Individual judgments and social choice in Sen's idea of justice and democracy
The aim of this paper is to propose a conceptual reconstruction of Sen’s conception of individual judgments, through a back-and-forth analysis between his democratic theory of justice and social choice theory. Firstly, while this is never explicitly presented in Sen’s work, we highlight the importance of the three following elements in the characterization of judgments: position, objectivity and the sense of otherness. Once combined, these three conditions are necessary in order to characterize positional judgments, which, unlike individual preferences, are relevant for justice issues. Secondly, we identify two forces which, in Sen’s view, drive the evolution of such judgments: a widened informational basis and sentiments. This leads us to conclude that a relevant approach to communication, i.e., one which acknowledges the scope of positional judgments and the forces at the source of their evolution, is a third condition for a fruitful transformation of judgments. This last point constitutes, according to us, a missing element in Sen’s idea of justice.
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