Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 886
Neoliberalism/SenVsNeoliberalism/Sen: Misunderstanding theories of negative freedom, says Sen, are often less a matter of private control over spheres of action than of their design. Instead: Freedom manifests itself not only through a choice between (given) alternatives, but also in the choice of (potentially better) alternatives and in the search for them. That is why Sen appreciates the tradition of the theories of "positive freedom".(1) In Sens's eyes, the primary distinction relevant to freedom is therefore not quantitative (as a plus or minus to
Brocker I 887
state authority), but qualitative: It depends on how and for what purpose that violence is used. Only secondary to these considerations can their quantitative measure be plausibly discussed.
Sen does, however, form a coalition with defenders of negative freedom to the extent that he, like this dictatorship of happiness, rejects any kind of dictatorship that promises people life chances at the expense of their civic freedoms.


1. A.Sen, Rationality and Freedom, Cambridge, Mass./London 2002, S. 509


Claus Dierksmeier, „Amartya Sen, Ökonomie für den Menschen (1999)“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconSen I
Amartya Sen
Collective Choice and Social Welfare: Expanded Edition London 2017

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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