By Kate Soper
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Additional resources for Humanism and Anti-Humanism
To some extent, it is also possible to accommodate antipathy and sympathy for others in this framework. Thus, in general, the economists’ commitment to the assumption of self-centered welfare is far from complete, although the assumption does play a crucial role in the two fundamental theorems of welfare economics. However, even when economists relax the assumption of self-centered welfare, they typically retain the assumptions of a self-welfare goal and self-goal choice, which, together, imply self-welfare choice.
Sen (1987a) argues that, when agents recognize such interdependence, they may adopt rules of behavior that serve to promote better the goals of all the members of the entire community. 6. Some Observations We would like to conclude this section with a few observations. From the earlier discussion in this section, it is clear that Sen’s critique of the preference-based theory of rational choice in economics consists of three distinct parts – his criticism of the assumption of the self-oriented welfare, his criticism of the assumption of the self-welfare goal, and, ﬁnally, his criticism of the assumption of self-goal choice.
It is then easy to see that even when the consumer’s choices in the “true” space of bread, milk, and meat satisfy WARP, the truncated versions of the choices, when we look only at the quantities of bread and milk bought, can easily violate WARP. Thus, the issue of whether the violation of Condition α or WARP is to be regarded as an “inconsistent” or “irrational” choice on the part of the agent is inextricably intertwined with the issue of whether the space of options that the economist starts with in modeling the agent’s behavior reﬂects the motives and concerns of the agent.
Humanism and Anti-Humanism by Kate Soper