his correspondents. However, only d’Entrèves expressed some
doubts on the contrast between moral sciences and natural sciences, but without
further clarications (Lett.: d’Entrèves to E., August 1943).
This notwithstanding, the question that seems to have been uppermost in Ein-
audi’s mind was not so much the distinction between natural sciences and moral
sciences, nor the Kantian background of Solari’s distinction between the ‘category
of causality’ and the ‘catgory of freedom’ (Editorial Foreward, par. 5). Although
there is no doubt that Einaudi, as a liberal economist, had always assumed free-
dom as the category through which to understand interactions among human
beings and the dynamics of society. Similarly, there can be no doubt that Einaudi
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Introduction 29
had always conceived economics as a moral science, or a ‘humanistic discipline’,
as he ‘proudly claimed’ till the end of his life (E. 1959: IX).
Rather, in this context, Einaudi was concerned with the distinction between
philosophy and (economic) science together with the related (and problematic)
distinction between the philosopher and the economist qua scientist, as well as
the identities and differences that his correspondents had established between
himself and Croce.
With all these comments, thoughts and second thoughts in mind, Einaudi
undertook the rewriting of the conclusions of his most challenging methodologi-
cal essay.
1 In consonance with the line that starts from Mill and extends through Marshall and
Pareto (Forte, Marchionatti 2012: 590).
2 These were the words with which he expressed his farewell to the Corriere della Sera
(the most widely read daily newspaper at that time) when, after twenty-ve years of
‘battles fought in these columns’, as part of an untiring endeavor to ‘apply to facts and
economic problems the canons of interpretation imposed by science’ with a production
of thousands of articles, he decided to resign in order to remain faithful to his friend
and editor-in-chief Albertini, who had been expelled by the fascist authorities. Einaudi
experienced his resignation as a veritable amputation, to the point that ‘the strain of the
priestly ministry of science, shorn of the accompaniment of journalism, was an unbear-
ably heavy burden’ (Lett.: E. to Croci, November 28, 1925).
3 In this context, a further comment is called for. In comparing the numerous works
by Ferrara, Pareto and Einaudi, Faucci has argued that on the question of trust in the
persuasive virtue of the economist, ‘[Ferrara is situated, ideally] in an intermediate
position between them [. . .]. Pareto is totally skeptical with regard to this power; Ein-
audi is unwavering in his conviction. In Pareto’s Lettres d’Italie (1887–1901) [Letters
from Italy] and Cronache Italiane [Italian Chronicles] one perceives a progressive
intellectual scorn for the world of “practical men” and, at best, a naturalist curiosity in
the “non-logical” character of their actions. In contrast, Einaudi’s Cronache Econom-
iche e Politiche di un trentennio (1893–1925) [Economic and Political Chronicles of a
Thirty-Year Period (E. 1959–65)] reveals the constant belief that the message will not
fall on deaf ears. [One may therefore surmise that for the Turinese economist] unlike
for Pareto, homo politicus – if appropriately enlightened – pursues objectives that are
not in contradiction with those of homo oeconomicus’ (Faucci 1982: 28–29).
4 Some parts of this paragraph are drawn by Fossati, Silvestri (2012: 35–40).
5 Here Einaudi is implicitly quoting Benda (1927). The issue of the trahison des clercs,
which is at the heart of Einaudi’s concerns of those years, has never ceased to be pre-
sent. See Gellner (1990), Kimball (2009), Walzer (1988).
6 On corporativist economics, see Cavalieri (1994).
7 On the Einaudian conception of dogma derived from the legal-dogmatics, see Silvestri
8 On the Einaudi–Keynes debate see Marchionatti (2000b).
9 Robbins’ conception of economics in terms of Wertfreiheit or value-free science is
very well known, but there is the tendency to overlook his concluding preachings on
the “signicance” of economics, where the notion of rationality takes on a different
and normative meaning. As he writes (and Einaudi echoes his words) in the concluding
thought of his essay, ‘[Economic science] relies upon no assumption that individuals
act rationally. But it does depend for its practical raison d’etre upon the assumption
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30 Paolo Silvestri
that it is desirable that they should do so. It does assume that, within the bounds of
necessity, it is desirable to choose ends which can be achieved harmoniously. And
thus in the last analysis Economics does depend, if not for its existence, at least for its
signicance, on an ultimate valuation the afrmation that rationality and ability to
choose with knowledge is desirable. If irrationality, if the surrender to the blind force of
external stimuli and uncoordinated impulse at every moment is a good to be preferred
above all others, then it is true that the raison d’etre of Economics disappears [. . .].
