Tag Archives: Sen

Sen, ‘The Idea of Justice’, Chapter 16, ‘The Practice of Democracy’

This chapter covers three empirical issues relating to democracy: 1) the connection between democracy (or public reasoning—Sen seems to use these terms interchangeably) and famine, 2) the connection between democracy and economic development and 3) the promotion of tolerance toward … Continue reading

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Sen, ‘The Idea of Justice’, Chapter 15, ‘Democracy as Public Reason’

In chapter 15 of The Idea of Justice, “Democracy as Public Reason,” Sen defends the idea that democracy is a universal value. Can democracy flourish outside the west? One reason for thinking it can’t is that it (supposedly) has never … Continue reading

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Sen, ‘The Idea of Justice’, Chapter 12, ‘Capabilities and Resources’

Chapter 12, Capabilities and Resources, begins with the well-known contrasts between capabilities (as what opportunities people actually have) and resourcist views. Sen then outlines four kinds of contingencies that figure importantly into the conversion of resources into the lives people … Continue reading

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Sen, ‘The Idea of Justice’ (Chapter 9, ‘Plurality of Impartial Reasons’)

This chapter continues in the vein of the preceding ones by using Rawls as a foil in order to lay out some general concepts that presumably will be developed in the second half of the book.  Accordingly, many of my … Continue reading

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Sen Reading Group Schedule Note

Dear Public Reasoners, As some of you may have noticed already, the comment for chapter 8 has not been posted yet.  I regret that I did not notice this myself until today (I have been preoccupied with some unexpected difficulties … Continue reading

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Sen, ‘The Idea of Justice’ (Chapter 5, Impartiality and Objectivity)

In this chapter, Sen weaves together three different lines of thought: Wollstonecraft’s critique of Burke, impartiality as a minimalist basis for evaluative objectivity, and the role of convention in the relations among facts and values. 1. Sen identifies two features … Continue reading

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