Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (forthcoming)
|Abstract||This paper is written from a perspective that is sympathetic to the basic idea of the capability approach. Our aim is to compare Martha Nussbaum’s capability theory of justice with Alan Gewirth’s moral theory, on two points: the selection and the justification of a list of central capabilities. On both counts, we contend that Nussbaum’s theory suffers from flaws that Gewirth’s theory may help to remedy. First, we argue that her notion of a (dignified) human life cannot fulfill the role of a normative criterion that Nussbaum wants it to play in selecting capabilities for her list. Second, we question whether Nussbaum’s method of justification is adequate, discussing both her earlier self-validating argumentative strategy and her more recent adherence to the device of an overlapping consensus. We conclude that both strategies fail to provide the capabilities theory with the firm foundation it requires. Next, we turn to Gewirth’s normative theory and discuss how it can repair these flaws. We show how his theory starts from a fundamental moral principle according to which all agents have rights to the protection of the necessary preconditions of their agency. Gewirth’s justification of this principle is then presented, using a version of a transcendental argument. Finally, we explicitly compare Nussbaum and Gewirth and briefly demonstrate what it would mean for Nussbaum to incorporate Gewirthian elements into her capabilities theory of justice|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Ramona Ilea (2008). Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach and Nonhuman Animals: Theory and Public Policy. Journal of Social Philosophy 39 (4):547-563.
John M. Alexander (2005). Non-Reductionist Naturalism: Nussbaum Between Aristotle and Hume. Res Publica 11 (2).
M. van Hees (forthcoming). Rights, Goals, and Capabilities. Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Dale Dorsey (2008). Toward a Theory of the Basic Minimum. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (4):423-445.
Veronica Vasterling (2007). Cognitive Theory and Phenomenology in Arendt's and Nussbaum's Work on Narrative. Human Studies 30 (2):79 - 95.
Sridhar Venkatapuram (2013). Health, Vital Goals, and Central Human Capabilities. Bioethics 27 (5):271-279.
M. H. Mann (2013). Civic Phronesis: Rawls' Anti-Sacrificial Ethics for Capability Justice. Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (1):21-43.
Matthias Katzer (2010). The Basis of Universal Liberal Principles in Nussbaum’s Political Philosophy. Public Reason 2 (2):61-76.
Anders Schinkel (2008). Martha Nussbaum on Animal Rights. Ethics and the Environment 13 (1):pp. 41-69.
Robert D. Heslep (1985). Gewirth and the Voluntary Agent's Esteem of Purpose. Philosophy Research Archives 11:379-391.
Deryck Beyleveld (1991). The Dialectical Necessity of Morality: An Analysis and Defense of Alan Gewirth's Argument to the Principle of Generic Consistency. University of Chicago Press.
Justine Johnstone (2007). Technology as Empowerment: A Capability Approach to Computer Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 9 (1).
Tony Fitzpatrick (2008). From Contracts to Capabilities and Back Again. Res Publica 14 (2).
Added to index2012-04-11
Total downloads22 ( #56,207 of 549,085 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #25,722 of 549,085 )
How can I increase my downloads?