Amartya Sen

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Amartya Kumar Sen
Amartya Sen , c2000 (4379246038).jpg
Sen in 2000
Born
Amartya Kumar Sen

(1933-11-03) 3 November 1933 (age 85)
NationalityIndian
Spouse(s)
Nabaneeta Dev Sen
(m. 1958;div. 1976)

Eva Colorni
(m. 1978;her death 1985)

Institution
Field Welfare economics, development economics, ethics
School or
tradition
Capability approach
Alma mater University of Calcutta (BA)
University of Cambridge (BA, MA, PhD)
Influences
Contributions Human development theory
Awards Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1998)
Bharat Ratna (1999)
National Humanities Medal (2012) [3]
Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science (2017)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc
Website scholar.harvard.edu/files/sen/files/cv_sen_amartya_jan2013_0.pdf
Notes
Children: Antara Dev Sen (daughter)
Nandana Sen (daughter)
Indrani (daughter)
Kabir (son)

Amartya Kumar Sen, CH , FBA (Bengali:  [ˈɔmort:o ˈʃen]; born 3 November 1933) is an Indian economist and philosopher, who since 1972 has taught and worked in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Sen has made contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines, and indices of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries.

Fellow of the British Academy award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences

Fellowship of the British Academy (FBA) is an award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. There are three kinds of fellowship

  1. Fellows, for scholars resident in the United Kingdom
  2. Corresponding Fellows, for scholars not resident in the UK
  3. Honorary Fellows, an honorary academic title
Economist professional in the social science discipline of economics

An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.

Philosopher person with an extensive knowledge of philosophy

A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom". The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.

Contents

He is the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University [4] and member of faculty at Harvard Law School. He is a Fellow and former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge and was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences [5] in 1998 and India's Bharat Ratna in 1999 for his work in welfare economics. In 2017, Sen was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science [6] for most valuable contribution to Political Science.

At Harvard University, the title of University Professor is an honor bestowed upon a very small number of its tenured faculty members whose scholarship and other professional work have attained particular distinction and influence. The University Professorship is Harvard's most distinguished professorial post.

Harvard Law School law school in Cambridge

Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1817, it is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. It is ranked first in the world by the QS World University Rankings and the ARWU Shanghai Ranking.

Trinity College, Cambridge constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England

Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.

In 2004, Sen was ranked number 14 in BBC's poll of the Greatest Bengali of all time. [7] [8] [9]

<i>Greatest Bengali of all time</i>

Soon after the completion of 100 Greatest Britons poll in 2002, the BBC organized a similar opinion poll to find out who is the greatest Bengali personality in Bengali nation's history of thousand years. In 2004, BBC's Bengali Service conducted the opinion poll with the title Greatest Bengali of all time started from February 11 continued onto March 22. The poll was participated by Bengalis around the world including from Bangladesh, India and overseas Bengali communities.

Early life and education

'Pratichi', Sen's house in Shantiniketan AmartyaSenHouse.jpg
'Pratichi', Sen's house in Shantiniketan

Amartya Sen was born in a Hindu family in Bengal, British India, in the district of modern day Bangladesh, Manikganj. Rabindranath Tagore gave Amartya Sen his name (Bengali অমর্ত্য ômorto, lit. "immortal"). Sen's family was from Wari and Manikganj, Dhaka, both in present-day Bangladesh. His father Ashutosh Sen was a professor of chemistry at Dhaka University who moved with his family to West Bengal in 1945 and worked at various government institutions, including the West Bengal Public Service Commission (of which he was the chairman), and the Union Public Service Commission. Sen's mother Amita Sen was the daughter of Kshiti Mohan Sen, a well-known scholar of ancient and medieval India and close associate of Rabindranath Tagore. He served as the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University for some years.

Bengal Region in Asia

Bengal is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Geographically, it is made up by the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta system, the largest such formation in the world; along with mountains in its north bordering the Himalayan states of Nepal and Bhutan and east bordering Burma.

Rabindranath Tagore Bengali poet and philosopher

Rabindranath Tagore, also known by his sobriquets Gurudev, Kabiguru, and Biswakabi, was a Bengali polymath, poet, musician, and artist from the Indian subcontinent. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal".

Manikganj District District in Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

Manikganj is a district in central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka Division.

