Symposium on Amartya Sen's philosophy: 2 Unstrapping the straitjacket of ‘preference’: a comment on Amartya Sen's contributions to philosophy and economics

  title={Symposium on Amartya Sen's philosophy: 2 Unstrapping the straitjacket of ‘preference’: a comment on Amartya Sen's contributions to philosophy and economics},
  author={Elizabeth S. Anderson},
  journal={Economics and Philosophy},
  pages={21 - 38}
  • E. Anderson
  • Published 1 April 2001
  • Economics
  • Economics and Philosophy
The concept of preference dominates economic theory today. It performs a triple duty for economists, grounding their theories of individual behavior, welfare, and rationality. Microeconomic theory assumes that individuals act so as to maximize their utility – that is, to maximize the degree to which their preferences are satisfied. Welfare economics defines individual welfare in terms of preference satisfaction or utility, and social welfare as a function of individual preferences. Finally… 

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