The public demands more and more moral, social and ecological responsibility from the economy. Responsibility, however, presupposes freedom. But what freedoms can the economy grant? How can these freedoms be invoked responsibly? In his inaugural lecture, Professor Dr. Claus Dierksmeier, Director of the Global Ethic Institute at the University of Tübingen, explores the ideas of economic freedom and responsibility as conceptualised by Amartya Sen.
In 1998, the Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize for his answers to these questions and for the new perspectives that he offered for economic development. In order to increase and improve the practical options of the economy, Sen extended and modified the theoretical options of economics. Sen argues in favour of an economic thinking that takes the broad spectrum of human needs into consideration and that gives greater attention to human freedom, that is, to a freedom that provides humans with the means and opportunities to achieve their goals. According to Sen, an economy based on freedom can only be attained on the basis of an economics of freedom, i.e. a theory of those abilities and freedoms that we want to support first and foremost.