For all those who still afrm more positive values, that branch of knowledge which,
above all others, is the symbol and safeguard of rationality in social arrangements,
must, in the anxious days which are to come, by very reason of this menace to that
for which it stands, possess a peculiar and a heightened signicance’ (Robbins 1932:
141). On Robbins’s methodological position, the literature is huge. For a recent reap-
praisal, see at least the essays collected in Castro Caldas, Neves (2012), Cowell, Wit-
zum (2009), Groenewegen (1996), Masini (2009) and Scarantino (2009).
10 From a historiographic point of view, the epilogue of the Italian tradition of public
nance could be made to coincide either with the second edition of Fasiani’s Principii
di scienza delle Finanze (Fasiani 1951) (see Fossati 2011) – published posthumously –
where echoes of the debate and references to the interaction with Einaudi can still be
found (see infra), or with the present essay by Einaudi, by means of which, one might
feel, Einaudi appeared to have been seeking to have the “last word”.
The debate between Einaudi and Fasiani (epistolary and public) was protracted and
complex and addressed many issues, not only methodological. The only existing wide-
ranging reconstruction of this debate is that by Fossati (2014a, 2014b) and Fossati and
Silvestri (2012), which also includes the publication of the epistolary debate between
Einaudi and Fasiani. From a purely chronological point of view, and to the extent to
which insight can be gained from the correspondence that has come down to us and
from his published writings, the most signicant divergences were manifested in the
following order. The rst signs of discord came to the fore at the point when Fasiani
began to introduce into public nance the Paretian conceptual framework, with par-
ticular reference to the ‘derivations’ (Lett.: Fasiani to E., Dec. 9, 1935); there followed
a further difference of opinion on De Viti’s theory and his concept of the cooperative
state (Lett.: Fasiani to E., Dec. 18, 1937).
But the rst signicant rift between the two began to emerge following the publica-
tion of the rst edition of MPJT by Einaudi (1938b). Fasiani sidestepped the task of
writing a full-blown review of the text, restricting himself instead to a private critical
commentary of forty or so pages, which in the end he decided not to send to Einaudi.
Through a mutual friend, Einaudi then learned of the existence of these critical pages,
and Fasiani was obliged to confess the reasons underlying his failure to write an of-
cial review and/or to send his written observations: ‘since they might have struck you
as lacking in respect and even spiteful’ (Lett.: Fasiani to E., June 19, 1938). (For a
detailed account of this debate, with specic reference to the extreme relevance of
these letters for the rewritings of the last two added chapters of MPJT, see Fossati,
Silvestri 2012.) The reasons behind the two scholars’ disagreement, in particular with
regard to the idea of science and the distinction between science and precepts, were
explained later by Fasiani in another letter (Lett.: Fasiani to E., June 24, 1938).
The second signicant rift began after the publication of Fasiani’s Principii (1941),
followed by Einaudi’s book review (1942a); the ensuing intense debate took shape as
a collection of lengthy letters cast in the form of “memoirs” and counter-memoirs not
designed for publication (Lett.: E. to Fasiani, June 21, 1942; Fasiani to E., June 12,
1942; Fasiani to E., July 21, 1942), but the debate later became public with a long
series of articles, replies and critical annotations produced by both sides in which
the contestants once again wrangled over crucial issues such as the characteristics
of the public group, the concept of public wants, the idea of the state as a produc-
tion factor and the theory of tax-exempt savings. (see Einaudi 1942d, 1942e, 1942f,
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Introduction 31
1943a) Fasiani (1942, 1943a, 1943b). As far as the rst edition of Ipotesi astratte was
concerned, Fasiani devoted further attention to this work both in his essay on Pareto
(Fasiani 1949) and also in the second edition of his Principii (Fasiani 1951, published
posthumously), thus setting the aim of taking the subject up again at a later date in a
‘separate study’ (ivi: 7–8, note 6). The reference to the rst edition of Ipotesi astratte
may suggest that Fasiani was unaware of Einaudi’s intention of working on a second
edition. In any case, it was the death of Fasiani, in 1950, that put an end forever to this
fertile dialogue.
