Is Pogge a Capability Theorist in Disguise?

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):205-215 (2013)
Thomas Pogge answers the question if the capability approach can be justified with a firm ‘no’. Amongst others, he ridicules capability theorists for demanding compensation for each and every possible natural difference between people, including hair types. Not only does Pogge, so this paper argues, misconstrue the difference between the capability approach and Rawlsian resourcism. Even worse: he is actually implicitly relying on the idea of capabilities in his defence of the latter. According to him the resourcist holds that the institutional order should not be biased towards the average person or the needs of some. Yet, as his own case of blind people and traffic lights can illustrate, whether or not this is the case is impossible to assess without resorting to some concept like people’s capabilities. Secondly, it is argued that the real issue at stake is not at all the best metric of justice—primary goods or capabilities—but rather the scope of theories of justice. On the surface the difference of opinion seems to be how to deal with so-called “personal heterogeneities”, yet the discussed case of interpersonal differences in metabolism and communal land-use choices hints at something else; Whereas Pogge insists that questions of justice only concern the institutional structure of society, many capability theorists support the inclusion of culture and social practices as possible sources of injustice. Unfortunately Pogge does not properly acknowledge this, as right from the start of his paper he frames the debate between both approaches in terms of institutions only.
Keywords Thomas Pogge  Primary goods  Human capabilities  Capability approach  Rawlsian resourcism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9344-9
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,122
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Idea of Justice.Amartya Sen - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Can the Capability Approach Be Justified?Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Philosophical Topics 30 (2):167-228.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rights, Goals, and Capabilities.M. van Hees - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (3):247-259.
Can the Capability Approach Be Justified?Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Philosophical Topics 30 (2):167-228.
Comentarios Sobre la Concepcion de la Justicia Global de Pogge.Pablo Gilabert - 2007 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 33 (2):205-222.
A Capability Approach to Justice as a Virtue.Jay Drydyk - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):23-38.
Critical Capability Pedagogies and University Education.Melanie Walker - 2010 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (8):898-917.
Pogge on Global Poverty.Juha Räikkä - 2006 - Journal of Global Ethics 2 (1):111 – 118.
Civic Phronesis: Rawls' Anti-Sacrificial Ethics for Capability Justice.M. H. Mann - 2013 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (1):21-43.
Confining Pogge's Analysis of Global Poverty to Genuinely Negative Duties.Steven Daskal - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):369-391.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
31 ( #169,695 of 2,191,265 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #291,146 of 2,191,265 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature