LSE Announces “Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies”


The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has created a new academic position in honor of philosopher and economist Amartya Sen  who was a professor there from 1971-82.

Called the “Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies,” its holder will serve as Director of the LSE International Inequalities Institute, which facilitates interdisciplinary work on subjects related to inequality.

Sen, currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and National Humanities Medal in 2012, and is the recipient of many other honors. He works in welfare economics, development economics, social choice theory, economic theory, and political philosophy. Among his most well-known ideas is the “capability approach” to human well-being, which he introduced and went on to develop with Martha Nussbaum (Chicago).

Though Sen is known as both an economist and a philosopher, it appears that philosophers are not among those eligible to hold the Sen Chair. According to the advertisement for the position, it is “open to a scholar from any social science discipline.” Philosophy is typically grouped with the humanities, not the social sciences.

Amartya Sen

 

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Ian
Ian
2 years ago

I was a Master’s student at the LSE a few years ago. The department has an orientation towards philosophy such that it conceives of philosophy as continuous with the natural and social sciences. I wouldn’t be surprised if the university as a whole had that orientation as well. For that reason, I would be surprised if the LSE weren’t willing to consider a social science-minded philosopher for this position. But take that with a grain of salt. I obviously have no inside knowledge.Report

Johanna Thoma
Johanna Thoma
2 years ago

For what it’s worth, our department at the LSE awards BScs and MScs in Philosophy, not BAs and MAs. And to lead the International Inequalities Institute well, you would need a serious footing in the social sciences – just like Sen does. I would assume that philosophers aren’t excluded as long as they are the kind of philosopher Sen is… Report

Alnica
Alnica
2 years ago

Though comparatively rare, philosophy does sometimes get placed in the social sciences by some universities, especially in Commonwealth countries. Since LSE markets itself as specialising exclusively in the social sciences (see, for example, http://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse), I wouldn’t be surprised that it is one such university. The ad also mentions that the appointee will ideally be affiliated with one of LSE’s departments, but does not limit which of its departments this can be. So I’m pretty sure they would consider philosophers for the position too.Report

Brian Weatherson
Brian Weatherson
2 years ago

The most famous philosophy program in the Southern Hemisphere is based in the Research School of Social Sciences at ANU. Report