ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Limits of Indexing Human Values

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This is an attempt to take forward the arguments that are succinctly made in the editorial in the current issue of EPW. Drawing from the editorial, it is necessary to further unpack the “value of a human being” by shifting our focus away from the practice of indexing the ranking of values in terms of longevity, education, self-respect, and even political freedom that are supposed to facilitate our movement towards the achievement of these values. Of course, there is a symbiotic overlap between longevity as a value that has various elements, which are taken, basically and invariably, as measurement indicators.

However, it is also necessary to keep in mind that measuring either the success or failure of an ideal value index is dependent on conducive conditions provided by the market on the one hand, and the “welfare” state on the other. Arguably, the market option is inadequate for the obvious reason that it would, by its very logic, prompt only progressive forms of inequality in the realisation of such values. Hence, the obligation on the state to achieve this welfare by the just distribution of the fruits accruing from economic development—which is not just growth but also a normative intervention in transforming the life of people towards high levels of decency.

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Updated On : 24th Sep, 2022
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