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Irreducibly social goods and the informational basis of Amartya Sen's capability approach

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  • CHARLES GORE

    (UNCTAD, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, Macro-economic and Development Policies Branch, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland)

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    Abstract

    This paper argues that Sen's capability approach requires that judgements about the relative goodness of states of affairs must be based exclusively on 'properties' of individuals. Functionings and capabilities are seen, like utility and opulence, as objects of value which individuals have-achieved or attainable effects which are disembedded from the institutional contexts of human activity. If such contexts are intrinsically valuable for individual well-being, as some 'communitarians' argue, the capability approach is inappropriate for assessing social justice, societal well-being and development, and inequalities in individual well-being across cultures or in multicultural societies. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 9 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 235-250

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:9:y:1997:i:2:p:235-250

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    1. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Markets and Freedoms: Achievements and Limitations of the Market Mechanism in Promoting Individual Freedoms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 519-41, October.
    2. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "The concept of development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 9-26 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:
    1. Maluf, Renato S., 1998. "Economic development and the food question in Latin America," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 155-172, April.
    2. Des Gasper, 2002. "Is Sen's Capability Approach an Adequate Basis for Considering Human Development?," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 435-461.
    3. Gore, Charles, 2000. "The Rise and Fall of the Washington Consensus as a Paradigm for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 789-804, May.
    4. Des Gasper & John Cameron, 2000. "Assessing and extending the work of Amartya Sen," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(7), pages 985-988.
    5. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 2014. "Are modern philosophical accounts of well-being excessively ‘individualistic’?," International Review of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 173-189, June.
    6. Marco Grasso & Enzo Di Giulio, 2003. "Mapping sustainable development in a capability perspective," HEW, EconWPA 0309001, EconWPA.
    7. Des Gasper, 1997. "Sen's capability approach and Nussbaum's cpabilities ethic," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 281-302.
    8. Gasper, D.R., 2002. "Is Sen's Capability Approach an Adequate Basis for Considering Human Development," ISS Working Papers - General Series, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague 360, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    9. Stefano Pareglio & Alessandro Vaglio & Marco Grasso & Stefania Migliavacca & Enzo Di Giulio, 2005. "Modelling sustainable human development in a capability perspective," Public Economics, EconWPA 0504008, EconWPA.
    10. Jocelyn DeJong, 2005. "Capabilities, Reproductive Health and Well-being," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics GPRG-WPS-005, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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