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Capabilities, Lists, And Public Reason: Continuing The Conversation


  • Amartya Sen


Amartya Sen addresses the question why he is disinclined to provide a fixed list of capabilities to go with his general capability approach. Capability assessment can be used for different purposes (varying from poverty evaluation to the assessment of human rights or of human development), and public reasoning and discussion are necessary for selecting relevant capabilities and weighing them against each other in each context. It would be a mistake to build a mausoleum for a “fixed and final” list of capabilities usable for every purpose and unaffected by the progress of understanding of the social role and importance of different capabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Amartya Sen, 2004. "Capabilities, Lists, And Public Reason: Continuing The Conversation," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 77-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:10:y:2004:i:3:p:77-80 DOI: 10.1080/1354570042000315163

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jane Bryan & Steve Hill & Max Munday & Annette Roberts, 2000. "Assessing the role of the arts and cultural industries in a local economy," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(8), pages 1391-1408, August.
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