Needs, Incommensurability and Well-being
AbstractSome have argued for the priority of needs in moral and development theory, on the grounds that people have conflicting and incommensurable values and conceptions of the good. In this paper, I concentrate on one version of this view, that due to John Rawls. Rawls' view is that a person's advantage should be evaluated in terms of certain primary goods which are citizens' needs. I outline a variation on James Griffin's account of well-being, which involves certain values that make any human life better—prudential values. I argue that such values are commensurable, and that the account is consistent with pluralism. The discussion supports and helps us to understand various criticisms of Rawls. It also suggests that one argument for the priority of needs in development theory is invalid.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor and Francis Journals in its journal Review of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 9 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/link.asp?target=journal&id=102233
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Ulrich Witt & Christian Schubert, 2008.
"Constitutional interests in the face of innovations: how much do we need to know about risk preferences?,"
Constitutional Political Economy,
Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 203-225, September.
- U. Witt & C. Schubert, 2008. "Constitutional Interests in the Face of Innovations: How Much Do We Need to Know about Risk Preferences?," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-03, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
- Qizilbash, M., 1996.
"Pluralism and well-being indices,"
Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics
9636, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
- Mozaffar Qizilbash, 2002. "Development, Common Foes and Shared Values," Review of Political Economy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 463-480.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.