Sen began his high-school education at St Gregory's School in Dhaka in 1940. In fall 1941, Sen was admitted to Patha Bhavana, Shantiniketan, where he completed his school education, in which he excelled, obtaining the highest ranks in his school board and I.A. examinations in the whole of Bengal. The school had many progressive features, such as distaste for examinations or competitive testing. In addition, the school stressed cultural diversity, and embraced cultural influences from the rest of the world. [10] In 1951, he went to Presidency College, Kolkata, where he earned a B.A. in Economics with First in the First Class, with a minor in Mathematics, as a graduating student of the University of Calcutta. While at Presidency, Sen was diagnosed with oral cancer, and given a 15% chance of living five years. [11] With radiation treatment, he survived, and in 1953 he moved to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned a second B.A. in Economics in 1955 with a First Class, topping the list as well. At this time, he was elected President of the Cambridge Majlis. While Sen was officially a Ph.D student at Cambridge (though he had finished his research in 1955–56), he was offered the position of First-Professor and First-Head of the Economics Department of the newly created Jadavpur University in Calcutta. He is still the youngest chairman to have headed the Department of Economics. He served in that position, starting the new Economics Department, from 1956 to 1958.

University of Calcutta public state university in Kolkata, West Bengal

The University of Calcutta is a collegiate public state university located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India established on 24 January 1857. It was the first institution in Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and secular Western-style university.

Jadavpur University University in Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Jadavpur University is a public state university located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.The National Institutional Ranking Framework has ranked it 12 among engineering institutes in India in 2018, 13 overall and 6th among universities. JU has achieved autonomous university status by UGC in 2018.

Meanwhile, Sen was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College, which gave him four years of freedom to do anything he liked; he made the radical decision to study philosophy. Sen explained: "The broadening of my studies into philosophy was important for me not just because some of my main areas of interest in economics relate quite closely to philosophical disciplines (for example, social choice theory makes intense use of mathematical logic and also draws on moral philosophy, and so does the study of inequality and deprivation), but also because I found philosophical studies very rewarding on their own". [12] His interest in philosophy, however, dates back to his college days at Presidency, where he read books on philosophy and debated philosophical themes. One of the books he was most interested in was Kenneth Arrow's Social Choice and Individual Values. [13]

Philosophy intellectual and/or logical study of general and fundamental problems

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Social choice theory or social choice is a theoretical framework for analysis of combining individual opinions, preferences, interests, or welfares to reach a collective decision or social welfare in some sense. A non-theoretical example of a collective decision is enacting a law or set of laws under a constitution. Social choice theory dates from Condorcet's formulation of the voting paradox. Kenneth Arrow's Social Choice and Individual Values (1951) and Arrow's impossibility theorem in it are generally acknowledged as the basis of the modern social choice theory. In addition to Arrow's theorem and the voting paradox, the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem, the Condorcet jury theorem, the median voter theorem, and May's theorem are among the more well known results from social choice theory.

Mathematical logic is a subfield of mathematics exploring the applications of formal logic to mathematics. It bears close connections to metamathematics, the foundations of mathematics, and theoretical computer science. The unifying themes in mathematical logic include the study of the expressive power of formal systems and the deductive power of formal proof systems.

In Cambridge, there were major debates between supporters of Keynesian economics on the one hand, and the "neo-classical" economists who were skeptical of Keynes, on the other. However, because of a lack of enthusiasm for social choice theory in both Trinity and Cambridge, Sen had to choose a different subject for his Ph.D. thesis, which was on "The Choice of Techniques" in 1959, though the work had been completed much earlier (except for some valuable advice from his adjunct supervisor in India, Professor A.K. Dasgupta, given to Sen while teaching and revising his work at Jadavpur) under the supervision of the "brilliant but vigorously intolerant" post-Keynesian, Joan Robinson. [14] Quentin Skinner notes that Sen was a member of the secret society Cambridge Apostles during his time at Cambridge. [15]

During 1960-61, Amartya Sen visited M.I.T., on leave from Trinity College, and found it a great relief to get away from the rather sterile debates that the contending armies were fighting in Cambridge.

Research work

Sen's work on 'Choice of Techniques' complemented that of Maurice Dobb. In a Developing country, the Dobb-Sen strategy relied on maximising investible surpluses, maintaining constant real wages and using the entire increase in labour productivity, due to technological change, to raise the rate of accumulation. In other words, workers were expected to demand no improvement in their standard of living despite having become more productive. Sen's papers in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped develop the theory of social choice, which first came to prominence in the work by the American economist Kenneth Arrow. Arrow, while working at the RAND Corporation, had most famously shown that when voters have three or more distinct alternatives (options), any ranked order voting system will in at least some situations inevitably conflict with what many assume to be basic democratic norms. Sen's contribution to the literature was to show under what conditions Arrow's impossibility theorem [16] applied, as well as to extend and enrich the theory of social choice, informed by his interests in history of economic thought and philosophy.

Official Portrait at the Nobel Prize Amartya Sen NIH.jpg
Official Portrait at the Nobel Prize

In 1981, Sen published Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (1981), a book in which he argued that famine occurs not only from a lack of food, but from inequalities built into mechanisms for distributing food. Sen also argued that the Bengal famine was caused by an urban economic boom that raised food prices, thereby causing millions of rural workers to starve to death when their wages did not keep up. [17]

Sen's interest in famine stemmed from personal experience. As a nine-year-old boy, he witnessed the Bengal famine of 1943, in which three million people perished. This staggering loss of life was unnecessary, Sen later concluded. He presents data that there was an adequate food supply in Bengal at the time, but particular groups of people including rural landless labourers and urban service providers like haircutters did not have the means to buy food as its price rose rapidly due to factors that include British military acquisition, panic buying, hoarding, and price gouging, all connected to the war in the region. In Poverty and Famines, Sen revealed that in many cases of famine, food supplies were not significantly reduced. In Bengal, for example, food production, while down on the previous year, was higher than in previous non-famine years. Sen points to a number of social and economic factors, such as declining wages, unemployment, rising food prices, and poor food-distribution, which led to starvation. His [[capabilities approach]] focuses on [[positive freedom]], a person's actual ability to be or do something, rather than on negative freedom approaches, which are common in economics and simply focuses on non-interference. In the Bengal famine, rural laborers' negative freedom to buy food was not affected. However, they still starved because they were not positively free to do anything, they did not have the functioning of nourishment, nor the capability to escape morbidity.

In addition to his important work on the causes of famines, Sen's work in the field of development economics has had considerable influence in the formulation of the "Human Development Report", [18] published by the United Nations Development Programme. [19] This annual publication that ranks countries on a variety of economic and social indicators owes much to the contributions by Sen among other social choice theorists in the area of economic measurement of poverty and inequality.

Sen's revolutionary contribution to development economics and social indicators is the concept of "capability" developed in his article "Equality of What". [20] He argues that governments should be measured against the concrete capabilities of their citizens. This is because top-down development will always trump human rights as long as the definition of terms remains in doubt (is a "right" something that must be provided or something that simply cannot be taken away?). For instance, in the United States citizens have a right to vote. To Sen, this concept is fairly empty. In order for citizens to have a capacity to vote, they first must have "functionings". These "functionings" can range from the very broad, such as the availability of education, to the very specific, such as transportation to the polls. Only when such barriers are removed can the citizen truly be said to act out of personal choice. It is up to the individual society to make the list of minimum capabilities guaranteed by that society. For an example of the "capabilities approach" in practice, see Martha Nussbaum's Women and Human Development. [21]

He wrote a controversial article in The New York Review of Books entitled "More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing" (see Missing women of Asia), analyzing the mortality impact of unequal rights between the genders in the developing world, particularly Asia. Other studies, including one by Emily Oster, had argued that this is an overestimation, though Oster has since then recanted her conclusions. [22]

In 1999, Sen further advanced and redefined the capability approach in his book Development as Freedom . [23] Sen argues that development should be viewed as an effort to advance the real freedoms that individuals enjoy, rather than simply focusing on metrics such as GDP or income-per-capita. Sen was inspired by violent acts he had witnessed as a child leading up to the Partition of India in 1947. On one morning, a Muslim laborer named Kader Mia stumbled through the rear gate of Sen's family home, bleeding from a knife wound in his back. Because of his extreme poverty, he had come to Sen's primarily Hindu neighborhood searching for work; his choices were the starvation of his family or the risk of death in coming to the neighborhood. The price of Kader Mia's economic unfreedom was his death. This experience led Sen to begin thinking about economic unfreedom from a young age.

