David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):89-108 (2005)
A central question for assessing the merits of Amartya Sen's capability approach as a potential answer to the “distribution of what”? question concerns the exact role and nature of freedom in that approach. Sen holds that a person's capability identifies that person's effective freedom to achieve valuable states of beings and doings, or functionings, and that freedom so understood, rather than achieved functionings themselves, is the primary evaluative space. Sen's emphasis on freedom has been criticised by G. A. Cohen, according to whom the capability approach either uses too expansive a definition of freedom or rests on an implausibly active, indeed “athletic,” view of well-being. This paper defends the capability approach from this criticism. It argues that we can view the capability approach to be underpinned by an account of well-being which takes the endorsement of valuable functionings as constitutive of well-being, and by a particular view of the way in which endorsement relates to force and choice. Footnotes1 I would like to thank Paul Bou-Habib, Ian Carter, Matthew Kramer, Ingrid Robeyns, Peter Vallentyne, and two Economics and Philosophy referees for very helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. I am also grateful to the participants of the Edinburgh ECPR Workshop, the Hoover Chair Seminar in Louvain-La-Neuve, the King's College Moral Philosophy Group in Cambridge, the Nuffield Political Theory Workshop in Oxford, and the session on the Capability Approach at the Philadelphia APSA Annual Conference.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
William Lauinger (2013). The Missing-Desires Objection to Hybrid Theories of Well-Being. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):270-295.
Similar books and articles
Subodh P. Kulkarni (2009). “Justice as Freedom”. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 28 (1/4):3-26.
Thomas Pogge (2002). Can the Capability Approach Be Justified? Philosophical Topics 30 (2):167-228.
Douglas A. Hicks (2002). Gender, Discrimination, and Capability: Insights From Amartya Sen. Journal of Religious Ethics 30 (1):137 - 154.
Mozaffar Qizilbash (2007). Social Choice and Individual Capabilities. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (2):169-192.
Philip Pettit (2001). Symposium on Amartya Sen's Philosophy: 1 Capability and Freedom: A Defence of Sen. Economics and Philosophy 17 (1):1-20.
Andrew Askland (1998). The Sen of Inequality. Journal of Philosophical Research 23:399-415.
Mozaffar Qizilbash (2006). Capability, Happiness and Adaptation in Sen and J. S. Mill. Utilitas 18 (1):20-32.
Melanie Walker (2010). Critical Capability Pedagogies and University Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (8):898-917.
Colleen Murphy & Paolo Gardoni (2010). Assessing Capability Instead of Achieved Functionings in Risk Analysis. Journal of Risk Research 13 (2):137-147.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads55 ( #34,657 of 1,410,134 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #75,890 of 1,410,134 )
How can I increase my downloads?