11 On Pareto’s early development of pure economics see Baranzini, Bridel (1997), Mar-
chionatti, Mornati (2007). On Pareto’s experimental method, see Marchionatti (2000a)
and Marchionatti, Gambino (1997). On the epistemological background of Pareto’s
Manuele, see Mornati (2006).
12 See Fossati (2013).
13 On this see, at least, Blaug (1980), Boland (1989), Caldwell (1982), Hausman (1988)
and the essays in de Marchi (1988, 1992).
14 Perhaps one of the best attempts to analytically disambiguate the confusion among
the many terms of the dichotomy positive/normative is that by Machlup (1969). See
also Blaug (1998). For a recent critical reappraisal see Davis (2014) and van der Laar,
Peil (2009). Though most of the essays on the positive-normative distinction start
from the analysis of the inuence of the logical positivism, and/or from the is/ought
or fact/value dichotomy (see, recently, Walsh (2009)), it is important to stress here
that Einaudi’s position seems to be closer to the traditional distinction between ethics
and economics. For this see Yuengert (2000). As to the positive-normative distinction
developed in British history of economic thought and from the Mill–Keynes methodo-
logical tradition see, respectively Colander, Su (2015) and Weston (2009).
15 On Pareto’s sociology see Bobbio (1964), Busino (2000).
16 This admonishment from Einaudi to Fasiani, perceptible between the lines, was
detected by Faucci (1986) and Fossati (2011: 106–107).
17 The hot debate on literary economists reached its apex in the so-called Paretaio epi-
sode. The issue arose from the polemics between Pantaleoni and Sensini (a pupil of
Pareto’s); the dispute then became ercer with the publication of Sensini’s book La
teoria della rendita [The Theory of Rent] (1912), where the author played on the
polemical opposition between “literary economists” and “mathematical economists”,
arguing that Pantaleoni understood nothing of mathematics. The clash came to a head
with the article by Jannacone (1912) bearing the title Il paretaio, which was published
in the journal of which Einaudi was the editor-in-chief: it was an article that accused
Pareto’s followers, Sensini in particular, of aping, slavishly imitating or even plagia-
rizing their master. Pareto himself was then obliged to mediate between his pupil,
Sensini, and his friend Pantaleoni. On this debate, see Magnani (2005), McLure (2007:
107–113), Mornati (2004).
18 On Pareto’s dogmatic use of science see: Pareto (1917) and Bobbio (1973) and Silves-
tri’s (2016) interpretations of this writing by Pareto.
19 It has been noticed (Bafgi 2010) that Einaudi may have taken over the argument on
translatability from Vailati (1898, 1906). In effect, Einaudi shared with Vailati more
than one strand of interest in the problem of the language of science, and Einaudi him-
self had specically commented on Vailati’s expertise in translating from one scientic
language to another (E. 1930); see also Einaudi (1971). On the identities and differ-
ences between Pareto, Vailati and Einaudi see Bruni (2003–2004).
