Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 17
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Davis, John B. and Wells, Thomas R. 2016. Transformation Without Paternalism. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, p. 1.

    Hilson, Gavin Hilson, Abigail and McQuilken, James 2016. Ethical minerals: Fairer trade for whom?. Resources Policy, Vol. 49, p. 232.

    Jennings, Bruce 2016. Right Relation and Right Recognition in Public Health Ethics: Thinking Through the Republic of Health. Public Health Ethics, Vol. 9, Issue. 2, p. 168.

    Ottenvall Hammar, Isabelle Dahlin-Ivanoff, Synneve Wilhelmson, Katarina and Eklund, Kajsa 2016. Self-determination among community-dwelling older persons: explanatory factors. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol. 23, Issue. 3, p. 198.

    Qizilbash, Mozaffar 2016. Some Reflections on Capability and Republican Freedom. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Vol. 17, Issue. 1, p. 22.

    Robeyns, Ingrid 2016. Capabilitarianism. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, p. 1.

    Byskov, Morten Fibieger 2015. Democracy, Philosophy, and the Selection of Capabilities. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, p. 1.

    Khader, Serene J. 2015. Development Ethics, Gender Complementarianism, and Intrahousehold Inequality. Hypatia, Vol. 30, Issue. 2, p. 352.

    Ottenvall Hammar, Isabelle Dahlin-Ivanoff, Synneve Wilhelmson, Katarina and Eklund, Kajsa 2015. People dependent of support in daily activities perceives reduced self-determination – a cross-sectional study with community-dwelling older people. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 208.

    Gaisbauer, Helmut P. and Sedmak, Clemens 2014. Neglected futures. Considering overlooked poverty in Europe. European Journal of Futures Research, Vol. 2, Issue. 1,

    Reusch, Benedikt 2014. Das Paternalismusproblem und die Frage nach dem guten Leben. Soziale Passagen, Vol. 6, Issue. 2, p. 205.

    Watts, Michael 2013. The Complexities of Adaptive Preferences in Post-compulsory Education: Insights from the Fable of The Fox and the Grapes. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Vol. 14, Issue. 4, p. 503.

    Whiteford, Gail E. and Pereira, Robert B. 2012. Occupational Science.

    Kaushik, Basu and Lòpez-Calva, Luis F. 2011.

    Alexander, John M 2010. Ending the liberal hegemony: Republican freedom and Amartya Sen's theory of capabilities. Contemporary Political Theory, Vol. 9, Issue. 1, p. 5.

    Kaufman, Alexander 2006. Capabilities and Freedom. Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 14, Issue. 3, p. 289.

    Vallentyne, Peter 2005. Debate: Capabilities versus Opportunities for Well-being*. Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 13, Issue. 3, p. 359.


Symposium on Amartya Sen's philosophy: 1 Capability and freedom: a defence of Sen

  • Philip Pettit (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2001

In a recent discussion of Amartya Sen's concept of the capabilities of people for functioning in their society – and the idea of targeting people's functioning capabilities in evaluating the society – G. A. Cohen accuses Sen of espousing an inappropriate, ‘athletic’ image of the person (Cohen, 1993, pp. 24–5). The idea is that if Sen's formulations are to be taken at face value, then life is valuable only so far as people actively choose most facets of their existence: if they fare well in the material stakes, for example, they must fare well as a result of active choice and effort, not because anyone else looks after them. ‘That’, says Cohen, ‘overestimates the place of freedom and activity in well-being’ (p. 25).

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
  • URL: /core/journals/economics-and-philosophy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *