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Amartya Sen

Datum narození: 3. listopad 1933
Další jména: Amartya Kumar Sen

Amartya Kumar Sen je indický bengálský ekonom a filozof. Roku 1998 byl vyznamenán Nobelovou cenou za ekonomii „za příspěvek k ekonomii blahobytu“, tedy za své práce o teorii lidského rozvoje, státu blahobytu a mechanismech vzniku chudoby.


„Jestliže se vám z představy cizího utrpení dělá špatně, jde o případ soucitu. Mohli bychom říct, že projevy soucitu jsou v jednom důležitém ohledu egoistické, neboť pokud člověka těší potěšení jiných a bolí ho jejich bolest, může úsilí o vlastní prospěch vést k soucitnému jednání.“

„the identity of an individual is essentially a function of her choices, rather than the discovery of an immutable attribute“ The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity


„The increasing tendency towards seeing people in terms of one dominant ‘identity’ (‘this is your duty as an American’, ‘you must commit these acts as a Muslim’, or ‘as a Chinese you should give priority to this national engagement’) is not only an imposition of an external and arbitrary priority, but also the denial of an important liberty of a person who can decide on their respective loyalties to different groups (to all of which he or she belongs).“ The Idea of Justice

„A society can be Pareto optimal and still perfectly disgusting.“

„While I am interested both in economics and in philosophy, the union of my interests in the two fields far exceeds their intersection“

„A defeated argument that refuses to be obliterated can remain very alive.“

„It is important to reclaim for humanity the ground that has been taken from it by various arbitrarily narrow formulations of the demands of rationality“

„Resenting the obtuseness of others is not good ground for shooting oneself in the foot.“


„Famines are easy to prevent if there is a serious effort to do so, and a democratic government, facing elections and criticisms from opposition parties and independent newspapers, cannot help but make such an effort. Not surprisingly, while India continued to have famines under British rule right up to independence … they disappeared suddenly with the establishment of a multiparty democracy and a free press. … a free press and an active political opposition constitute the best early-warning system a country threaten by famines can have“

„Nor let us be resentful when others differ from us. For all men have hearts, and each heart has its own leanings. Their right is our wrong, and our right is their wrong.“ The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity

„The notion of human right builds on our shared humanity. These rights are not derived from the citizenship of any country, or the membership of any nation, but are presumed to be claims or entitlements of every human being. They differ, therefore, from constitutionally created rights guaranteed for specific people.“ The Idea of Justice

„Unceasing change turns the wheel of life, and so reality is shown in all it's many forms. Dwell peacefully as change itself liberates all suffering sentient beings and brings them great joy.“


„While we cannot live without history, we need not live within it either.“ The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity

„If a theory of justice is to guide reasoned choice of policies, strategies or institutions, then the identification of fully just social arrangements is neither necessary nor sufficient.“ The Idea of Justice

„Hindutava's nationalism ignores the rationalist traditions of India, a country in which some of the earliest steps in algebra, geometry, and astronomy were taken, where the decimal system emerged, where early philosophy — secular as well as religious — achieved exceptional sophistication, where people invented games like chess, pioneered sex education, and began the first systematic study of political economy. The Hindu militant chooses instead to present India — explicitly or implicitly — as a country of unquestioning idolaters, delirious fanatics, belligerent devotees, and religious murderers“

„The World Bank has not invariably been my favorite organization. The power to do good goes almost always with the possibility to do the opposite, and as a professional economist, I have had occasions in the past to wonder whther the Bank could not have done very much better.“ Development as Freedom

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