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First Annual CEHV Distinguished Lecture in Ethics
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Amartya Sen
What's Wrong with Inequality?
Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 04:00pm - 05:30pm
Mershon Auditorium
1871 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

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Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University, and was until 2004 the master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is also senior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Earlier on he was professor of economics at Jadavpur University Calcutta, Delhi School of Economics, and London School of Economics, and Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University.

Sen has made contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines, and indexes of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 and Bharat Ratna in 1999 for his work in welfare economics. He was also awarded the inaugural Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize in recognition of his work on welfare economics in February 2015 during a reception at the Royal Academy in the United Kingdom.


Avoidance of inequality is one of the important social values which have been championed for a long time. This ethical judgment has become particularly relevant in the contemporary world both (1) because of the growing visibility of persistent inequality, and (2) because of a greater understanding of the need to justify social features that conflict with our values, especially in democratic societies. However, we have to ask: Why does inequality appear socially unreasonable to us at all? Among the many answers to this question, at least three would stand out. Read more

Amartya Sen's lecture is sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Human Values, and co-sponsored by Honors and Scholars, Office of International Affairs, Office of Research, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Department of Economics, Department of Philosophy, Department of Political Science, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Humanities Institute, Sustainable and Resilient Economy, Ohio State University Lima Campus, and Department of Philosophy at the College of Wooster.


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