Author: Amartya Sen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0-1956-7875-3
Rationality and freedom are among the most profound and contentious concepts in philosophy and the social sciences. This volume represents the distinguished economist and philosopher Amartya Sen’s on-going engagement with economic theory and social philosophy, and contributes to our understanding of the connections among rationality, freedom, and social justice.
Sen scrutinizes and departs from the standard criteria of rationality, and shows how it can be seen in terms of subjecting one’s values as well as choices to the demands of reason and critical scrutiny. This capacious approach is utilized to illuminate the demands of rationality in individual choice (including cost benefit analysis and environmental assessment).
Identifying a reciprocity in the relationship between rationality and freedom, Sen argues that freedom cannot be assessed independently of a person’s reasoned preferences and valuations, just as rationality, in turn, requires freedom of thought. Sen uses the discipline of social choice theory (a subject he has helped to develop) to illuminate the demands of reason and the assessment of freedom.
Rationality and Freedom is a striking tribute to its author, eminently reasonable in its conclusions and driven by a passion for human freedom in its widest sense.
A Masterstroke, Not only did Sen rescue Welfare Economics, he put the fizz back into the dream of Social Choice System that’s both efficient and equitable, This book, is gratifying not just for the value of the proposition made by one of the foremost thinkers of our times, but also for the warm compassion that makes itself felt so uniquely
Those seeking, to simultaneously engage social philosophy and economic theory will be delighted by this lucid and though-provoking book.
-The Financial Express
PART I: GENERAL INTRODUCTIONS
Introduction: Rationality and Freedom
The Possibility of Social Choice
PART II: RATIONALITY: FORM AND SUBSTANCE
Internal Consistency of Choice
Maximization and the Act of Choice
Goals, Commitment, and Identity
Rationality and uncertainty
Non-Binary Choice and Preference
PART III: RATIONALITY AND SOCIAL CHOICE
Rationality and Social Choice
Individual Preference as the Basis of Social Choice
Social Choice and Justice
Information and Invariance in Normative Choice
PART IV: LIBERTY AND SOCIAL CHOICE
Liberty and Social Choice
Rights: Formulation and Consequences
PART V: PERSPECTIVES AND POLICIES
On the Darwinian View of Progress
Markets and Freedom
Environment Evaluation and Social Choice
The Discipline of Cost-Benefit Analysis
PART VI: FREEDOM AND SOCIAL CHOICE: THE ARROW LECTURES
Opportunities and Freedoms
Processes, Liberty and Rights
Freedom and the Evaluation of Opportunity