Amartya K. Sen
Internationally known speaker, Nobel Prize in Economics
.Ethics and Economics
.Choice, Welfare and the Measurement
.Development as Freedom
Amartya Sen is Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, and Lamont University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He has served as President of the Econometric Society, the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association and the International Economic Association. He is also Honorary President of OXFAM.
Born in Santiniketan, India, in 1933, Amartya Sen studied at Presidency College in Calcutta India, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is an Indian citizen. Before joining Harvard in 1987, he was the Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University in England and a Fellow of All Souls College at Oxford from 1980 and Professor of Economics at Oxford in the 1977-80 period. Between 1971 and 1977, he was Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics. Prior to that he was Professor of Economics at Delhi University.
Social justice: an ideal, forever beyond our grasp; or one of many practical possibilities? More than a matter of intellectual discourse, the idea of justice plays a real role in how—and how well—people live. And in this book the distinguished scholar Amartya Sen offers a powerful critique of the theory of social justice that, in its grip on social and political thinking, has long left practical realities far behind.
The transcendental theory of justice, the subject of Sen’s analysis, flourished in the Enlightenment and has proponents among some of the most distinguished philosophers of our day; it is concerned with identifying perfectly just social arrangements, defining the nature of the perfectly just society. The approach Sen favors, on the other hand, focuses on the comparative judgments of what is “more” or “less” just, and on the comparative merits of the different societies that actually emerge from certain institutions and social interactions.
At the heart of Sen’s argument is a respect for reasoned differences in our understanding of what a “just society” really is. People of different persuasions—for example, utilitarians, economic egalitarians, labor right theorists, no-nonsense libertarians—might each reasonably see a clear and straightforward resolution to questions of justice; and yet, these clear and straightforward resolutions would be completely different. In light of this, Sen argues for a comparative perspective on justice that can guide us in the choice between alternatives that we inevitably face.