In Development as Freedom, Sen outlines five specific types of freedoms: political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security. Political freedoms, the first of these, refers to the ability of the people to have a voice in government and to be able to scrutinize the authorities. Economic facilities concern both the resources within the market and the market mechanism itself. Any focus on income and wealth in the country would serve to increase the economic facilities for the people. Social opportunities deal with the establishments that provide benefits like healthcare or education for the populace, allowing individuals to live better lives. Transparency guarantees allow individuals to interact with some degree of trust and knowledge of the interaction. Protective security is the system of social safety nets that prevent a group affected by poverty being subjected to terrible misery. Before Sen's work, these had been viewed as only the ends of development; luxuries afforded to countries that focus on increasing income. However, Sen argues that the increase in real freedoms should be both the ends and the means of development. He elaborates upon this by illustrating the closely interconnected natures of the five main freedoms as he believes that expansion of one of those freedoms can lead to expansion in another one as well. In this regard he discusses the correlation between social opportunities of education and health and how both of these complement economic and political freedoms as a healthy and well-educated person is better suited to make informed economic decisions and be involved in fruitful political demonstrations etc. A comparison is also drawn between China and India to illustrate this interdependence of freedoms. Both countries were working towards developing their economies, China since 1979 and India since 1991. Despite the fact that India opened its economy about a decade later, it was able to see more rapid development as it had always been pro health and education so its population was much more productive than that of China, where health and education was unavailable to about half of the population.

Welfare economics seeks to evaluate economic policies in terms of their effects on the well-being of the community. Sen, who devoted his career to such issues, was called the "conscience of his profession". His influential monograph Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), which addressed problems related to individual rights (including formulation of the liberal paradox), justice and equity, majority rule, and the availability of information about individual conditions, inspired researchers to turn their attention to issues of basic welfare. Sen devised methods of measuring poverty that yielded useful information for improving economic conditions for the poor. For instance, his theoretical work on inequality provided an explanation for why there are fewer women than men in India [24] and China despite the fact that in the West and in poor but medically unbiased countries, women have lower mortality rates at all ages, live longer, and make a slight majority of the population. Sen claimed that this skewed ratio results from the better health treatment and childhood opportunities afforded boys in those countries, as well as sex-selective abortions.

Governments and international organizations handling food crises were influenced by Sen's work. His views encouraged policy makers to pay attention not only to alleviating immediate suffering but also to finding ways to replace the lost income of the poor—for example through public works—and to maintain stable prices for food. A vigorous defender of political freedom, Sen believed that famines do not occur in functioning democracies because their leaders must be more responsive to the demands of the citizens. In order for economic growth to be achieved, he argued, social reforms—such as improvements in education and public health—must precede economic reform. [25]

In 2009, Sen published a book called The Idea of Justice . [1] Based on his previous work in welfare economics and social choice theory, but also on his philosophical thoughts, he presented his own theory of justice that he meant to be an alternative to the influential modern theories of justice of John Rawls or John Harsanyi. In opposition to Rawls but also earlier justice theoreticians Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau or David Hume, and inspired by the philosophical works of Adam Smith and Mary Wollstonecraft, Sen developed a theory that is both comparative and realizations-oriented (instead of being transcendental and institutional). However, he still regards institutions and processes as being important. As an alternative to Rawls's veil of ignorance, Sen chose the thought experiment of an impartial spectator as the basis of his theory of justice. He also stressed the importance of public discussion (understanding democracy in the sense of John Stuart Mill) and a focus on people's capabilities (an approach that he had co-developed), including the notion of universal human rights, in evaluating various states with regard to justice.

Professional career

Sen began his career both as a teacher and a research scholar in the Department of Economics, Jadavpur University as a Professor of Economics in 1956. He spent two years in that position. From 1957 to 1963, Sen served as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Between 1960 and 1961, Sen was a visiting Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, where he got to know Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow, Franco Modigliani, and Norbert Wiener. [26] He was also a visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley (1964-1965) and Cornell (1978-1984). He taught as Professor of Economics between 1963 and 1971 at the Delhi School of Economics (where he completed his magnum opus Collective Choice and Social Welfare in 1969). [27]

