Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics (2022)

Authors
Sanjit Chakraborty
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata
Abstract
Amartya Sen’s remarkable endeavour to realize the normative capability of welfare economics goes beyond the impecunious resultants of the neoclassical welfare economy. The neoclassical welfare economy decoratively bracketed values to speculate about factual observations. This was due to the influence of logical positivists and their convictions about experimental scientific statements (primarily mathematical) and their vicinity to empirical truths and analytic statements. Sen adequately inquires “whether morality can be expressed in the form of choice between preference patterns rather than between actions” (Sen, 1997a, 78). “A new phase classical theory” in economics from the hands of Sen and some others put forth two pivotal issues in a unified manner: a. Mathematical models of an economy. b. Ethical reflection on the subject of welfare economy–a value-laden enterprise in Sen’s literature. In general, welfarists and utilitarians affirm that moral values are anchored in individual agency and involve mental metric utilities (pleasure, happiness, pain etc.). This focus, first of all, results in a disadvantage, as it undermines freedom in terms of achievement. Secondly, it pays no heed to achievement reasonably giving more importance to those who are incapable of reflecting on any one of those mental metrics. Besides, Sen argues that equality of opportunity does not accord with the equality of freedom, and its reason is rooted in the scope of the incongruity of human beings and the diversified meanings of efficiency. Developing a general methodological approach to revisit the notion of inequality concerned by exploring a particular substantive stand that Sen aims to underscore involves examining how social arrangements work to define freedom, capabilities, and welfare to ensure comparisons and assessments of quality of life.
Keywords Capability approach  Welfare economics  Well-Being  Agency freedom  Choice  Normativity  Amartya Sen
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