Freedom and human nature in Antonio Genovesi. The moral experience of the human being, which is triggered by irritation of the neural network (tela nervosa) and other physiological components, has its true principle of action in free will and reason. Natural freedom constitutes the ground for the other types of freedom (religious freedom and freedom from human authority), which are achieved through the historical and critical use of reason (libertas philosophandi), namely by applying the "benefit" principle. In outlining the nature of the human being, Antonio Genovesi compares his main ideas with the most recent ideas in physics and proposes an original essay on the origins of society. It reconciles a traditional conception of universalistic ethics with a social application of Newtonian notions of centripetal and centrifugal forces. His aim is also to unify "eclectically" a universalistic with a utilitarian conception of law and justice ("the least of evils"), an ideal with an instrumental notion of reason ("reason as calculation"), and a contemplation of the immutable nature of human beings with a descriptive analysis of the customs of different peoples.
Keywords: Antonio Genovesi, eclecticism, human nature, freedom, ethics, origins of society.