Teaching Arrow's Theorem

Teaching Philosophy 33 (2):173-186 (2010)
Amartya Sen has recently urged that political philosophers pay attention to social choice theory in their deliberations about justice. However, despite its merits, social choice theory is not standardly part of undergraduate political philosophy. One difficulty is that it involves symbolic logic and difficult concepts. We can reduce this challenge by making the material no harder than it needs to be. I consider the standard proof of Arrow’s Theorem, a seminal result. Kenneth Arrow does not explicate the role of the irrelevance of independent alternatives. Sen and Wulf Gaertner have offered clarifications, but I shall elucidate the full role
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