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Towards a Hermeneutics of Justice: Reflections on Amartya Sen’s Philosophy
Roberto Alejandro
Sen’s philosophy of justice concentrates on social realizations and not on the quest for perfect institutions. It is also a philosophy that welcomes incompleteness instead of looking for allencompassing answers. This philosophy calls into question the social contract tradition as one more interested in defining an institutional arrangement than in reaching actual outcomes in the domain of justice. An examination of Thomas Hobbes', and John Rawls' respective theories suggests that their focus is on urgent problems, which are a condition of war in Hobbes' analysis and illegitimate inequalities in Rawls' arguments. Sen’s philosophy advocates a careful scrutiny of public reasons in order to justify public policies. In light of the distortions that prejudices and economic power introduce in public debates, an accountability index is needed to act as a moral dam against the prejudices that may derail the formulation of public policies.

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