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"Recent my work: Reiko Gotoh/economic philosophy"

GOTOH Reiko March 25, 2013



"Recent my work: Reiko Gotoh/economic philosophy"

On the one hand, I have focused on the conception of gbasic capabilityh, the critical point of well-being in the sense that the shortage of basic capability gives legitimacy to claims for social policies that transfer goods and services. This conception is an answer to the question of gequality of what?h which Sen himself reached after the long investigations on the plurality and the incompatibility of different spaces of equality. The idea to pursue equality not in the space of income or not in the space of welfare (that is, utility or happiness) but in the space of gbasic capabilityh is indeed expected to realize the equality of basic well-being freedom. Yet, actually, how to formulate equality of gbasic capabilityh operationally and how to specify factors which actually prevent her from choosing certain functioning vectors that she has a reason to choose is not evident. I have illustrated the way of formulating gbasic capabilityh taking a group of persons with limited visions as an example, by analyzing the inner-relationships of the factors and carving in relief its fractal structure such that: an individual capability is represented by an opportunity set of certain functionings, given her resources and her utilization ability, while her utilization ability itself is produced by her resources and her sub-functionings. Through this analysis, I have provided a framework of formulating the idea of gthe equality of differencesh in general and reexamines the problem of gadaptive preferenceh in particular.

On the other hand, I have traced the continuity and discontinuity between the methodology of political economy and the idea of liberalism in the works of Kenneth Arrow, John Rawls and Amartya Sen, using as reference the framework of social choice theory. My research question there is that: Can political economics contribute to proposing a theory which deconstructs the gthe constitution of libertyh in the direction of opening itself towards considerations which are external to itself? The underlying motivation is how we can explain the historical discontinuity in the welfare state, from a Hayekian or Keynesian model to a multicultural model which is more open to pluralism and sensitive to differences between individuals or groups.

I have pointed that Senfs new economics is an attempt to formulate a new methodology of science which renounces a narrow imperialism of reason. Yet, I must finally pointed out that Senfs idea on justice opens a perspective that goes beyond gconstitution of libertyh. To truly realize equality of differences based on the conception of capability, our considerations should go beyond making and implementing social institutions towards directly reaching individuals with names or pronouns. Second, and more importantly, to construct perfectly just institutions, if it were possible, is ethically wrong. This is so because, if we seriously respect individual freedom, we should not treat individual evaluations in such a way that they become fully internalized as operational factors in order to achieve ideal institutions, which are devised once and for all. This is the fundamental point where Senfs idea of justice departs from Rawls, and where it requires a new framework for gsociety as social cooperationh, one which actually goes beyond the reach of re-conceptualizing gthe constitution of libertyh.


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