I am most grateful to Elizabeth Anderson (2000), Philip Pettit (2000) and Thomas Scanlon (2000) for making such insightful and penetrating comments on my work and the related literature. I have reason enough to be happy, having been powerfully defended in some respects and engagingly challenged in others. I must also take this opportunity of thanking Martha Nussbaum, for not only chairing the session in which these papers were presented followed by a splendid discussion (which she led), but also for (...) taking the initiative, in the first place, to arrange the session. (shrink)
First published in 1973, this book presents a systematic treatment of the conceptual framework as well as the practical problems of measurement of inequality. Alternative approaches are evaluated in terms of their philosophical assumptions, economic content, and statistical requirements. -/- In a new introduction, Amartya Sen, jointly with James Foster, critically surveys the literature that followed the publication of this book, and also evaluates the main analytical issues in the appraisal of economic inequality and poverty.
Amartya Sen (2009). Response. In Reiko Gotoh & Paul Dumouchel (eds.), Against Injustice: The New Economics of Amartya Sen. Cambridge University Press.score: 60.0
Two central issues for ethical analysis of equality are: (1) Why equality? (2) Equality of what? The two questions are distinct but thoroughly interdependent, We cannot begin to defend or criticize equality without knowing what on earth we are talking about, i,e., equality of what features (e,g., incomes, wealths, opportunities, achievements, freedoms, rights)? We cannot possibly answer the first question without addressing the second, That seems obvious enough.
This paper is about three distinct but interrelated problems: (1) the role 0f rights in moral theory, (2) thc characterization 0f agent relative values and their admissibility in consequ<—:ncc—bascd evaluation, and ( 3) the nature 0f moral evaluation 0f states 0f aihirs.
Personal identity and social identity are two very different concepts and the idea of getting them together, as Bhikhu Parekh proposes, within an integrated bundle of some `overall identity' raises serious questions of coherence. Personal identity demands the `sameness' of a person (Who is this guy? Am I still the same person that I was ten years ago?). Social identity is focused instead on our social affiliations, such as identifying with others with, say, the same nationality, or the same religion, (...) or same political partnership. We can make reasoned choices about our priorities in social affiliation. Those who want to make our social affiliation a matter of `discovery' rather than of choice may frighten us by saying that we would lose our overall identity if we were to choose to affiliate differently (for example as an Indian and not just as a Hindu, or as British and not just as a Muslim). To understand that there is no threat to personal identity involved in such choices is important both for clarity of analysis and for standing up against the herd behaviour of identity politics. (shrink)
It is a great privilege for me to be present at the launch of the Report on Making Infrastructure Work for the Poor prepared by the UNDP in collaboration with the Japanese Government. We have had high expectations about this forthcoming report, given the quality of the work that the UNDP has continued to produce (and the quality and dedication of the Poverty Group led now by Dr. Selim Jahan), and given the visionary commitment of the Japanese Government on developmental (...) issues, led - in this case - by JICA. Our expectations are not disappointed - a number of ideas and assessments of older theses can be found in the studies that lie.. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to gain attention atop the corporate agenda and is by now an important component of the dialogue between companies and their stakeholders. Nevertheless, there is still little guidance as to how companies can implement CSR activity in order to maximize returns to CSR investment. Theorists have identified many company-favoring outcomes of CSR; yet there is a dearth of research on the psychological mechanisms that drive stakeholder responses to CSR activity. Borrowing from the literatures on meansend (...) chains and relationship marketing, we propose a conceptual model that explains how CSR provides individual stakeholders with numerous benefits (functional, psychosocial, and values) and how the type and extent to which a stakeholder derives these benefits from CSR initiatives influences the quality of the relationship between the stakeholder and the company. The paper discusses the implications of these insights and highlights a number of areas for future research. (shrink)
The importance of business ethics is not contrdicted in any way by Adam Smith’s pointer to the fact that our “regards to our own interests” provide adequate motivation tor exchange. There are many important economic relationships other than exchange, such as the institution of production and arrangements of distribution. Here business ethics can playa major part. Even as far as exchange is concerned, business ethics can be crucially important in terms of organization and behavior, going weil beyond basic motivation.
