Utilitas 18 (1):33-51 (2006)

Authors
Robert Sugden
University of East Anglia
Abstract
I compare Mill's and Sen's accounts of the value of opportunity, focusing on a tension between two ideas they both uphold: that individual freedom is an important component of well-being, and that, because desires can be adaptive, actual desire is not always a good indicator of what will give well-being. The two writers' responses to this tension reflect different understandings of the relationship between freedom and desire. Sen links an individual's well-being to her freedom to choose what she has reason to desire, and looks to a democratic political process for a collective judgement about what it is rational to desire. Mill links the individual's well-being to her freedom to act on her own desires, whatever they may be, within the constraints imposed by a fair initial distribution of resources. He sees no need for collective judgement about what is ultimately valuable in human life. I side with Mill. (Published Online February 16 2006).
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820805001810
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The Eclipse of Value-Free Economics. The Concept of Multiple Self Versus Homo Economicus.Aleksander Ostapiuk - 2020 - Wrocław, Polska: Publishing House of Wroclaw University of Economics and Business.
An Agency‐Based Capability Theory of Justice.Rutger Claassen - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1279-1304.
Opportunity as Mutual Advantage.Robert Sugden - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):47-68.

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