François Quesnay Bibliography

Tableau économique 1758
Quesnay main work which demonstrated the economic relationship between industry and agriculture, and containing the purported proof that agriculture alone added to the nation’s wealth. It contained the first example of an economic model. Quesnay feared that the wide circulation of the book might bring about a revolution.

Voltaire dismissed the utopianism of the Physiocrats who “finding themselves at leisure, they govern the state from the corner of their hearth” (L’Homme aux quarante écus), and Adam Smith thought the Tableau économique the work of a “very speculative physician” bent on prescribing a rigid diet to a country that did not need it. Hume was also dismissive; in a letter to Morellet, who was proposing to write a Dictionnaire de commerce, he wrote “I hope that in your work you will thunder against them, and crush them, and pound them, and reduce them to dust and ashes! They are, indeed, the set of men the most chimerical and most arrogant that now exist, since the annihilation of the Sorbonne.” (10 July 1769)
Maximes Générales de Gouvernement économique d’un Royaume Agricole 1760
Quesnay’s last work, a development of ideas put forward in Tableau économique.
Observations sur l’histoire de France 1765
An examination of the rise of despotic power in French history in which Mably challenges the parlement’s view that they serve as upholders of liberty.
Le Droit naturel 1765