During this time Sen was also a frequent visitor to various other premiere Indian economic schools and centres of excellence like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Statistical Institute, Centre for Development Studies, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and Centre for Studies in Social Sciences. He was a companion of distinguished economists like Manmohan Singh (Ex-Prime Minister of India and a veteran economist responsible for liberalizing the Indian economy), K. N. Raj (Advisor to various Prime Ministers and a veteran economist who was the founder of Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, which is one of India's premier think tanks and schools) and Jagdish Bhagwati (who is known to be one of the greatest Indian economists in the field of International Trade and currently teaches at Columbia University). This is a period considered to be a Golden Period in the history of DSE. In 1971, he joined the London School of Economics as a Professor of Economics where he taught until 1977. From 1977 to 1988, he taught at the University of Oxford, where he was first a Professor of Economics and Fellow of Nuffield College, and then the Drummond Professor of Political Economy and a Fellow of All Souls College from 1980.

In 1987, Sen joined Harvard as the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor of Economics. In 1998 he was appointed as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, [28] becoming the first Asian head of an Oxbridge college. [29] In January 2004, Sen returned to Harvard. He also established the Eva Colorni Trust at the former London Guildhall University in the name of his deceased wife.

Nalanda Project

In May 2007, he was appointed as chairman [30] of Nalanda Mentor Group to examine the framework of international cooperation, and proposed structure of partnership, which would govern the establishment of Nalanda International University Project as an international centre of education seeking to revive the ancient center of higher learning which was present in India from the 5th century to 1197.

On 19 July 2012, Sen was named the first chancellor of the proposed Nalanda University (NU). [31] Teaching began in August 2014. On 20 February 2015, Amartya Sen withdrew his candidature for a second term.

Membership and associations

He has served as president of the Econometric Society (1984), the International Economic Association (1986–1989), the Indian Economic Association (1989) and the American Economic Association (1994). He has also served as President of the Development Studies Association and the Human Development and Capability Association. He serves as the honorary director of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Human and Economic Development Studies at Peking University in China. [32]

Sen has been called "the Conscience of the profession" and "the Mother Teresa of Economics" [33] [34] for his work on famine, human development theory, welfare economics, the underlying mechanisms of poverty, gender inequality, and political liberalism. However, he denies the comparison to Mother Teresa, saying that he has never tried to follow a lifestyle of dedicated self-sacrifice. [35] Amartya Sen also added his voice to the campaign against the anti-gay Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. [36]

Sen has served as Honorary Chairman of Oxfam, the UK based international development charity, and is now its Honorary Advisor. [37] [38]

Sen is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council. [39]

Sen is an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. [40]

Media and culture

A 56-minute documentary named Amartya Sen: A Life Re-examined directed by Suman Ghosh details his life and work. [41] [42] A movie on Amartya Sen's book The Argumentative Indian will be released soon .

A 2001 portrait of Sen by Annabel Cullen is in Trinity College's collection. [43] A 2003 portrait of Sen hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. [44]
In 2011, he was present at the Rabindra Utsab ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Bangladesh. He unveiled the cover of Sruti Gitobitan, a Rabindrasangeet album comprising all the 2222 Tagore songs, brought out by Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, principal of Shurer Dhara School of Music. [45]

Political views

Sen was critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was announced as the prime ministerial candidate by the BJP. In April 2014, he said that Modi would not make a good Prime Minister. [46] However, he conceded later in December 2014 that Modi did give people a sense of faith that things can happen. [47] In February 2015, Sen opted out of seeking a second term for the chancellor post of Nalanda University, stating that the Government of India was not keen on him continuing in the post. [48]

Personal life and beliefs

Sen has been married three times. His first wife was Nabaneeta Dev Sen, an Indian writer and scholar, with whom he had two daughters: Antara, a journalist and publisher, and Nandana, a Bollywood actress. Their marriage broke up shortly after they moved to London in 1971. [33] In 1978 Sen married Eva Colorni, an Italian economist, daughter of Eugenio Colorni and Ursula Hirschmann and niece of Albert O. Hirschman. The couple had two children, a daughter Indrani, who is a journalist in New York, and a son Kabir, a hip hop artist, MC, and music teacher at Shady Hill School. Eva died of cancer in 1985. [33] In 1991, Sen married Emma Georgina Rothschild, who serves as the Jeremy and Jane Knowles Professor of History at Harvard University.

