amartya sen The Idea of Justice

ISBN 13: 9780141037851

The Idea of Justice

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9780141037851: The Idea of Justice
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Social justice: an ideal, forever beyond our grasp; or one of many practical possibilities? More than a matter of intellectual discourse, the idea of justice plays a real role in how—and how well—people live. And in this book the distinguished scholar Amartya Sen offers a powerful critique of the theory of social justice that, in its grip on social and political thinking, has long left practical realities far behind.

The transcendental theory of justice, the subject of Sen’s analysis, flourished in the Enlightenment and has proponents among some of the most distinguished philosophers of our day; it is concerned with identifying perfectly just social arrangements, defining the nature of the perfectly just society. The approach Sen favors, on the other hand, focuses on the comparative judgments of what is “more” or “less” just, and on the comparative merits of the different societies that actually emerge from certain institutions and social interactions.

At the heart of Sen’s argument is a respect for reasoned differences in our understanding of what a “just society” really is. People of different persuasions—for example, utilitarians, economic egalitarians, labor right theorists, no­-nonsense libertarians—might each reasonably see a clear and straightforward resolution to questions of justice; and yet, these clear and straightforward resolutions would be completely different. In light of this, Sen argues for a comparative perspective on justice that can guide us in the choice between alternatives that we inevitably face.

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About the Author:

, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, is Lamont University Professor, Harvard University.

Review:

The most important contribution to the subject since John Rawls' A Theory of Justice. Sen argues that what we urgently need in our troubled world is not a theory of an ideally just state, but a theory that can yield judgments as to comparative justice, judgments that tell us when and why we are moving closer to or farther away from realizing justice in the present globalized world.
--Hilary Putnam, Harvard University

In lucid and vigorous prose, The Idea of Justice gives us a political philosophy that is dedicated to the reduction of injustice on Earth rather than to the creation of ideally just castles in the air. Amartya Sen brings political philosophy face to face with human aspiration and human deprivation in the real world, to whose improvement he has devoted his intellectual life.
--G. A. Cohen, University of Oxford

A major critical analysis and synthesis. Sen's inclusive approach transcends the many important scholars and viewpoints that he analyzes. The Idea of Justice presents a set of considerations on justice of importance to both the academic community and to the world of policy formation.
--Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Stanford University

Few contemporary thinkers have had as much direct impact on world affairs as Amartya Sen --Philippe Van Parijs, Louvain University

In the courtliest of tones, Mr. Sen charges John Rawls, an American philosopher who died in 2002, with sending political thinkers up a tortuous blind alley. The Rawlsian project of trying to describe ideally just institutions is a distracting and ultimately fruitless way to think about social injustice, Mr. Sen complains. Such a spirited attack against possibly the most influential English-speaking political philosopher of the past 100 years will alone excite attention. The Idea of Justice serves also as a commanding summation of Mr. Sen's own work on economic reasoning and on the elements and measurement of human well-being...Mr. Sen writes with dry wit, a feel for history and a relaxed cosmopolitanism...The Idea of Justice is a feast...Nobody can reasonably complain any longer that they do not see how the parts of Mr. Sen's grand enterprise fit together...Mr. Sen ends, suitably, with democracy. It can take many institutional forms, he says. But none succeeds without open debate about values and principles. To that vital element in public reason, as he calls it, The Idea of Justice is a contribution of the highest rank. (The Economist 2009-08-06)

[Sen's] magnum opus on a line of work he's long addressed and now thoroughly re-examines: justice theory...In repeatedly bringing back into the discussion Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, Sen signals the need for justice theory to reconnect to realistic human psychology, not the phony formal rationalism that infects modern economics or the for-sake-of-argument altruism that anchors Rawls's project.
--Carlin Romano (Chronicle of Higher Education 2009-09-14)

An original contribution to political philosophy.
--Adam Kirsch (City Journal 2009-09-11)

Sen's whole book is a cornucopia of commonsense humane advice combined with analytical insight, and far wiser than those thinkers who try to derive all their recommendations from one usually questionable overriding value.
--Samuel Brittan (Financial Times 2009-09-04)

