Monday, August 24, 2009

Essays in honor of Amartya Sen

Arguments for a Better World:
Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen

Volume I:
Ethics, Welfare, and Measurement

Volume II:
Society, Institutions, and Development

Edited by Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

(Oxford University Press, 2009)


Amartya Sen has made deep and lasting contributions to the academic disciplines of economics, philosophy, and the social sciences more broadly. He has engaged in policy dialogue and public debate, advancing the cause of a human development focused policy agenda, and a tolerant and democratic polity. This argumentative Indian has made the case for the poorest of the poor, and for plurality in cultural perspective. It is not surprising that he has won the highest awards, ranging from the Nobel Prize in Economics to the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor. This public recognition has gone hand in hand with the affection and admiration that Amartya's friends and students hold for him.

The two volumes contents 58 essays, written in honor of his 75th birthday by his students and peers, covers the range of contributions that Sen has made to knowledge. They are written by some of the world's leading economists, philosophers and social scientists, and address topics such as ethics, welfare economics, poverty, gender, human development, society and politics.

The first volume covers the topics of Ethics, Normative Economics and Welfare; Agency, Aggregation and Social Choice; Poverty, Capabilities and Measurement; and Identity, Collective Action and Public Economics. The second volume covers the topics of Human Development and Capabilities; Gender and Household; Growth, Poverty and Policy; and Society, Politics and History.

Among the essays can be mentioned:

John Broome: Why Economics Needs Ethical Theory [paper]

Edmund S. Phelps: The Good Life and the Good Economy: The Humanist Perspective of Aristotle, the Pragmatists and Vitalists, and the Economic Justice of John Rawls [paper]

Mozaffar Qizilbash: The Adaptation Problem, Evolution and Normative Economics [paper]

T. M. Scanlon: Rights and Interests

Arjun Sengupta: Elements of a Theory of the Right to Development

Ingrid Robeyns: Justice as Fairness and the Capability Approach [paper]

Sabina Alkine: Concepts and Measures of Agency [paper]

Kwame Anthony Appiah: Sen's Identities

A. B. Atkinson: Welfare Economics and Giving for Development [paper]

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr: Human Rights and Human Development [paper]

Jonathan Glover: Identity, Violence and the Power of Illusion

Ayesha Jalal: Freedom and Equality: From Iqbal's Philosophy to Sen's Ethical Concerns

Martha C. Nussbaum: The Clash Within: Democracy and the Hindu Right

Elinor Ostrom: Engaging Impossibilities and Possibilities [paper]

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