The article discusses the connections between ethics and government of the self in John Maynard Keynes’s economic thoughts about achieving and experiencing the «good life». Based on Michel Foucault’s philosophical developments about ethics and the ontology of the self, the article explores Keynes’s economic perspectives on the material possibilities of the economy and how prosperity must be conceived not as an end, but rather as a means to enjoy the «arts of life». Our conclusions are buttressed by the possible connections between Foucault’s notions of self-government and Keynes’s considerations about the economy, which have not been acknowledged by philosophers and historians of economics. Keynes’s view of the role of economic activity and prosperity can be reinterpreted from the Foucauldian notion of «government of self» in the sense that economic activities represent a transformative experience of the self: one can transform himself/herself within the material possibilities of the economy and seek for the good life as an ethical end.
Guizzo, D. (2017). Ethical transformation and government of the self in Keynes’s economic system. History of Economic Ideas, XXV(1),