In the summer of 1997, I was asked by a leading Japanese newspaper what I thought was the most important thing that had happened in the twentieth century. I found this to be an unusually thought-provoking question, since so many things of gravity have happened over the last hundred years. The European empires, especially the British and French ones that had so dominated the nineteenth century, came to an end. We witnessed two world wars. We saw the rise and fall (...) of fascism and Nazism. The century witnessed the rise of communism, and its fall (as in the former Soviet bloc) or radical transformation (as in China). We also saw a shift from the economic dominance of the West to a new economic balance much more dominated by Japan and East and Southeast Asia. Even though that region is going through some financial and economic problems right now, this is not going to nullify the shift in the balance of the world economy that has occurred over many decades (in the case of Japan, through nearly the entire century). The past hundred years are not lacking in important events. (shrink)
We live in a world in which the idea of human rights is persistently invoked. However, despite the tremendous appeal of the idea of human rights, it is also seen by many as lacking in foundation. I have argued, particularly in my book The Idea of Justice, that human rights are best seen as articulations of commitments in social ethics, comparable to — but very different from — accepting utilitarian reasoning. Like other ethical tenets, human rights can, of course, be (...) disputed, but the claim is that they will survive open and informed scrutiny.This view contrasts with seeing human rights in primarily legal terms, either as consequences of humane legislation, or as precursors of legal rights, or as pointing towards what should ideally be legal rights. Human rights may well be reflected in legislation, may inspire legislation, and may even serve, in many circumstances, as ideals that demand legislative attention. However, these are ‘further facts’— not the defining characteristics of human rights. (shrink)
Although the following essay does not strictly fall within the discipline of classical Indian philosophy, in which our Journal specializes, we publish it here for two reasons: (1) K. C. Bhattacharya was an outstanding philosopher of India in the past generation, and his thought was deeply influenced by his thorough study of classical Indian Vedanta and Jainism, as well as by the study of Kant (four of our consulting editors were his direct students). (2) His view about the notion of (...) the speakable and philosophy is unique, and it has remained opaque to most of us. Hence some discussion will be illuminating. (shrink)
This essay discusses the place of business principles and of moral sentiments in economic success, and examines the role of cultures in influencing norms of business behavior. Two presumptions held in standard economic analysis are disputed: the rudimentary nature of business principles (essentially restricted, directly or indirectly, to profit maximization), and the allegedly narrow reach of moral sentiments (often treated to be irrelevant to business and economics). In contrast, the author argues for the need to recognize the complex structure of (...) business principles and the extensive reach of moral sentiments by using theoretical considerations, a thorough analysis of Adam Smith’s work, and a careful interpretation of Japan’s remarkable economic success. Referring to the economic corruption in Italy and the “grabbing culture” in Russia, he further shows how deeply the presence or absence of particular features of business ethics can influence the operation of the economy, and even the nature of the society and itspolitics. Being an Indian himself, he warns against grand generalizations like the superiority of “Asian values” over traditional Western morals. To conclude, it is diversity—over space, over time, and between groups —that makes the study of business principles and moral sentiments a rich source of understanding and explanation. (shrink)
Abstract In The Joyless Economy, Tibor Scitovsky proposes a model of human behavior that differs substantially from that of standard economic theory. Scitovsky begins with a basic distinction between ?comfort? and ?stimulation.? While stimulation is ultimately more satisfying and creative, we frequently fall for the bewitching attractions of comfort, which leads to impoverished lives. Scitovsky's analysis has far?reaching implications not only for the idea of rationality, but for the concept of utility (by making it plural in nature) and, perhaps most (...) importantly, for the importance of freedom (including the freedom to change our preferences). (shrink)
This paper examines the ethical implications of "poison put" provisions included in bond offerings. A number of firms are using event-risk protections in bond offerings in an effort to attract investors back into the bond market. One of the most common event-risk protections is a "poison put" provision, which allows the bondholder to "put" the bond back to the firm at par or at a premium under certain specified conditions, such as a takeover effort or a downgrading of the bond (...) by rating agencies. While such a provision is obviously of value to the bondholders, there is a secondary effect that is not as obvious. Using such a provision helps to insure that boards of directors must put the interests of all of the stakeholders ahead of any personal interests of the board members, thus protecting the stakeholders. The use of event-risk protections helps to deter takeovers, induce bidders to negotiate with management in any takeover efforts, and avoid two-tier takeover offers. As a result, the "poison put" provisions have a positive impact on share values while simultaneously protecting the investments of bondholders. Such an impact makes the use of "poison put" provisions in bonds an ethical use of management power. (shrink)
Two types of logical consequence are compared: one, with respect to matrix and designated elements and the other with respect to ordering in a suitable algebraic structure. Particular emphasis is laid on algebraic structures in which there is no top-element relative to the ordering. The significance of this special condition is discussed. Sequent calculi for a number of such structures are developed. As a consequence it is re-established that the notion of truth as such, not to speak of tautologies, is (...) inessential in order to define validity of an argument. (shrink)
A. K. Sen (1986). Prediction and Economic Theory. In B. J. Mason, Peter Mathias & J. H. Westcott (eds.), Predictability in Science and Society: A Joint Symposium of the Royal Society and the British Academy Held on 20 and 21 March 1986. Distributed by Scholium International.score: 30.0