Les Ateliers de L’Ethique 4 (2):226-235 (2009)

Authors
Christopher Lowry
University of Waterloo
Abstract
Based on a close reading of the debate between Rawls and Sen on primary goods versus capabilities, I argue that liberal theory cannot adequately respond to Sen’s critique within a conventionally neutralist framework. In support of the capability approach, I explain why and how it defends a more robust conception of opportunity and freedom, along with public debate on substantive questions about well-being and the good life. My aims are: to show that Sen’s capability approach is at odds with Rawls’s political liberal version of neutrality; to carve out a third space in the neutrality debate; and to begin to develop, from Sen’s approach, the idea of public value liberalism as a position that falls within that third space.En me basant sur une lecture attentive du débat entre Rawls et Sen sur les biens premiers versus les capabilités, je soutiendrai que la théorie libérale est incapable, dans un cadre neutraliste conventionnel, de répondre adéquatement à des injustices dans le domaine de la santé. À partir de l’approche des capabilités, j’explique pourquoi et comment cette approche permet de défendre une conception plus robuste de l’opportunité et de la liberté, de même qu’un débat public sur des questions substantielles concernant le bien-être et la vie bonne. Mes objectifs sont : de clarifier le rapport entre le neutralisme de Rawls et sa défense des biens premiers,, de démontrer les implications de la critique des capabilités de Sen, et, d’esquisser une troisième position dans le débat sur la neutralité versus le perfectionnisme – à savoir, celle d’un perfectionnisme motivé par des considérations de légitimité.
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