Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-hfldf Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-11T21:14:50.431Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

10 - Selecting a List

The Capability Approach’s Achilles Heel

from Part I - Historical Antecedents and Philosophical Debates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2020

Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti
Affiliation:
University of Pavia
Siddiqur Osmani
Affiliation:
Ulster University
Mozaffar Qizilbash
Affiliation:
University of York
Get access

Summary

Capability theorists disagree on how to determine, for normative purposes, which capabilities are to be treated as basic, with Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen taking opposite views. This chapter will scrutinize this list debate. It has two aims. First, it argues that some distinction between basic and non-basic capabilities is an inherent commitment of capability theories, but that there are many more options for responding to the capability-selection problem than a procedure of democratic deliberation (Sen) or a philosophical criterion of neo-Aristotelian flourishing (Nussbaum). A whole range of possible procedures and philosophical criteria could be combined with the capability metric. Second, it responds to a forceful challenge raised by Ian Carter, who argues that capability theorists should not endorse the selection of specific capabilities as basic (either democratically or philosophically) at all. In his view, this will always have paternalistic implications; instead he proposes that the maximization of ‘capability as such’ should be the goal. In response, I distinguish well-being-based and autonomy-based capability theories, and argue that while Carter’s challenge is valid against the former, it fails against the latter.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Alexander, J. 2008. Capabilities and Social Justice: The Political Philosophy of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Alkire, S. 2002. Valuing Freedoms: Sen’s Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Anderson, E. 1999. ‘What Is the Point of Equality?Ethics 109/2: 287337.Google Scholar
Arneson, R. 2000. ‘Perfectionism and Politics’. Ethics 111/1: 3763.Google Scholar
Baujard, A. and Gilardone, M. 2017. ‘Sen Is Not a Capability Theorist’. Journal of Economic Methodology 24/1: 119.Google Scholar
Begon, J. 2016. ‘Athletic Policy, Passive Well-Being: Defending Freedom in the Capability Approach’. Economics & Philosophy 32/1: 5173.Google Scholar
Begon, J. 2017. ‘Capabilities for All? From Capabilities to Function to Capabilities to Control’. Social Theory and Practice 43/1: 154179.Google Scholar
Bohman, J. 1997. ‘Deliberative Democracy and Effective Social Freedom: Capabilities, Resources, and Opportunities’, in Bohman, J and Rehg, W (eds.). Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: 321348.Google Scholar
Carter, I. 1996. ‘The Concept of Freedom in the Work of Amartya Sen: An Alternative Analysis Consistent with Freedom’s Independent Value’. Notizie di Politeia 12/43–44: 722.Google Scholar
Carter, I. 1999. A Measure of Freedom. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Carter, I. 2011. ‘Respect and the Basis of Equality’. Ethics 121/3: 538571.Google Scholar
Carter, I. 2014. ‘Is the Capability Approach Paternalist?Economics & Philosophy 30/1: 7598.Google Scholar
Claassen, R. 2011. ‘Making Capability Lists: Philosophy versus Democracy’. Political Studies 59/3: 491508.Google Scholar
Claassen, R. 2014. ‘Capability Paternalism’. Economics & Philosophy 30/1: 5773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Claassen, R. 2017. ‘An Agency-Based Capability Theory of Justice’. European Journal of Philosophy 25/4: 12791304.Google Scholar
Claassen, R. 2018. Capabilities in a Just Society: A Theory of Navigational Agency. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Claassen, R. and Düwell, M. 2013. ‘The Foundations of Capability Theory: Comparing Nussbaum and Gewirth’. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16/3: 493510.Google Scholar
Colburn, B. 2010. ‘Anti-Perfectionisms and Autonomy’. Analysis 70/2: 247256.Google Scholar
Crocker, D. 2008. Ethics of Global Development: Agency, Capability, and Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Deneulin, S. 2002. ‘Perfectionism, Paternalism and Liberalism in Sen and Nussbaum’s Capability Approach’. Review of Political Economy 14/4: 497518.Google Scholar