In this intricate, endlessly thought-provoking book, Sen brings the full force of his formidable mind and his moral sense to show how specific questions--of chronic malnourishment, ill-health, demographic gender imbalance--must be analysed in terms of justice. Doing something about them is not a discretionary matter--it is a requirement of being human. Sen is the most sophisticated intellectual campaigner of our times--his arguments have shaped not just academic disciplines but the policies of governments and of global institutions like the World Bank.
--Sunil Khilnani (Financial Times online 2009-07-25)

Polymathic brilliance among scholars is now generally agreed to be a thing of the past. The advance of knowledge means that providing intellectual leadership in economics, political theory and philosophy, as John Stuart Mill did, is not possible...But someone forgot to tell all this to Amartya Sen.
--Richard Reeves (Sunday Times 2009-09-26)

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice is a refreshing alternative approach to mainstream theories of justice. Is justice an ideal, for ever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? At the heart of Sen s argument is his insistence on the role of public reason in establishing what can make societies less unjust. But there are always choices to be made between alternative assessments of what is reasonable, and competing positions can each be well defended. Rather than rejecting these pluralities, we should use them to construct a theory of justice that can accommodate divergent points of view. Sen also inspiringly shows how the principles of justice in the modern world must avoid parochialism and address vital questions of global injustice. The breadth of vision, intellectual acuity and striking humanity of one of the world s leading public intellectuals have never been more clearly shown than in this remarkable book. A major advance in contemporary thinking John Gray, Literary Review The most important contribution to the subject since John Rawls s A Theory of Justice Hilary Putnam, Harvard University Sen writes with dry wit, a feel for history and a relaxed cosmopolitanism . a conviction that economists and philosophers are in business to improve the world burns on almost every page Economist Sen s magisterial critique of the dominant mode of liberal political philosophy confirms him as the English-speaking world s pre-eminent public intellectual New Statesman Books of the Decade Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1998-2004. His most recent books are The Argumentative Indian, Identity and Violence and Development as Freedom. His books have been translated into thirty languages. Seller Inventory # APG9780141037851

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice is a refreshing alternative approach to mainstream theories of justice. Is justice an ideal, for ever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? At the heart of Sen s argument is his insistence on the role of public reason in establishing what can make societies less unjust. But there are always choices to be made between alternative assessments of what is reasonable, and competing positions can each be well defended. Rather than rejecting these pluralities, we should use them to construct a theory of justice that can accommodate divergent points of view. Sen also inspiringly shows how the principles of justice in the modern world must avoid parochialism and address vital questions of global injustice. The breadth of vision, intellectual acuity and striking humanity of one of the world s leading public intellectuals have never been more clearly shown than in this remarkable book. A major advance in contemporary thinking John Gray, Literary Review The most important contribution to the subject since John Rawls s A Theory of Justice Hilary Putnam, Harvard University Sen writes with dry wit, a feel for history and a relaxed cosmopolitanism . a conviction that economists and philosophers are in business to improve the world burns on almost every page Economist Sen s magisterial critique of the dominant mode of liberal political philosophy confirms him as the English-speaking world s pre-eminent public intellectual New Statesman Books of the Decade Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1998-2004. His most recent books are The Argumentative Indian, Identity and Violence and Development as Freedom. His books have been translated into thirty languages. Seller Inventory # APG9780141037851

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2010. Condition: New. 2010. 1St Edition. Paperback. Is justice an ideal, for ever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? This book offers a fresh approach to mainstream theories of justice. It shows how the principles of justice in the modern world must avoid parochialism and address vital questions of global injustice. Num Pages: 496 pages. BIC Classification: HPQ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 205 x 161 x 22. Weight in Grams: 342. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780141037851

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Book Description Penguin Books. Condition: New. 2010. 1St Edition. Paperback. Is justice an ideal, for ever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? This book offers a fresh approach to mainstream theories of justice. It shows how the principles of justice in the modern world must avoid parochialism and address vital questions of global injustice. Num Pages: 496 pages. BIC Classification: HPQ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 205 x 161 x 22. Weight in Grams: 342. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780141037851

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