Turgot, Anne-Robert-Jacques (1727–1781)

Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot was an economist and a statesman. Turgot was associated with the Physiocratic school of economics and was a strong supporter of reforms during his political career. He came from an old Norman family, but seldom used his title, Baron d'Aulne. His family wanted him to become a priest, so he was educated at the college of Louis-le-Grand before taking a degree in theology at the seminary of St. Sulpice and at the Sorbonne. It was while studying theology that Turgot discovered political economy and wrote his first essays on economics and history, most notably, “A Philosophical Review of the Successive Advances of the Human Mind” (1750), in which he made the first of several contributions to the development of the “four stages theory,” ...

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