20 It may well be true, as Passerin d’Entrèves (1971: 453) noticed years later that Einau-
di’s reection on language is a ‘striking anticipation’ of the post–Second World War
attempts to solve methodological problems through a philosophy of language. Nev-
ertheless, and from a historical point of view, the tradition of “counsels” defended
by Einaudi belonged to the natural law tradition, where counsels and precepts were
not opposed to each other but regarded as complementary (Bobbio 2012, Heritier
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32 Paolo Silvestri
2012b: 137–147). Moreover, although he delighted in presenting himself under an
anti-rhetorical guise, he was a master of rhetoric, switching skillfully between ‘clas-
sicism and pathos’ (Della Valle 2010). In this regard, it is worth noting that Einaudi
considered the ‘elegance of reasoning’ as one of the most distinguished characteris-
tics of Italian economists (E. 1950a [1955]: 16–17, 25). It is only so-called modern-
ism (McCloskey 1985) that has relegated the rhetoric to the reign of non-sense. In
this perspective, Einaudi’s awareness as to the economist’s language and discourse is
not far from the contemporary rediscovery of the rhetoric of economics; see, at least,
Backhouse, Dudley-Evans, Henderson (1993), McCloskey (1985), Samuels (1990).
21 I found this letter in the Archive of Banca d’Italia.
22 On Schumpeter’s judgment and the relevance of Einaudi within the Turin School of Eco-
nomics see Marchionatti, Cassata, Becchio, Mornati (2013) and Romano (1973: XXV).
23 Both to the rst and the second edition of Pareto’s Treatise, Einaudi devoted no more
than a very short newspaper article. On account of his conception of history as made
up of individual facts and single events, Einaudi never approved of the sociological
drift of Pareto and his ‘method of classication into type and sub-type’, as he explained
years later, echoing Croce, and casting doubt on the empirical character of the socio-
logical approach adopted by Pareto, who passed off as ‘facts’ a number of ideas that
were actually interpretations derived, among other things, from ‘newspaper cuttings’
(E. 1950a [1955]: 9, 13–14).
24 According to Fossati (2015), Fasiani ‘labelled the tutorial state as “modern”, “nation-
alistic”, or even “corporative” in homage to the regime, because, although not com-
mitted in politics, like many, he had faith then in Fascism, which he identied with
the Fatherland’. With regard to Fasiani’s contributions to corporatist economics, I will
limit myself to the following brief observations. In the essay entitled Contributo alla
teoria dell’“uomo corporativo” [Contribution to the Theory of the “Corporative
Man”], Fasiani had analyzed the hypothesis of the homo corporativus as a further
approximation to the hypothesis of the homo oeconomicus. The homo corporativus is
a man ‘who behaves according to the fundamental principles of the Labor Charter and
who, unlike the former (homo oeconomicus), should also be endowed with the senti-
ment of the higher interest of the collective community to which he belongs’ (Fasiani
1932: 326). In 1937, after analyzing the policies against the crisis, Fasiani argued that
the solutions linked to the liberal state were outdated, whereas he felt it was feasible
to adopt an approach that was ‘totalitarian, continuous, directed towards all points of
the system, with the intent of harmonizing its movements’ (Fasiani 1937: 96). The
totalitarian solution is subdivided into the ‘Fascist corporative solution’ and the ‘com-
munist solution’; the former is declared to be preferable inasmuch as it eschews a plan
integrally arranged by a central organ in favor of a ‘plan’ springing from individual ini-
tiative, which the central organ controls and molds, coordinating its various parts’ (ivi:
104). It is perhaps signicant that although Einaudi often made mention of his pupil’s
essays (for instance, by citing them in his Principii di Scienza delle Finanze [Principles
of Public Finance] or writing reviews of these texts), he consistently maintained a rig-
orous silence on the subject of these two essays.
25 As hypothesized by Francesco Forte, the rst edition was not published in Rivista di
storia economica of which Einaudi was the editor-in-chief, but came out instead in the
Atti dell’accademia delle Scienze, precisely because the regime did not keep as close
of an eye on this publication (Forte 2009: 57).
26 See also Einaudi (1918 [1920], 1944b [2006], 1945a [2001]). On Einaudi’s reection
on the European federation see D’Auria (2012), Forte (2009: 303–342), Masini (2012),
Morelli (1990), Oddenino, Silvestri (2011), Quadrio Curzio, Rotondi (2005).
