Construing sen on commitment

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29 Scopus citations


Why does Sen maintain that people are capable of putting their own goals offline and deliberating and acting out of sheer commitment to others? How can he endorse such a rejection of the belief-desire model of agency? The paper canvasses three explanations and favors one that ascribes an unusual position to Sen: the belief that so far as agents remain in the belief-desire mould, they cannot deliberate on the basis of reasons other than those that derive from standing goals that form an integrated system. What he thinks of as deliberation on the basis of commitment is just the sort of deliberation that involves the formation of a novel, perhaps occasion-specific goal in which the good of another is prioritised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Economics and Econometrics


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