Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Anthropology of freedom and tax justice: between exchange and gift. Thoughts for an interdisciplinary research agenda

Silvestri, Paolo (2015): Anthropology of freedom and tax justice: between exchange and gift. Thoughts for an interdisciplinary research agenda. Published in: Teoria e Critica della Regolazione Sociale No. 2 (2015): pp. 115-132.

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Abstract

With this paper I try to sketch a research agenda on the basis of which humanities and social sciences might interact with each other, searching for a human common ground in tax issues. To this purpose I shall proceed as follows: (§2) I will sketch two working hypotheses showing how and why tax system raises anthropological issues at the intersection of Philosophy of law, Politics and Economics; to restrict the field of enquiry, I will then analyse, firstly (§2.1), the most common theories of taxation – benefit-cost principle and ability-to-pay principle – usually meant as attempts to answer the demand for tax justice; and, secondly (§2.2), the issue of freedom in taxation as a problem of legal-political and economic obligation. I will then show how the research might gain some insight from both (§3.1) the literature on homo reciprocans, and (§3.2) the literature on gift-giving, which might allow us to better articulate the demands for justice and freedom, as well as to glimpse the human foundations of a new fiscal democracy.

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