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Capabilities as causal powers

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  • Nuno Martins

Abstract

The author argues that Sen's capability approach is primarily a philosophical under-labouring exercise aimed at elaborating certain central economic categories, and that the philosophical and methodological underpinnings of Sen's approach are radically different from those of contemporary welfare economics and mainstream economic practice. Sen's notion of 'capabilities' as the potential functionings to achieve well-being is interpreted here as a specification of the ontological category of 'causal power', presupposing an open system conception of reality that contrasts with much of contemporary economic practice. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Nuno Martins, 2006. "Capabilities as causal powers," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(5), pages 671-685, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:30:y:2006:i:5:p:671-685
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/bel012
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    Cited by:

    1. Demals, Thierry & Hyard, Alexandra, 2014. "Is Amartya Sen's sustainable freedom a broader vision of sustainability?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 33-38.
    2. Lukáš Kovanda, 2010. "Kritický realismus: ontologická báze postkeynesovské ekonomie
      [Critical Realism as an Ontological Basis of Post-Keynesianism]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(5), pages 608-622.
    3. repec:ums:papers:2014-010 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Birkin, Frank & Polesie, Thomas, 2013. "The relevance of epistemic analysis to sustainability economics and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 144-152.
    5. Nuno Ornelas Martins & Américo Mendes, 2012. "Social Exclusion of Immigrants from a Capability Perspective: The Case of Portugal," Chapters,in: Globalization Trends and Regional Development, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Ballet, Jérôme & Koffi, Jean-Marcel & Pelenc, Jérôme, 2013. "Environment, justice and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 28-34.
    7. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2014. "One Million Miles to Go: Taking the Axiomatic Road to Defining Exploitation," Discussion Paper Series 615, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Mabsout, Ramzi, 2015. "Mindful capability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 86-97.
    9. Kihiu, Evelyne Nyathira, 2016. "Basic capability effect: Collective management of pastoral resources in southwestern Kenya," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 23-34.
    10. Martins, Nuno, 2011. "Sustainability economics, ontology and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-4.
    11. repec:eee:ecolec:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:21-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Roberta Capello & Tomaz Ponce Dentinho (ed.), 2012. "Globalization Trends and Regional Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14815.

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