27 On this debate see Fiori (2007).
28 To quote Hayek (1970 [2014]: 355) extensively, ‘the true statement that, from our
understanding of causal connections between facts alone, we can derive no conclu-
sions about the validity of values, has been extended into the false belief that science
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Introduction 33
has nothing to do with values. This attitude should change immediately: scientic
analysis shows that the existing factual order of society exists only because people
accept certain values. With regard to such a social system, we cannot even make state-
ments about the effects of particular events without assuming that certain norms are
being generally obeyed. From such premises containing values it is perfectly possible
to derive conclusions about the compatibility, or incompatibility, of the various values
presupposed in an argument. It is therefore incorrect if, from the postulate that science
ought to be free of values, the conclusion is drawn that within a given system problems
of value cannot be rationally decided. When we have to deal with an ongoing process
for the ordering of society, in which most of the governing values are unquestioned,
there will often be only one certain answer to particular questions that is compatible
with the rest of the system’.
29 On the Croce–Einaudi debate, see Faucci (1989), Forte (2009: 193–221), Silvestri
(2007, 2010b, 2012c: 201–272, 2016).
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Albert, G. 12, 122
Albertini, L. 29
Allingham, M.G. 130
Alm, J. 130
Andreoni, J. 130
Anspach, M. 132
Backhaus, J.G. xxxii
Backhouse, R.E. 32
Bafgi, A. 31, 136
Baranzini, R. xxxiv, 31
Barone, E. 58
Bastiat, F. 91
Becchio, G. xxxi, 32
Becker, G. 130
Bellanca, N. xxiv, xxxii, xxxiii, 10, 94
Benda, J. 29
Besley, T. 129
Binder, C. xxxii
Blaug, M. 31
Bobbio, N. 31, 129, 135
Boccaccio, M. 129
Boland, L. 31
Borgatta, G. 129
Boswell, J. 47
Bowles, S. 130
Bresciani Turroni, C. 24
Bridel, P. 31
Bruguier Pacini, G. x, xix, xx, xxii, xxv,
xxxi, 8, 9, 28, 112, 118
Bruni, L. 12, 31, 131, 136
Buchanan, J.M. xxiv, xxxii, 130, 132
Busino, G. 31, 136
Cabiati, A. 22 – 3
Caesar, Julius 41
Cairnes, J.E. 42
Caldwell, B. 31
Cantillon, R. xvi, 42, 73, 74
Cassata, F. 32
Castro Caldas, J. 30
Cavalieri, D. 29
Cournot, A. 44
Cowell, F. 30
Cox, J.C. 130
Croce, B. viii, xxi, xxv, xxx, xxxi, 6, 8 – 10,
14, 22 – 3, 26 – 9, 32 – 3, 119, 124 – 5,
127 – 8, 135 – 6
Cullis, J.G. 130
Da Empoli, D. 132
Dasgupta, P. 136
D’Auria, M. 32
Davis, J.B. xxxii, 31
De Bonis, V. xxxii, 129
Della Valle, V. 17, 32
Del Vecchio, G. 6 – 7, 9
de Marchi, N. 31
De Viti de Marco, A. xvi, xx, 13, 19, 30,
49, 94 – 100, 103 – 5, 107, 111, 116,
129 – 30
Dudley-Evans, A. 32
Dupuy, J.-P. 135
Einaudi, G. xi, xxxi
Einaudi, L.R. xxxiii, 113
Einaudi, M. 135
Eusepi, G. 129
Farese, G. xxxi
Faucci, R. xxxi, 3, 29, 31, 33, 104, 136
Fausto, D. 94
Fedeli, S. 132
Fehr, E. 130
Feld, L.P. xxxiv, 130
Ferrara, F. 3, 15, 29
Fiori, S. 32
Fleetwood, S. 134
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154 Index
Forbes, D. 134
Forte, F. xxviii, xxxii, 18, 29, 32, 33,
100, 103, 122, 129 – 30
