Welfarism (20TH CENTURY)

A pejorative term indicating preference for collective social services.

The social provision of goods and services is to be preferred to their purchase or procurement by individual effort and choice.

The ‘theory’ is a construct of those who use the term critically, and does not occur in the arguments of those to whom it is attributed.

Penal welfarism

Penal welfarism is a theory in the study 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

Amartya 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.

4 thoughts on “Welfarism (20TH CENTURY)

  1. Nicky Lantz says:

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