The Sens have a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is the base from which they teach during the academic year. They also have a home in Cambridge, England, where Sen is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Rothschild is a Fellow of Magdalene College. He usually spends his winter holidays at his home in Shantiniketan in West Bengal, India, where he used to go on long bike rides until recently. Asked how he relaxes, he replies: "I read a lot and like arguing with people." [33]

Sen is an atheist and holds that this can be associated with one of the atheist schools in Hinduism, the Lokayata. [49] [50] [51] In an interview for the magazine California, which is published by the University of California, Berkeley, he noted: [52]

In some ways people had got used to the idea that India was spiritual and religion-oriented. That gave a leg up to the religious interpretation of India, despite the fact that Sanskrit had a larger atheistic literature than exists in any other classical language. Madhava Acharya, the remarkable 14th century philosopher [53] , wrote this rather great book called Sarvadarshansamgraha, which discussed all the religious schools of thought within the Hindu structure. The first chapter is "Atheism"—a very strong presentation of the argument in favor of atheism [54] and materialism.

Awards and honours

Sen has received over 90 honorary degrees from universities around the world. [55]

Bibliography

Books

1960–1979

1980–1989

Reprinted as: Sen, Amartya (1999). Choice, Welfare, and Measurement. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN   9780674127784.
Reviewed in the Social Scientist: Sanyal, Amal (October 1983). ""Choice, welfare and measurement" by Amartya Sen". Social Scientist. 11 (10): 49–56. doi:10.2307/3517043. JSTOR   3517043.
Reprinted as: Sen, Amartya (1984). Collective Choice and Social Welfare (2nd ed.). New York, NY: North-Holland Sole distributors for the U.S.A. and Canada, Elsevier Science Publishing Co. ISBN   9780444851277.
Reprinted as: Sen, Amartya (1999). Commodities and Capabilities (2nd ed.). Delhi New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN   9780195650389. Reviewed in The Economic Journal. [62]

1990–1999

Also printed as: Sen, Amartya (November 2003). Inequality Reexamined. Oxford Scholarship Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/0198289286.001.0001. ISBN   9780198289289.
Extract 1. (Via Ian Stoner, lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota, readings.)
Extract 2.
Review in Asia Times. [63]

2000–2009

Preview.
Chapter-preview links – 1.
Chapter-preview links – 2.
Review The Guardian. [64]
Review The Washington Post. [65]
Extract: "Imperial illusions: India, Britain, and the wrong lessons."

2010 onwards

Preview.

Choice of Techniques (1960), Growth Economics (1970), Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), On Economic Inequality (1973, 1997); Poverty and Famines (1981); Utilitarianism and Beyond (jointly with Bernard Williams, 1982); Choice, Welfare and Measurement (1982), Commodities and Capabilities (1985), The Standard of Living (1987), On Ethics and Economics (1987); Hunger and Public Action (jointly with Jean Drèze, 1989); Inequality Re-examined (1992); The Quality of Life (jointly with Martha Nussbaum, 1993); Development as Freedom (1999); Rationality and Freedom (2002); The Argumentative Indian (2005); Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (2006), The Idea of Justice (2009), An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions (jointly with Jean Drèze, 2013), and The Country of First Boys (2015).

Chapters in books

Reprinted as: Sen, Amartya (2010), "Equality of what?", in MacMurrin, Sterling M., The Tanner lectures on human values, 4 (2nd ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 195–220, ISBN   9780521176415.
Pdf version.
Reprinted in Sen, Amartya (2012), "Development as capability expansion", in Saegert, Susan; DeFilippis, James, The community development reader, New York: Routledge, ISBN   9780415507769.

Journal articles

Lecture transcripts

News coverage of the 1998 Romanes Lecture in the Oxford University Gazette. [66]

Papers

Selected works in Persian

A list of Persian translations of Amartya Sen's work is available here

See also

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Philosophy and economics, also philosophy of economics, studies topics such as rational choice, the appraisal of economic outcomes, institutions and processes, and the ontology of economic phenomena and the possibilities of acquiring knowledge of them.

Partha Dasgupta British economist

Sir Partha Sarathi Dasgupta, FRS, FBA, is the Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor at the New College of the Humanities, London. He was born in Dhaka, present-day Bangladesh, then moved to present-day India, and is the son of the noted economist Amiya Kumar Dasgupta. He is married to Carol Dasgupta, who is a psychotherapist. His father-in-law was the Nobel Laureate James Meade.

Jean Drèze is a Belgian-born Indian economist and activist. He has worked on several developmental issues facing India like hunger, famine, gender inequality.