Deneulin, S. 2008. ‘Beyond Individual Freedom and Agency: Structures of Living Together in the Capability Approach’, in Comim, F, Qizilbash, M and Alkire, S (eds.). The Capability Approach: Concepts, Measures and Applications. Cambridge University Press: 105124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Deneulin, S. and Shahani, L. (eds.). 2009. An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
Dowding, K. 2006. ‘Can Capabilities Reconcile Freedom and Equality?Journal of Political Philosophy 14/3: 323336.Google Scholar
Feinberg, J. 1986. Harm to Self. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Griffin, J. 2008. On Human Rights. Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heath, J. and Panitch, V. 2010. ‘Why Cash Violates Neutrality’. Basic Income Studies 5/1: 126.Google Scholar
Nelson, E. 2008. ‘From Primary Goods to Capabilities: Distributive Justice and the Problem of Neutrality’. Political Theory 36/1: 93122.Google Scholar
Nussbaum, M. 2000. Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nussbaum, M. 2003. ‘Political Liberalism and Respect: A Response to Linda Barclay’. SATS: Nordic Journal of Philosophy 4/2: 2544.Google Scholar
Nussbaum, M. 2006. Frontiers of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Nussbaum, M. 2011a. Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Nussbaum, M. 2011b. ‘Perfectionist Liberalism and Political Liberalism’. Philosophy & Public Affairs 39/1: 345.Google Scholar
Olsaretti, S. 2005. ‘Endorsement and Freedom in Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach’. Economics and Philosophy 21/1: 89108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olson, K. 2006. Reflexive Democracy: Political Equality and the Welfare State. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Patten, A. 2012. ‘Liberal Neutrality: A Reinterpretation and Defense’. Journal of Political Philosophy 20/3: 249272.Google Scholar
Pettit, P. 1997. Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Pettit, P. 2001. ‘Capability and Freedom: A Defence of Sen’. Economics and Philosophy 17/1: 120.Google Scholar
Pettit, P. 2008. ‘The Basic Liberties’, in Kramer, M (ed.). The Legacy of HLA Hart. Oxford University Press: 201224.Google Scholar
Pettit, P. 2014. Just Freedom. New York and London: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
Qizilbash, M. 1998. ‘The Concept of Well-Being’. Economics & Philosophy 14/1: 5173.Google Scholar
Qizilbash, M. 2016. ‘Some Reflections on Capability and Republican Freedom’. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 17/1: 2234.Google Scholar
Rawls, J. 1999. A Theory of Justice, rev. ed. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Raz, J. 1986. The Morality of Freedom. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Robeyns, I. 2005. ‘Selecting Capabilities for Quality of Life Measurement’. Social Indicators Research 74/1: 191215.Google Scholar
Robeyns, I. 2016a. ‘Capabilitarianism’. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 17/3: 397414.Google Scholar
Robeyns, I. 2016b. ‘The Capability Approach’, in Zalta, E. N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (winter 2016 ed.). Stanford University. Available at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/capability-approach/ (accessed 24 February 2020).Google Scholar
Rothstein, B. 1998. Just Institutions Matter: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Satz, D. 2010. Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Schuppert, F. 2014. Freedom, Recognition and Non-Domination: A Republican Theory of (Global) Justice. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, New York and London: Springer.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 1990. ‘Justice: Means Versus Freedoms’. Philosophy and Public Affairs 19/2: 111121.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 1992. Inequality Reexamined. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 1993. ‘Capability and Well-Being’, in Nussbaum, M. C. and Sen, A (eds.). The Quality of Life. Oxford: Clarendon Press: 3053.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 1996. ‘Freedom, Capabilities and Public Action: A Response’. Notizie di Politeia 12/43–44: 107125.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 2001. ‘Reply’. Economics and Philosophy 17/1: 5166.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 2004. ‘Capabilities, Lists, and Public Reason: Continuing the Conversation’. Feminist Economics 10/3: 7780.Google Scholar
Sen, A. 2009. The Idea of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Sugden, R. 2003. ‘Opportunity as a Space of Individuality: Its Value and the Impossibility of Measuring It’. Ethics 113/4: 783809.Google Scholar
Wolff, J. and de-Shalit, A. 2007. Disadvantage. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×