Amartya Sen is a well-known Indian economist, writer and a philosopher famous for bringing practical solutions to reduce the affects of famine. After completing his graduation from the University of Cambridge he was appointed as the head of the economics department at a university in India. He took a break after a couple of years to pursue his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He further served as a professor of Economics at renowned institutions like London School of Economics. He debuted as a writer with ‘Collective Choice and Social Welfare’ through which he discussed various issues like justice and equality. He further wrote many books before the controversial essay titled ‘More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing’ where he discussed the social issue of gender inequality. This was followed by his book ‘The Possibility of Social Choice’ which was honored with the Nobel Prize Lecture. His next publication ‘Development as Freedom’ was acknowledged by the Noble Prize committee as a significant work in the field of economics. Apart from the Noble Prize, he has also been honored with ‘Bharat Ratna', the highest civilian award of India. He continues to enlighten the world with his great intellect while serving as a professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. Amartya Sen has influenced and inspired a large number of academics and students through his work, thoughts, philosophy and books. His views on various economic and social issues are quoted extensively. We bring to you a treasure trove of quotes and sayings that have been excerpted from his work, books, essays, interviews and writings. Read on to explore a compilation of some of the best known quotations by Amartya Sen.
Human development, as an approach, is concerned with what I take to be the basic development idea: namely, advancing the richness of human life, rather than the richness of the economy in which human beings live, which is only a part of it.
Starvation is the characteristic of some people not having enough food to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being not enough food to eat.
Education makes us the human beings we are. It has major impacts on economic development, on social equity, gender equity. In all kinds of ways, our lives are transformed by education and security. Even if it had not one iota of effect [on] security, it would still remain in my judgment the biggest priority in the world.
No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy.
We need to ask the moral questions: Do I have a right to be rich? And do I have a right to be content living in a world with so much poverty and inequality? These questions motivate us to view the issue of inequality as central to human living.
Globalization can be very unjust and unfair and unequal, but these are matters under our control. Its not that we dont need the market economy. We need it. But the market economy should not have priority or dominance over other institutions.
A society can be Pareto optimal and still perfectly disgusting.
Resenting the obtuseness of others is not good ground for shooting oneself in the foot.
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
A defeated argument that refuses to be obliterated can remain very alive.
Any classification according to a singular identity polarizes people in a particular way, but if we take note of the fact that we have many different identities - related not just to religion but also to language, occupation and business, politics, class and poverty, and many others - we can see that the polarization of one can be resisted by a fuller picture. So knowledge and understanding are extremely important to fight against singular polarization.
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.
Education could be a great vehicle for gender equity. It allows people to see what your rights are by reading. Quite often women, for example, may have rights that they are not in the position to actually make use of.