La physiocratie dans les dictionnaires du XVIIIᵉ siècle Des savoirs d'État à la volonté du Peuple

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Manuela Albertone


Over the years, the presence of physiocracy in the dictionaries of the eighteenth century is characterized by a continuity in which the distinction between the ideas and the actions of the physiocrats, often considered as abstract and sectarian, becomes clear. During the Revolution, faced with the political emergency, which left little space for reflection on economic theory, dictionaries that mention Quesnay and his followers are rare. Nevertheless, the physiocratic ideas on the freedom of trade, the preference for direct taxation, the political significance of the impôt territorial on landed property, were now an acknowledged knowledge. Gautier's Dictionnaire de la Constitution is an exception. Going back to the circles that nourished his political radicalism, one encounters another example of physiocratic survival in the thought of the Marquis de Girardin. Gautier and Girardin, from their different backgrounds and in the radicalism of their positions, are both testimonies of an idea of democracy that associated representation and participation and considered the constitutional and economic dimensions inseparable. One finds there also the political legacy of physiocracy.

English title: Physiocracy in Eighteenth-Century Dictionaries. From State Knowledge to the Will of the People

Keywords: Physiocracy, 18th-Century Francophone Encyclopedism, State Knowledge, Pierre-Nicolas Gautier, René-Louis de Girardin


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