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The Violence of Aggregation: Amartya Sen’s Possibility of Social Choice

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Abstract

This article is about how Amartya Sen seeks to reconcile the individual-collective problem of social choice through an aggregation, not an individuation, of preferences. Sen seeks an optimistic way out of Kenneth Arrow’s social choice “pessimism,” yet he is in a logical paradox, for truly broadening the informational basis of social choice will only serve to affirm Arrow’s theorem. The problem is that a restriction of information, that is, the dividing of universal from particular information results in higher overall costs in the social order. Authors discuss how this process implicates the individual and his freedom.

Jacob Rodriguez and Steven Loomis, "The Violence of Aggregation: Amartya Sen's Possibility of Social Choice," Journal of Markets & Morality 12, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 35-49


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