Symposium on Amartya Sen's philosophy: 2 unstrapping the straitjacket of ‘preference’: A comment on Amartya Sen's contributions to philosophy and economics

Economics and Philosophy 17 (1):21-38 (2001)
The concept of preference dominates economic theory today. It performs a triple duty for economists, grounding their theories of individual behavior, welfare, and rationality. Microeconomic theory assumes that individuals act so as to maximize their utility – that is, to maximize the degree to which their preferences are satisfied. Welfare economics defines individual welfare in terms of preference satisfaction or utility, and social welfare as a function of individual preferences. Finally, economists assume that the rational act is the act that maximally satisfies an individual's preferences. The habit of framing problems in terms of the concept of preference is now so entrenched that economists rarely entertain alternatives.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0266267101000128
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,822
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Herlinde Pauer‐Studer (2006). Identity, Commitment and Morality. Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (3):349-369.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Amartya Sen (2009). Economics, Law, and Ethics. In Reiko Gotoh & Paul Dumouchel (eds.), Against Injustice: The New Economics of Amartya Sen. Cambridge University Press
Mozaffar Qizilbash (2007). Social Choice and Individual Capabilities. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (2):169-192.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

138 ( #13,688 of 1,724,745 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #46,974 of 1,724,745 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.