From contracts to capabilities and back again

Res Publica 14 (2):83-100 (2008)
It has been common for researchers and commentators within the discipline of Social and Public Policy to evoke Rawlsian theories of justice. Yet some now argue that the contractualist tradition cannot adequately incorporate, or account for, relations of care, respect and interdependency. Though contractualism has its flaws this article proposes that we should not reject it. Through a critique of one of its most esteemed critics, Martha Nussbaum, it proposes that contractualism can be defended against the capabilities approach she prefers. The article concludes by suggesting how and why the moral philosophy of Thomas Scanlon offers a basis for reconciling the strengths of a contractualist, egalitarian liberalism with those of Nussbaum’s capabilities approach.
Keywords Nussbaum  Rawls  Capabilities  Contractualism  Scanlon
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-008-9053-3
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References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia University Press.
John Rawls (1999). The Law of Peoples. Harvard University Press.
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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