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The Impossibility of Social Choice and the Possibilities of Individual Values: Political and Philosophical Liberalism Reconsidered

Author

Listed:
  • Werner Güth

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Hartmut Kliemt

    (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management)

Abstract

Though the social choice of social institutions or social results is impossible - there is, strictly speaking, no social choice - individual evaluations of social institutions or results trivially are possible. Such individual evaluations can be deemed liberal either because they emphasize political institutions that embody liberal values (political liberalism) or because individuals make up their mind in a specifically "liberal" way of forming ethical judgment (philosophical liberalism). Seen in this light the Paradox of Liberalism is of theoretical or philosophical interest but not a practical problem of political (institutional) liberalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, 2008. "The Impossibility of Social Choice and the Possibilities of Individual Values: Political and Philosophical Liberalism Reconsidered," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-061, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2008-061
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Philosophical Liberalism; Political Liberalism; Public Choice; Social Choice;

    JEL classification:

    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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