Joseph von SONNENFELS, economist. Served as adviser to Austrian government on various occasions; Ennobled, 1797; Freiherr, 1804.
SONNENFELS, Joseph von was born in 1732 in Nikolsburg, Austro-Hungary.
Neo-cameralist, who advised successive Austrian emperors and advocated enlightened absolutism —e.g. the State had the positive role of ensuring basic standards of life, including hospitals and reformed prisons. He believed in the virtues of a growing popula-
tion and consequently favoured labourintensive industries and small land proprietorship. He saw money not merely as a medium of exchange, but as a productive factor.
Though many of his views were not particularly original, his ideas were influential, chiefly through the use of his Grundsätze.. as a textbook.