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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2Society, Institutions, and Development$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.001.0001

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Freedom and Equality

Freedom and Equality

From Iqbal's Philosophy to Sen'S Ethical Concerns

Chapter:
(p.452) Chapter 24 Freedom and Equality
Source:
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2
Author(s):

Ayesha Jalal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.003.0025

For a diehard secularist, Amartya Sen may not appear to have much in common with Muhammad Iqbal, the poet and philosopher of the East who took great pride in his Muslim identity. This chapter argues that the two, although removed in time and space, actually had broad-ranging and overlapping intellectual interests in philosophy, economics, politics, and nationalism. The philosophy and economics that molded Iqbal's thinking in the first decade of the 20th century were obviously different from what Sen was exposed to half a century later. Yet there are some important parallels in their philosophical conceptions of human freedom and equality that merit identification and elucidation. In analyzing these, the chapter demonstrates that far from being a barrier, their divergent stands on religion create a fruitful tension that offers fresh insights into the relevance of their respective approaches to the problem of poverty and inequality in the contemporary world.

Keywords:   Iqbal, Muhammad, Amartya Sen, education, human freedom, equality, Islamic ethics, Islamic political ideals, poverty, Western philosophy

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