Fossati, A. xxiv, 5, 10, 12 – 14, 29 – 31, 129
Frey, B.S. 130
Friedman, M. 134
Fusco, A.M. xxxii
Gächter, S. 130
Gambino, E. 31
Garofalo, G. 129
Gellner, E. 29
Gintis, H. 130
Giolitti, A. x, xi, xix, xxii, xxv, xxxi, 28
Giordano, A. xxxi
Giurato, L. 130
Gobetti, P. 115
Gossen, H.H. xvi, 42, 73 – 4
Granovetter, M. 132
Griziotti, B. 10
Hamlin, A. 129
Hausman, D.M. xxxii, 31, 135
Hayek, F.A.v. 23, 25, 32, 131
Heilmann, C. xxxii
Henderson, W. 32
Henry IV 51 – 2, 103
Heritier, P. xxxii, xxxiii, 31, 113 – 14, 129,
131 – 2, 135
Hume, D. 2, 103
Jannacone, P. 14, 31
Jevons, W.S. 45, 73
Kant, I. 28, 135
Kayaalp, O. xxxii
Keynes, J.M. 6, 10, 29
Kimball, R. 29
Kincaid, H. xxxii
Kortmann, B. xxxiv
Kukathas, C. xxxiv
Lawson, T. 134
Leoni, B. 131
Le Play, F. xiii, 22, 91, 115, 131
Lewis, A. 130
Liberati, P. 130
Louis XIV 52, 60
Louis XV 55
Louis XVI 55
Mach, E. 136
Machlup, F. 31, 135
MacKenzie, D. 134
Madison, J. 135
Magnani, I. 31
Mäki, U. 134
Marchionatti, R. xxviii, xxxi – xxxiv,
18, 29, 31 – 2, 122, 129
Marciano, A. xxxii
Marshall, A. 29, 39, 73
Marx, K. 27, 92
Masini, F. 30, 32
Mauss, M. 131
McClelland, G.H. 130
McCloskey, D. 32, 134, 135
McLure, M. 31
McPherson, M.S. 135
Meacci, F. 134
Medema, S. xxxii, 129
Medici 52
Michels, R. 6
Mill, J.S. 29, 31, 113
Mises, L.v. 23
Miyazaki, H. xxxiv
Mongin, P. 12
Montesano, A. 12, 136
More, T. 61
Morelli, U. 32
Mornati, F. 32
Muniesa, F. 134
Murphy, L. 136
Musgrave, R.A. xxxii, 130
Myrdal, K.G. xxxi, 126
Nagel, T. 136
Napoleon I 41, 55
Neves, V. 30
Oates, W.E. 132
Oddenino, A. 32
Offutt, S. 135
Pantaleoni, M. 1, 2, 31, 38, 47, 100
Paradiso, M. 130, 132
Pareto, V. xv, xxxiii, 1, 2, 5, 9, 11 – 12,
14 – 17, 19, 23, 26 – 7, 29 – 32, 38 – 42, 48,
71, 73 – 4, 118, 119, 122 – 5, 130, 136
Pascal, B. 91, 127 – 8
Passerin d’Entrèves, A. x, xix, xxvi,
xxvii, xxxi, 8, 23, 28, 31, 127
Peacock, A.T. xxxii
Peano, G. 136
Peil, J. 31
Periclean 22, 79, 101 – 2
Persson, T. 129
Pettit, P. 129
Philip of Macedonia xvii, 67 – 8, 79
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Index 155
Pico della Mirandola, G. 135
Pierce, C.S. 136
Pigou, A.C. 133
Plato 70
Portinaro, P.P. xxxii
Prato, G. 52, 65
Putnam, H. 126, 136
Puviani, A. 65, 103, 132
Quadrio Curzio, A. 32
Reviglio, F. 129
Ricardo, D. xvi, 15, 42, 73 – 4
Riles, A. xxxiv
Robbins, L. vii, xix, xxv, xxix, 6 – 7, 9, 26,
29, 30, 122, 127
Romano, R. 32
Romeo, R. xxxii, 18
Röpke, W. xxi, xxxi, 23, 28
Ross, D. xxxii
Rotondi, C. 32
Samuels, W.J. 32
Sandmo, A. 130
Scarantino, A. 30
Schelling, T.C. 132
Schulze, G. xxxiv
Schulze, W.D. 130
Schumpeter, J.A. xxxi, 18, 32
Seligman, E. 20
Sensini, G. 14, 31
Silvestri, P. xxxi, 5, 11 – 14, 29, 30, 32 – 3,
100 – 1, 113, 129, 130 – 1, 134 – 6
Siu, L. 134
Smart, W. xxvii, xxviii
Smith, A. xxviii, 15, 134
Soddu, P. xxxii, xxxiii
Solari, G. x, xii, xix – xxii, xxv, xxxi, 19,
28, 95, 100, 102 – 4, 120
Stiglitz, J.E. 135
Su, H.C. 31, 136
Sully (Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of )
51 – 2
Tabellini, G. 129
Tomatis, F. xxxi
Torgler, B. 130
Vailati, G. 15, 31, 124 – 5, 135 – 6
Vanberg, V. xxxiv
van de Laar, E. 31
Vromen, J. xxxii
Wagner, R.E. xxxii, 129
Walras, L. xv – xvi, 14, 38, 39,
