Res Publica 16 (1):1-22 (2010)

Authors
Abstract
Martha Nussbaum has expanded the capabilities approach to defend positive duties of justice to individuals who fall below Rawls’ standard for fully cooperating members of society, including sentient nonhuman animals. Building on this, David Schlosberg has defended the extension of capabilities justice not only to individual animals but also to entire species and ecosystems. This is an attractive vision: a happy marriage of social, environmental and ecological justice, which also respects the claims of individual animals. This paper asks whether it is one that the capabilities approach can really deliver. Serious obstacles are highlighted. The potential for conflict between the capability-based entitlements of humans and those of nonhuman animals or ‘nature’ is noted, but it is argued that this does not constitute a decisive objection to the expanded capabilities approach. However, intra-nature conflicts are so widespread as to do so: the situation is outside the circumstances of justice as they are standardly understood. Schlosberg attempts to reconcile such conflicts by re-examining what it means to flourish as a sentient nonhuman animal. This fails, because of the distinction between flourishing as a species, which often requires predation, and flourishing as an individual, which is as frequently incompatible with it. Finally, the paper considers how a capabilities theorist might move beyond such conflicts, identifying two possible strategies (which are not themselves unproblematic) for reconciling the demands of humans, animals and ecosystems.
Keywords Capabilities  Nussbaum  Schlosberg  Justice  Nonhuman animals  Ecosystems
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11158-010-9106-2
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,291
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Should the Lion Eat Straw Like the Ox? Animal Ethics and the Predation Problem.Jozef Keulartz - 2016 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (5):813-834.
Can Species Have Capabilities, and What If They Can?Teea Kortetmäki - 2018 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (3):307-323.
Nussbaum and the Capacities of Animals.T. J. Kasperbauer - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (5):977-997.
Sharing the Earth: A Biocentric Account of Ecological Justice.Anna Wienhues - 2017 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 30 (3):367-385.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-01-23

Total views
182 ( #59,064 of 2,456,093 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,366 of 2,456,093 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes