Paolo Santori

Academic bio

Ph.D. in Sciences of Civil Economy from LUMSA University in Rome (supervisor: Luigino Bruni) with a dissertation on the History of Economic Thought, based both on philosophical and theological studies.

Currently, I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences at Tilburg University.

In 2022, I obtained the Italian National Scientific Habilitation as Associate Professor in the scientific sector 13/C1 Economic History and History of Economic Thought.

In 2020-2021 I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Centro Universitario Cattolico, and a visiting researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Faculty of Philosophy.

In 2020, I taught History of Economic Thought as an adjunct professor at Pontificia Università Lateranense (Rome).

I am a member of the executive board of “The Economy of Francesco”, a global movement of 2000 economists and entrepreneurs, where I coordinate the village “Policies and Happiness”. I am also the scientific director of the series of online seminars “School of Civil Happiness” and “Economy of Francesco School”.

Finally, I am a teacher for the social enterprise School of Civil Economy (Scuola di Economia Civile).

Research Agenda

I am a philosopher at the crossroads between economic thought and theology. My primary research interests lie in the area of Philosophy of Economics – including topics in History of Economic Thought, Theology & Economics, Business Ethics. I follow two main research patterns.

On the one hand, I am interested in inquiring about the theological and philosophical roots of modern schools of economic thought. In this respect, I have been studying Aquinas’s social and economic teachings in connection with the civil economy tradition of the 18th century (Antonio Genovesi). My book entitled Thomas Aquinas and the Civil Economy Tradition: the Mediterranean Spirit of Capitalism was published with Routledge in May 2021. In parallel, I have been inquiring about the roots of Political Economy, specifically on some theological sources of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand (Calvinist and Jansenist authors as well as Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion).

On the other hand, I have been exploring how theological and philosophical ideas can connect to contemporary fields and debates in Economics. I am doing research on the economic principle of Political Liberalism comparing John Rawls’s and Robert Sugden’s theories, on the relation between meritocracy and market societies, and, on the Ethics of Care in Economics.

Overall, I believe that today Economics is in need of biodiversity, meaning heterogeneous approaches and ideas. My research paths show that the pluralism that economics seeks can be derived from the history of ideas. History is like the roots of a tree; roots reveal not only the tree’s past but also its possible future.

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