In his novel The Adventures of Telemachus, François de la Mothe-Fénelon (1651-1715) presents a utopian society, Boetica, in which the role of luxury, war and trade is extremely limited. In unreformed Salentum, on the other hand, Fénelon shows the opposite image, one in which the three elements reinforce each other in a fatal feedback-loop. I analyse the relationship between luxury, war and trade in the Telemachus and I sketch the background to Fénelon's views, with special attention to the military expansion and the mercantilism of Louis XIV, Fénelon's quietist spirituality, and its polemic relation with the concept of self-interest in the seventeenth philosophy by mechanicist philosophers and economic thinkers.

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History of European Ideas
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Schuurman, P. (2011). Fénelon on luxury, war and trade in the Telemachus. History of European Ideas. doi:10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2011.07.013