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The Legacy of Mathématique Sociale in Italy and Ricardian Economics: The Case of Francesco Fuoco

Rosario Patalano

History of Political Economy, 2015, vol. 47, issue 1, 119-150

Abstract: This article discusses the contribution made by Francesco Fuoco (1774–1841) to the methodological debate in the early nineteenth century. In opposition to Say’s view, Fuoco defended the validity of the deductive method in economic analysis, upholding the mathématique sociale tradition. This perspective characterizes his main work, Saggi economici (1825–27), in which he expounded a systematic view of economic theory and synthesized, within the framework of deductive methodology, a typical subjectivist theory of value, drawn from Condillac, with the new Ricardian theory of distribution. As he engaged in defense of the deductive nature of economic analysis, Fuoco found confirmation of the validity of the mathématique sociale tradition in the Ricardian “new theory” of rent. In this analytical context, Fuoco’s original contribution lay in the importance that he assigned to the money function in the capitalist economy.

Keywords: Francesco Fuoco; Jean-Baptiste Say; Ricardian economics; methodology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:47:y:2015:i:1:p:119-150