Click on the link below to download a PDF copy of my translation of “Bene Comune ed Economia“, or “Common Good and Economics,” by Luigino Bruni, an Italian economist. He graciously approved my request to translate his essay; he has reviewed and approved the translation. The version available below was revised on 12 July 2009.
The paper draws inspiration from Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. Bruni opens by recounting that in the first section of the encyclical the three loves, eros, philia, and agape are discussed as strongly interdependent; a vital human existence depends on all three. Bruni then analyzes the two dominant forces of the market, contracts and associations, in terms of eros and philia. He discusses the historical reasons why agape is not considered in economics, from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations until now. In particular I found interesting his analysis that agapic love tends to be treated as a scarce good/virtue, a premise with which Bruni differs. In conclusion he proposes four ways in which society can promote the integration of agapic love into the market and economic discourse.
The paper is quite readable, about eight pages; there is a good bibliography as well. If you find the work interesting, please feel free to comment on it here.