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Welfarism is a form of consequentialism. Like all forms of consequentialism, welfarism is based on the premise that actions, policies, and/or rules should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences. Welfarism is the view that the morally significant consequences are impacts on human (or animal) welfare. There are many different understandings of human welfare, but the term "welfarism" is usually associated with the economic conception of welfare.[citation needed] Economists usually think of individual welfare in terms of utility functions. Social welfare can be conceived as an aggregation of individual utilities or utility functions. Welfarism can be contrasted to other consequentialist theories, such as classical utilitarianism, which takes utility among agents as directly accessible and measurable.

Welfarist views have been especially influential in the law and economics movement.[citation needed] Steven Shavell and Louis Kaplow have argued in an influential book, Fairness versus Welfare that welfare should be the exclusive criteria by which legal analysts evaluate legal policy choices.[1]

Penal welfarism[edit]

Penal welfarism is a theory in the field of criminal justice, which holds that prisoners should have the right and the positive motivation to gain opportunities for advancement within the criminal justice system.[2]

Outcome utilitarianism, welfarism, and sum-ranking[edit]

Sen (1979) provides the following two definitions:

"Welfarism: The judgment of the relative goodness of alternative states of affairs must be based exclusively on, and taken as an increasing function of, the respective collections of individual utilities in these states."

"Sum-ranking: One collection of individual utilities is at least as good as another if and only if it has at least as large a sum total."

Sen makes the statement: "It is easily checked that welfarism and sum-ranking together are exactly equivalent to outcome utilitarianism." He then proceeds to criticize outcome utilitarianism by criticizing each of its two components: first sum-ranking, and then welfarism.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell, Fairness versus Welfare (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press 2002) ISBN 0-674-00622-4
  2. ^ Garland - the crisis of penal modernism

Bibliography[edit]

  • Amartya Sen, 'Utilitarianism and Welfarism' in The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 76, No. 9 pp. 463-489. 1979.

External links[edit]


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1121 news items

 
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Mon, 12 Jan 2015 08:43:43 -0800

Like all things political in Hong Kong, the proposed future fund has its share of advocates and critics. But what I find interesting is that the panel of experts and officials behind it has been stealing ideas from past critics about how to run the ...
 
Peninsula On-line
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 01:45:00 -0800

The city-state has traditionally frowned upon welfarism, but it has become one of the fastest-graying societies in the world. Life expectancy in Singapore now stands at 82.5 years, according to the statistics department. A health ministry primer said ...

Breitbart News

Breitbart News
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:18:45 -0800

He has also proposed economic initiative as a solution to welfarism, and advocated a solidarity “which would allow all peoples to become the artisans of their destiny,” and has pushed for “an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple ...

Spectator.co.uk (blog)

Spectator.co.uk (blog)
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 06:06:40 -0800

David Cameron ran down the clock very effectively at PMQs. With only a few sessions left between now and the general election, Cameron blocked Miliband's questions on the health service by demanding that the Labour leader apologise for apparently ...

South China Morning Post (subscription)

South China Morning Post (subscription)
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:24:53 -0800

"Some worry whether Hong Kong is heading down the road of welfarism and populism as the government needs to win hearts and minds; we are determined to build a caring society here, but without being populist." The director of the Hong Kong Federation ...
 
National Review Online
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 14:11:50 -0800

The Greek liberals, being the most consistent (and most powerless) critics of the welfarism and clientelism of Greek politics are as anti-populist as anybody. For Greek liberals, the Euro (and membership in the European Union generally) was supposed to ...

Breitbart News

Breitbart News
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:37:30 -0800

Pope Francis said that the current economic crisis requires “initiative” to overcome the consequences of economic difficulties and unemployment, avoiding the temptations of “welfarism” and “indifference.” “We must renew working relationships,” Francis ...

South China Morning Post (subscription)

South China Morning Post (subscription)
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:57:54 -0800

The sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone has been repeatedly cited to demonstrate Hong Kong's need for high fiscal and monetary surpluses and the danger of European-style welfarism with its excessive public spending that leads to heavy debt.
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