Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya by Kaushik Basu, Ravi Kanbur

By Kaushik Basu, Ravi Kanbur

Amartya Sen has made deep and lasting contributions to the educational disciplines of economics, philosophy, and the social sciences extra generally. He has engaged in coverage discussion and public debate, advancing the reason for a human improvement concentrated coverage schedule, and a tolerant and democratic polity. This argumentative Indian has made the case for the poorest of the negative, and for plurality in cultural standpoint. it's not marvelous that he has gained the top awards, starting from the Nobel Prize in Economics to the Bharat Ratna, India's optimum civilian honor. This public acceptance has long gone hand in hand with the love and admiration that Amartya's pals and scholars carry for him.

This quantity of essays, written in honor of his seventy fifth birthday via his scholars and friends, covers the variety of contributions that Sen has made to wisdom. they're written through many of the world's major economists, philosophers and social scientists, and deal with issues akin to ethics, welfare economics, poverty, gender, human improvement, society and politics. the second one quantity covers the subjects of Human improvement and functions; Gender and loved ones; progress, Poverty and coverage; and Society, Politics and heritage. it's a becoming tribute to Sen's personal contributions to the discourse on Society, associations and Development.

Contributors contain: Bina Agarwal, Isher Ahluwalia, Montek S Ahluwalia, Ingela Alger, Muhammad Asali, Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Pranab Bardhan, Lourdes Benería, Sugata Bose, Lincoln C. Chen, Martha regulate Chen, Kanchan Chopra, Simon Dietz, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Jonathan Glover, Cameron Hepburn, Jane Humphries, Rizwanul Islam, Ayesha Jalal, Mary Kaldor, Sunil Khilnani, Stephan Klasen, Jocelyn Kynch, Enrica Chiappero Martinetti, Kirsty McNay, Martha C. Nussbaum, Elinor Ostrom, Gustav Ranis, Sanjay G. Reddy, Emma Samman, Rehman Sobhan, Robert M. Solow, Nicholas Stern, Frances Stewart, Ashutosh Varshney, Sujata Visaria, and Jörgen W. Weibull.

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Additional info for Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen: Volume I: Ethics, Welfare, and Measurement

Sample text

I do sometimes point to some of the antecedents of his ideas, but not with the degree of completeness or rigor that a proper inquiry into the history of thought would demand. 1 The Sen system of social evaluation is best motivated by comparing and contrasting it with utilitarianism—that great idea of the nineteenth century which provided the moral underpinnings of a great many subsequent developments in philosophy, political theory and the social sciences. A useful starting point is the familiar factorization of utilitarianism into its three components: 2 r r r Consequentialism Welfarism Sum-ranking These three components can be seen as raising three general questions regarding the contents of an evaluative system and then providing specific answers to them that together constitute the system of utilitarianism (Sen 1979).

The second question asks: if the focus of evaluation is to be on the consequences, which particular features of the consequent states of affairs should count towards valuation? The utilitarian answer is: the only aspect of the consequent state of affairs that matters for moral or social evaluation is the well-being of individuals as measured by the level of utility they enjoy. This exclusive focus on utility as the object of evaluation is known as 1 Space also does not permit a full-fledged critical evaluation of Sen’s system of social evaluation by judging it against competing perspectives.

The issue involved was how to conceptualize the “appropriate” space of outcomes. While welfarism focused exclusively on the space of utilities, Sen argued for an alternative space that retained some concern for a particular conception of utility but went much beyond it. However, in the process of building an alternative to welfarism he was soon led to consider important modifications of consequentialism as well. While strongly defending the principle of taking consequences seriously, he accepted the arguments of many opponents of utilitarianism that an exclusive focus on outcomes, even if defined much more broadly than utility, was not enough for the purposes of moral evaluation.

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