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From Versailles to Paris: The Creative Communities of the Physiocratic Movement

Loïc Charles () and Christine Théré

History of Political Economy, 2011, vol. 43, issue 1, 25-58

Abstract: This article investigates the scientific practices—and their transformations across time—of the physiocrats in relation to their social background. Our contention is that, in this regard, the physiocratic movement can be broken down in two successive creative communities: The writing workshop of Quesnay (ca.1756–ca.1764) and the physiocratic school (ca.1764–ca.1777). This transformation is related to the specific places and cultural spaces in which the two communities evolved; that is, respectively, Versailles and the court, and Paris in the heyday of the Enlightenment. We want to show that the geographical and social context in which the scientific activities of the physiocrats took place structured the relationships inside each of the two communities and influenced their mode of production and dissemination of economic thought.

Keywords: Francois Quesnay; physiocracy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:43:y:2011:i:1:p:25-58