Primary Goods versus Capabilities: Considering the debate in relation to equalities in education
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Thomas Pogge has recently argued that the capability approach cannot be justified, and that John Rawls’s social primary goods way of thinking about the metric of justice that is superior to the capability approach (Pogge 2003). The burden of this paper is to respond to his objections drawing on issues that arise when thinking about distribution and equality in education. We should say at the outset that we do not have a strong view about which of the approaches is superior, all-things-considered. Sometimes the language of capabilities better illuminates what matters than does the language of primary goods. And frequently both approaches are hard to apply.
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