Editor’s Note: Professor Amartya Sen visited campus at the invitation of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, the S.J. Quinney College of Law, and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. More than 650 people attended the lecture at Libby Gardner Hall on the University of Utah Campus.
The essence of Professor Amartya Sen’s presentation was that global development should not be construed with a narrow focus on economic growth (measured in terms of GDP), but with a broader emphasis on human growth.
Idealized ethics and justice often fails to take note of people’s actual lives, so we need to devise a comparative method of measuring justice that takes us beyond the metrics of rational choice to the broader arena of social choice.
To be focused on identifying the demands of perfect justice is an exercise in futility due to the possibly divergent priorities over competing demands such as the utilitarian, the egalitarian, and the libertarian.
Accordingly, Professor Sen presented a comparative and pluralistic method that is primarily about rectifying injustices, not locating perfect justice.