How capability approach view justice essay
For Sen, capabilities as freedoms refer to the presence of valuable options or alternatives, in the sense of opportunities that do not exist only formally or legally but are also effectively available to the agent.
Capability approach pdf
Venkatapuram, S. In response to such criticisms, Nussbaum has defended the contents of her list as having cross-cultural credibility, but also emphasised that she is not trying to impose a definitive capability theory on everyone. Although we can trace some aspects of the capability approach back to, among others, Aristotle, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx see Nussbaum , ; Sen , 14, 24; Walsh , it is economist-philosopher Amartya Sen who pioneered the approach and philosopher Martha Nussbaum and a growing number of other scholars across the humanities and the social sciences who have significantly developed it. Nussbaum endorses a well-defined list of capabilities, which, she argues, should be enshrined in every country's constitution Nussbaum , , This section provides a brief outline of some of these. The capability metric has been proposed by capability philosophers as an alternative for, and improvement on, the Rawlsian social primary goods metric, which focuses on general purpose goods, such as income and wealth, opportunities and liberties, and the social basis of self-respect Rawls Dworkin's egalitarian justice theory starts from the meta-principle of equal respect and concern, which he then develops in the principles that the distribution of burdens and benefits should be sensitive to the ambitions that people have but should not reflect the unequal natural endowments with which individuals are born. Her use of the participatory approach for assessing NGO fieldwork in Pakistan showed, for example, that even the very poor can and do reasonably value other things than material well-being, such as religion and social participation. Some philosophers have started to use the term 'capabilitarianism' Robeyns ; Nielsen and Axelsen forthcoming Despite some philosophical disagreements about the best description of the capability approach, it is generally understood as a conceptual framework for a range of normative exercises, including most prominent the following: 1 the assessment of individual well-being; 2 the evaluation and assessment of social arrangements; and 3 the design of policies and proposals about social change in society. If we have a list of relevant capabilities, we would still be left with the question of whether the capabilities should be aggregated and, if so, what their relative weights and the formula to aggregate them will or should be. These are crucial challenges for the capability approach, and will be discussed in more detail in Section 3. Many internal capabilities require a more structured educational environment. It is, for example, almost always easier to observe and measure functionings than capabilities Sen 52—3. Human Rights and Capabilities We can now link the idea of capabilities with the idea of human rights. Internal capabilities are states of persons that are.
For example, in standard outcome assessments, women as a group virtually always end up being worse off than men. Furthermore, another important reason concerns the concept of utility itself.
Sen's more general critique concerned what he saw as the inflexibility of primary goods as a metric of justice.
Second, how are we to select and aggregate the multiple dimensions of the capability approach? Dworkin's egalitarian justice theory starts from the meta-principle of equal respect and concern, which he then develops in the principles that the distribution of burdens and benefits should be sensitive to the ambitions that people have but should not reflect the unequal natural endowments with which individuals are born.
New York: Random House. If a person is disabled, is in bad physical condition, or has never learned to cycle, then the bike will be of limited help in enabling the functioning of mobility.
Cohen has been a prominent exponent of the truth-seeking strand within political philosophy Cohen 1— Her five criteria are: 1 Explicit formulation.
The capability approach explicitly aims at providing an alternative to normative views that rely exclusively on mental states in their evaluative exercises. That means that even if it happened that everyone had the same conception of the good, and the same bundle of resources, the fact of heterogeneity would mean that people would have differential real capability to pursue the life they had reason to value.
How capability approach view justice essay
Nevertheless, if recognizing the theoretical value of this paradigm is relatively easy, on the contrary, putting it into practice requires hard work. Nevertheless it has succeeded in demonstrating that capability related information can be used systematically as a credible supplement to economic metrics. Being able to laugh, to play, to enjoy recreational activities. Since, in the utilitarian view, the goal of a person and the maximization of their interests seem to go together, we could say that utilitarianism is an individualistic theory. Scholars and policy makers use the capability approach in a wide range of fields, most prominently in development studies and policymaking, welfare economics, social policy, and social and political philosophy. The non-utility information that is excluded by utilitarianism includes a person's additional physical needs, due to being physically disabled for example, but also social or moral principles, such as human rights or the specific principle that men and women should be paid the same wage for the same work. Rawls's strategy has been to postpone the question of our obligations towards the disabled, and exclude them from the scope of his theory. As Arneson rightly notes, the unit of assessment ideally should be the moral theory, and not merely one part of it, such as the metric of interpersonal comparison. Different capability theorists have taken different approaches to the valuation of capabilities, from procedural accounts to ones based on substantive understandings of human nature.
Another main Rawlsian objection to the capability approach concerns the publicity criterion, which stipulates that the conception of justice must be public and the necessary information to make a claim of injustice must be verifiable by all, and easily accessible.
based on 9 review