Valentina Erasmo

The Foundational Decade to Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach (1970-1980)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: capability approach, individual preferences/collective choices, inequality, rationality, social welfare functions

Between 1970 and 1980, due to economization process of extra economic field of human existence and an exclusively economic understanding of rationality, Sen realized a reversal compared to this tendency, thanks to the critical exchange with his contemporaries, as Arrow, Rawls and Harsanyi, about assumptions concerning individual preferences/collective choices, inequalities, rationality and social welfare functions. Here, I have considered this period as the foundational decade to capability approach: this analysis is fundamental not only for showing the intellectual origin of this approach, but also for avoiding dangerous trivializations which hinders a proper understanding of it.

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