This article aims to understand the reasons why, in 1828, Jeremy Bentham's Defence of Usury was translated into French by Saint-Amand Bazard, one of the two leaders of the Saint-Simonians, even though it had already been translated twice, in 1790. Addressing this issue enables us, first, to question the role of translations in the diffusion of economic ideas and, second, to better understand the relationship between a key component of the Saint-Simonians' economic theory—their ideas about the banking system—and Bentham's criticism of the usury laws that prevailed at the time. We reject the possibility that Bazard translated Bentham's work because he thought the two earlier translations inadequate and instead argue that he used the translation as a method to diffuse Saint-Simonian theories on credit and banking.
Research Article|December 01 2016
Nathalie Sigot; An Activist Stance: The 1828 French Translation of Jeremy Bentham's Defence of Usury. History of Political Economy 1 December 2016; 48 (4): 705–731. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-3687319
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