Rights, the Distribution of Wealth, and Happiness: Gaetano Filangieri’s Constitutional Ideal of Justice

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Abstract

This article presents the ideal of distributive justice of Gaetano Filangieri whose realization is entrusted to the constitutional project elaborated in his work La Scienza della Legislazione. The article shows the main features which, in the outline of the Enlightenment, distinguish the core of the Filangerian proposal: the happiness of the nation needs an equitable distribution of wealth; the definition of the perfect model of justice is founded on an original utilitarian analysis which employs elements which anticipate the marginalism of the next century; to increase both the level of national welfare and the civic participation the laws have to improve the position of the least advantaged individuals; the constitution has to sanction this principle of justice and it is the task of the legislator to enforce it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-401
Number of pages29
JournalHistory of Political Economy
Volume50
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics

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