40 – 2, 73 – 4
Walsh, V. 31, 136
Walzer, M. 29
Way, C. xxxiv
Weber, M. xxxi, 7, 106
Weston, S. 31
Wicksell, K. 22
Wicksteed, P.H. 8
Winch, D. 134
Witzum, A. 30
Ypi, L. xxxiv
Yuengert, A. 31
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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 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' lens.
Public service is a calling distinct from academic education and research or business pursuits. For the career federal economist, the imperative to serve the public interest in a complex political setting introduces the potential for ethical dilemmas unique to government. Although the rewards of public service are considerable, the economist recognizes the possible tension between political goals and interests and the economist’s concern for professional independence and objectivity. Such friction with politics may on occasion result in suppression or alteration of results or analysis, direction to produce support for decisions already taken, and disagreement over policy decisions. To deal thoughtfully with these challenges, federal economists should be better prepared to think explicitly about ethics, have appeal to an external ethical standard, and advocate for the creation of legitimate internal government dialogue on ethics.
Mauro Fasiani's scholarly achievement still does not occupy its proper place in scientific debate, either in Italy or abroad. Thus, the enhancement of the scientific figure of Mauro Fasiani presents a very significant scientific interest, in order to finally put into perspective his contribution to the evolution of the theory of public finance not only in the Italian tradition in Public Finance but in the international context also. To that end the present paper is directed, within the limits that the aim is not to discuss Fasiani's scientific thought, but only to draw it to the attention of international scholars by making known the content of his work. JEL CODE: B13, B31, H1, H12, H21, H22, H24, H25, H26, H31, H32, H42, H43, H44, H50, H89
Il manuale offre una trattazione completa della scienza delle finanze, sotto il profilo sia degli strumenti teorici, sia dell’esposizione critica delle istituzioni di finanza pubblica del nostro paese. Questa nuova edizione tiene conto delle numerose modifiche intervenute nell’ultimo quadriennio nel processo di bilancio, nel sistema tributario, nel federalismo fiscale, nel Patto di stabilità, nelle politiche di welfare e di regolamentazione. Indice Prefazione all’ottava edizione. - I. Le ragioni dell’intervento pubblico, di P. Bosi. - II. La finanza pubblica in Italia, il Bilancio dello Stato e la Legge di bilancio, di P. Bosi e P. Silvestri. - III. Teoria dell’imposta, di P. Bosi e M.C. Guerra. - IV. La teoria del debito pubblico, di P. Bosi. - V. Il decentramento fiscale, di P. Bosi e M.C. Guerra. - VI. La politica fiscale nell’Unione economica e monetaria, di P. Bosi. - VII. Servizi di pubblica utilità e politiche per la concorrenza, di P. Bosi. - VIII. La spesa per il welfare state, di P. Bosi, M. Baldini, E. Caruso, C. Mazzaferro, P. Silvestri e S. Toso. - Indice analitico.