Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

What We Desire, What We Have Reason to Desire, Whatever We Might Desire: Mill and Sen on the Value of Opportunity

Contents:

Author Info

  • SUGDEN, ROBERT

Abstract

I compare Mill s and Sen s accounts of the value of opportunity, focusing on a tension between two ideas they both uphold: that individual freedom is an important component of well-being, and that, because desires can be adaptive, actual desire is not always a good indicator of what will give well-being. The two writers responses to this tension reflect different understandings of the relationship between freedom and desire. Sen links an individual s well-being to her freedom to choose what she has reason to desire, and looks to a democratic political process for a collective judgement about what it is rational to desire. Mill links the individual s well-being to her freedom to act on her own desires, whatever they may be, within the constraints imposed by a fair initial distribution of resources. He sees no need for collective judgement about what is ultimately valuable in human life. I side with Mill.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0953820805001810
File Function: link to article abstract page
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Utilitas.

Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 33-51

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:18:y:2006:i:01:p:33-51_00

Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU UK
Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_UTIProvider-Email:journals@cambridge.org

Related research

Keywords:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. David A. Clark, 2007. "Adaptation, Poverty and Well-Being: Some Issues and Observations with Special Reference to the Capability Approach and Development Studies," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-081, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 2009. "Well-Being, Preference Formation and the Danger of Paternalism," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-18, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  3. Binder, Martin & Witt, Ulrich, 2012. "A critical note on the role of the capability approach for sustainability economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 721-725.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:18:y:2006:i:01:p:33-51_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.