• Rhoderick John S. Abellanosa Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu
Keywords: Catholic Social Teachings, Democracy, Development, Dignity of the Human Person, Human Rights, Justice


The experience of people of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of democracy in the enhancement of people’s lives and in the defence of their political and civil rights. Despite the many criticisms against democracy, still it is arguable that given the current situation it is the better form of government to adopt. This paper is an analytic reflection on Amartya Sen’s notion of democracy as explicated in his major works Development as Freedom and The Idea of Justice.Though Sen has other great works such as Identity and Violence, this exposition, for practical reasons, would generally focus on how he explains democracy in the said works. Another objective of this paper is to put forward a critical reflection on Sen’s perspective. For although his moral philosophy has been acknowledged as one that offers a valuable contribution, even in the evolving field of Catholic social ethics, it has an apparent lacuna and that is the notion of the human person. Building on this premise, this paper proposes to ground Sen’s notion of democracy on what Catholic social tradition has to say on the dignity of the human person.


Author Biography

Rhoderick John S. Abellanosa, Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu

Rhoderick John S. Abellanosa is Faculty and Staff Development Officer of Sacred Heart School, Ateneo de Cebu. He has been recently appointed Editor-in-chief of the PHAVISMINDA Journal which is the official publication of the Philosophical Association of the Visayas and Mindanao. His research interests are in the area of Political Philosophy, Catholic Social Ethics, Business Ethics, and Religion and Society.


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How to Cite
Abellanosa, R. J. S. (2020). GROUNDING AMARTYA SEN’S NOTION OF DEMOCRACY IN THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON. Asian Horizons, 14(4), 959-976. Retrieved from