Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has been called the "Mother Teresa of economics" for his work on famine, human development theory and welfare economics. He argues that social justice is more than a matter of intellectual discourse, and that the idea of justice influences how - and how well -- people live.
Sen offers a powerful critique of the mainstream theories of justice that, despite their many specific achievements, he argues, have taken us in the wrong direction.
Robert Saldich is the Chair of the Board of Governors at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, CA.
Amartya Sen is a Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University and was until recently the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was formerly Honorary President of OXFAM and is now its Honorary Advisor.
Amartya Sen's books have been translated into more than thirty languages. His research has ranged over a number of fields in economics, philosophy, and decision theory, including social choice theory, welfare economics, theory of measurement, development economics, public health, gender studies, moral and political philosophy, and the economics of peace and war.
Amartya Sen has received honorary doctorates from major universities in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American
Philosophical Society. He was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory. Time magazine listed him under "60 years of Asian Heroes" in 2006 and included him in their "100 most influential persons in the world" for 2010. New Statesman listed him in their 2010 edition of 'World's 50 Most Influential People Who Matter'.
Amartya Sen addresses "survival of the fittest" as the ultimate form of justice.
He says that valuing survival of the fittest as a moral goal can lead to everything from genocide to the extinction of the entire human race. "Sometimes we want to go along with it, sometimes we don't," he says.