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Sen’s Capability Approach: The Role of Practical Reason in Social Science

  • Ricardo F. CrespoEmail author
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)

Abstract

This chapter will present Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach (CA) highlighting how it creates a role for practical reason in social sciences, and specifically in economics. Section 3.2 will deal with two problems in Sen’s CA: first, the definition of specific capabilities given their plurality, and second, how to choose among capabilities given their incommensurability, and thus the issue of whether there is a hierarchy of capabilities. These two problems are at the root of the claim that the CA is inoperative. The first problem was the topic of a discussion between Sen and Nussbaum about establishing a possible list of capabilities. This will lead to introduce and discuss Nussbaum’s positions.

Keywords

Amartya Sen Martha Nussbaum Capability approach Lists and hierarchies of capabilities Incommensurability of capabilities Capabilities and capacities 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsIAE, Universidad AustralPilarArgentina

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