By Christopher W. Morris
Amartya Sen was once presented the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1998 "for his contributions in welfare economics." even though his basic educational appointments were usually in economics, Sen can also be an enormous and influential social theorist and thinker. His paintings on social selection concept is seminal, and his writings on poverty, famine, and improvement, besides his contributions to ethical and political philosophy, are vital and influential. Sen's perspectives concerning the nature and primacy of liberty additionally make him an important modern liberal philosopher. This quantity of essays on facets of Sen's paintings is geared toward a wide viewers of readers drawn to social conception, political philosophy, ethics, public coverage, welfare economics, the idea of rational selection, poverty, and improvement. Written by means of a workforce of famous specialists, every one bankruptcy presents an summary of Sen's paintings in a specific region and a severe overview of his contributions to the sector.
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Extra resources for Amartya Sen (Contemporary Philosophy in Focus)
SEN ON THE CHOICE-BASED THEORY OF RATIONAL CHOICE In a series of papers over more than two decades, Sen (1973, 1977b, 1986a, 1986b, 1989, 1993, and 1994) offers a searching critique of the choicebased theory of rational choice. Can one really construct a theory of rational choice exclusively in terms of the agent’s choices and consistency conditions imposed on such choices without interpreting the agent’s choices in terms of his or her preferences or motivations? Sen has repeatedly asked this question, and, contrary to the position that sometimes seems to have been taken by several writers (see, for example, Samuelson [1938, 1947] and Little [1949, 1957]), Sen is skeptical about formulations of the theory of rational behavior exclusively in terms of choice and internal consistency of choice without any reference to underlying preferences.
Thus, given any set, H, of feasible alternatives, B(H, R) will emerge as the set, C(H ), of alternatives chosen by the agent from the set H. This is what makes the agent’s choices “preference-based” in this framework. (iii) R is typically assumed to be an ordering. In fact, the notion of rationality of preferences is often treated as being synonymous with the requirement that R be an ordering. Thus, in this framework, rational choice is simply choice generated by “rational” preferences, that is, by a preference ordering over X.
The Plausibility of Consistency Condition When Divorced from Considerations of the Agent’s Preferences and Motivations If the axioms of “revealed preference” are not to be accepted either as primitive requirements of consistency or as testable hypotheses and are to be judged in terms of their intuitive reasonableness instead, can such reasonableness be assessed without reference to the motivations and preferences of the agent? Sen (1993) does not think so. He gives several examples to argue that the mechanical applications of the consistency conditions, without reference to the agent’s motivations and preferences, may lead the agent to be branded as irrational in situations where, from an intuitive point of view, there may not be anything irrational about the agent’s choices.
Amartya Sen (Contemporary Philosophy in Focus) by Christopher W. Morris