Capability approach economic theory

The capability approach is an economic theory conceived in the 1980s as an alternative approach to welfare economics. In this approach, Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum bring together a range of ideas that were previously excluded from traditional approaches to the economics of welfare. The core focus of the capability approach is on what individuals are able to do.

Tony Atkinson British economist

Sir Anthony Barnes "Tony" Atkinson was a British economist, senior research fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics.

Bina Agarwal Indian development economist

Bina Agarwal is a prize-winning development economist and Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester. She has written extensively on land, livelihoods and property rights; environment and development; the political economy of gender; poverty and inequality; legal change; and agriculture and technological transformation. Among her best known works is the award-winning book—A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia—which has had a significant impact on governments, NGOs, and international agencies in promoting women's rights in land and property. This work has also inspired research in Latin America and globally.

Kotaro Suzumura Japanese economist

Kotaro Suzumura is a Japanese economist and professor emeritus of Hitotsubashi University. He graduated from Hitotsubashi University in 1966. His research interests have included social choice theory and welfare economics. He was also a Fellow of the Econometric Society.

Martin Ravallion Australian economist

Martin Ravallion, is an Australian economist. As of 2013 he was the inaugural Edmond D. Villani Professor of Economics at Georgetown University, and previously had been director of the research department at the World Bank. He holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Ingrid Robeyns philosopher

Ingrid A.M. Robeyns holds the Chair Ethics of Institutions at Utrecht University, Faculty of Humanities and the associated Ethics Institute.

Prasanta Kumar Pattanaik, is emeritus professor at the Department of Economics at the University of California, a research associate for the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI), and a fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association.

Sanjiv M. Ravi Kanbur, is T.H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He worked for the World Bank for almost two decades and was the director of the World Development Report.

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  43. Artist: Annabel Cullen | Subject: Amartya Sen (2001). Amartya Sen (b.1933), Master (1998–2004), Economist and Philosopher (Painting). Trinity College, University of Cambridge: Art UK.
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  50. "Amartya Sen speaks on culture at World Bank". Tokyo: The World Bank & Broadcast. 13 December 2000. Retrieved 16 June 2014. When a Hindu priest begins the puja today, invoking an alternative calendar and declaring the year 1406, what is he remembering? Mohamed’s flight from Mecca to Medina, in a mixed lunar and solar form! ... This is why cultural studies are so important, because it brings out clearly how non-insular cultures are and their willingness to accept new influences. Pdf transcript. Archived 11 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  51. Chanda, Arup (28 December 1998). "Market economy not the panacea, says Sen". Rediff On The Net. Retrieved 16 June 2014. Although this is a personal matter... But the answer to your question is: No. I do not believe in god.
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  53. Not to be confused with Madhvacharya of Dwaitya vedanta the 13th century saint, this book is by a different philosopher of the 14th century http://www.gutenberg.org/files/34125/34125-h/34125-h.htm
  54. The book has not got anything to do with atheism only the first chapter is Purva paksha Mīmāṃsā of atheism, the rest of the chapters put a Purva paksha for rest of the philosophies that originated in India and the last chapter that is missing in the book and later editions touch on Advaita Vedanta. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/34125/34125-h/34125-h.htm
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Further reading

Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Michael Atiyah
Master of Trinity College, University of Cambridge
1998–2004
Succeeded by
Sir Martin Rees
Educational offices
Preceded by
Herbert Scarf
President of the Econometric Society
1984 – 1985
Succeeded by
Daniel McFadden
Preceded by
Kenneth Arrow
President of the International Economic Association
1986 – 1989
Succeeded by
Anthony B. Atkinson
Preceded by
Zvi Griliches
President of the American Economic Association
1994 – 1995
Succeeded by
Victor R. Fuchs
New creation President of the Human Development and Capability Association
September 2004 – September 2006
Succeeded by
Martha Nussbaum
Awards
Preceded by
Robert C. Merton / Myron S. Scholes
Laureates of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
1998
Succeeded by
Robert A. Mundell
Preceded by
M. S. Subbulakshmi / Chidambaram Subramaniam
Recipient of the Bharat Ratna
1999
Served alongside: Jayaprakash Narayan, Gopinath Bordoloi, Ravi Shankar
Succeeded by
Lata Mangeshkar / Bismillah Khan