Piece image

Nobel laureate and economist Amartya Sen on "Identity and Violence" -- on ThoughtCast!

From: Jenny Attiyeh
Length: 28:31

Amartya Sen, the distinguished economist, philosopher, Nobel laureate and Harvard professor, talks with ThoughtCast about "Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny."

Amartyasenpix_small Amartya Sen, the distinguished economist, philosopher, Nobel laureate and Harvard professor, talks with ThoughtCast about "Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny." This new book examines the unfortunate connection between violence and our tendency to identify with one key trait -- our ethnicity, or religion, for example -- to the exclusion of all others. Sen argues that we can combat this tendency by rejecting this narrowly defined, limited sense of identity, and embracing a broader, richer and more complex understanding of ourselves. Amartya Sen was born in West Bengal, India (now Bangladesh) and teaches economics at Harvard University. He is known in the wider world for his work on the causes of famines.

To hear the full audio, sign up for a free PRX account or log in.

Piece Description

Amartya Sen, the distinguished economist, philosopher, Nobel laureate and Harvard professor, talks with ThoughtCast about "Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny." This new book examines the unfortunate connection between violence and our tendency to identify with one key trait -- our ethnicity, or religion, for example -- to the exclusion of all others. Sen argues that we can combat this tendency by rejecting this narrowly defined, limited sense of identity, and embracing a broader, richer and more complex understanding of ourselves. Amartya Sen was born in West Bengal, India (now Bangladesh) and teaches economics at Harvard University. He is known in the wider world for his work on the causes of famines.

1 Comment Atom Feed

User image

Review of Nobel laureate and economist Amartya Sen on "Identity and Violence" -- on ThoughtCast!

This is the kind of piece I can see program directors shy away from thinking it will keep the audience away in droves. The idea of a single interview with an intellectual, an economist at that, about his book catchily entitled ?Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny?- surely that?s just not what listeners want to hear. In fact the interview is fascinating and rarely did a half hour fly by so easily. The host had researched, read the work, had the right questions. But its Mr Sen?s sweetness of presence, the humanity of his intellect that is the magnet of this piece.
Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize winning advocate of the communities who usually occupy the lowest rung ? the poor and the persecuted, women and other minorities - wraps his great intellect in a cloak of good mannered elegance. Gently he batted his interviewers? devil?s advocate questions away with the politesse of an old fashioned gentlemen. ?Thank you so much for asking me that Jenny?? He sets himself as a polar opposite of the much touted Clash of Civilizations philosophy of Joseph Huntington by his claim that in fact we are all a multiplicity of identities ? while never crossing over into disrespect.
This is the kind of interview we should be hearing more of in this age when mainstream broadcasting is all a clutter with the shallow soundbites of our lords and masters. This is the voice of reason, of humanity, given the time and the space to speak. And its enthralling. I urge programme directors to give this this piece the chance to be aired.

Related Website

http://www.thoughtcast.org