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The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle

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  • Mariotti, Marco
  • Veneziani, Roberto

Abstract

We analyse the liberal ethics of non-interference applied to social choice. A liberal principle capturing noninterfering views of society and inspired by John Stuart Mill s conception of liberty, is examined. The principle captures the idea that society should not penalise agents after changes in their situation that do not a¤ect others. An impossibility for liberal approaches is highlighted: every social decision rule that satis es unanimity and a general principle of noninterference must be dictatorial. This raises some important issues for liberal approaches in social choice and political philosophy.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," SIRE Discussion Papers 2014-016, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:560
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    1. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    Keywords

    Liberalism; Harm Principle; Non-Interference; Impossibility;

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