Capabilities framework amartya sen how to judge

Sen’s Capability Approach

Its criticism of other normative approaches is often fueled by, and based on, the claim that the full human diversity among people is insufficiently acknowledged in many normative theories, such as theories of distributive justice. Martha Nussbaum, for example, points out that a just society requires balancing and even limiting certain freedoms, such as regarding the expression of racist views, and in order to do so must make commitments about which freedoms are good or bad, important or trivial Nussbaum 2003.

Sen 1987: Ananta Kumar Giri. One possible system of weighting or aggregating is to use a democratic or some other social choice procedure Chakraborty 1996. Whether or not these persons can decide to be well nourished and healthy, it is generally held that we through families, governments, or other institutions have the moral obligation to promote or protect their nutritional and healthy functioning.

This is not a purely procedural matter of adding up the number of options available, since the option to purchase a tenth brand of washing powder has a rather different significance than the option to vote in democratic elections.

The Capability Approach

Sen also points out that individuals differ in their ability to convert resources such as income into welfare. Moreover, it would be a mistake to think that there can be only one capability theory of justice; on the contrary, the open nature of the capability approach allows for the development of a family of capability theories of justice.

Or it can be used as a normative framework within which to evaluate and design policies and social institutions, ranging from welfare-state design in relatively affluent societies Wolff and de-Shalit 2007 , to governmental and nongovernmental development policies in poor countries, to policies that affluent countries and international institutions employ or are advised to employ in their efforts to aid poor countries UNDP 1990—2010.

One reason is that the capability metric is a general metric of well-being and well-being freedom, whereas the social primary goods metric emerges as one element of an integral and complex theory of political justice rather than social justice more broadly, let alone the even wider category of moral evaluations.

However the Capability Approach also considers subjective well-being — feeling happy — as a valuable functioning in its own right and incorporates it into the capability framework.

An Introduction to Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom A Macat Geography Analysis

The question of who decides or should decide this sort of spousal question highlights the importance of agency and procedural fairness, which are generally taken to be part of the capability approach in its broader use Crocker 2008.

Sen 1999: The capability approach thus takes account of human diversity in at least two ways. A person with a disability, however severe, would not have a claim to additional resources grounded in his impairment under Rawls's two principles of justice.

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Sen, A. Available from the UNDP website. For example, in the form of a guaranteed legal right to government assistance on demand, or by the provision of her own specially adapted self-drive vehicle.

It asks whether people are well-nourished, and whether the means or conditions for the realization of this capability, such as having sufficient food supplies and food entitlements, are being met.

Author Information Thomas Wells Email: The terminology in the literature on the capability approach has changed over time, and this has led to some confusing use of certain terms, and also to difficulties in properly interpreting the earlier contributions in this field.