Nozick on Sen

The next subsection of Chapter 7 (pp. 164-166) contains a dense digression on Chapters 6 and 6* of Amartya K. Sen’s advanced treatise on Collective Choice and Social Welfare (pictured below). We won’t comment on Nozick’s treatment of Sen’s work here, except to say that his short digression has spawned some secondary scholarly controversy. See, for example, C. R. Perelli-Minetti’s 1977 paper “Nozick on Sen: A Misunderstanding” — published in Vol. 8 of the journal Theory and Decisions on pp. 387-383 — and Miles Sonstegaard’s 1987 paper “Nozick on Sen: A Reply to Perelli-Minetti” — published in Vol. 22 of the same journal on pp. 203-207. Unfortunately, both of those intriguing papers are gated. Once we are are able to obtain copies of those papers, we will revisit Nozick’s treatment of Sen. For now, in terms of the overall number of pages in Anarchy, State, and Utopia, we are now half-way through Nozick’s book!

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