Lezioni di economia civile

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Antonio Genovesi

Lectures on Trade, or on Civil Economy

Translated to Russian by D. Farafonova and E. Smagina; under scientific editing by D. Raskov and A. Pogrebnyak. Moscow, Gaidar Institute Press, 2016. – 712 p.

ISBN 978-5-93255-473-9
ISBN 978-5-7133-1571-9

Antonio Genovesi (1712–1769) can rightly be considered one of the founders of modern economic knowledge. A metaphysician and theologian, he devoted the last fifteen years of his life entirely to Economics and ethics, becoming head of the Department of Commerce and mechanics in 1754. Lezioni di economia civile is not only a University course, but also the result of his reflections on Economics. Like A. Smith, Genovesi shares the criticism of the feudal world and advocates a more rational structure of social life. The human personality, according to Genovesi, is the interaction of two forces – personal interest and the desire for social solidarity, while the market is based on mutual assistance and trust. As a product of the age of Enlightenment, the Genovese doctrine of "civil economy" nevertheless continues the ancient and medieval traditions that do not separate the economy from society and culture, so that the discourse about the market includes questions about civil valor, virtue and the common good.