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...Just like the baroque style, works in social choice can look wholly unconcerned with the world around us. But if this is true, then a curious puzzle emerges: What is Amartya Sen—the author of some of the most influential ideas in contemporary social thought—doing in a theoretical world that appears unconcerned with the “real” world? To address this puzzle we need to recognize the baroque façade of social choice as just that—a façade! What appears as mathematical wizardry can illuminate some of the most fundamental issues that a society faces. There is no better evidence for this claim than Collective Choice And Social Welfare. This book has been recognized as a classic since it first appeared in 1970. In it, Amartya Sen weaves together logic, economics and philosophy to establish some propositions. These propositions are the foundations from which Sen has proceeded to articulate the influential ideas we associate with him. Further, these propositions transformed the disciplines of welfare economics, development economics, political philosophy, and ethics. ...Live Mint on March 29, 2017, 12:43 a.m.