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Social Justice and Capability Approach. A note on theses of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum about the importance of pursuing goals of social justice through the capability approach

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  • Andrea Villani

    () (Dipartimento di Economia Internazionale, delle Istituzioni e dello Sviluppo, Universita` Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano)

Abstract

This paper examines theses of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum about the importance of pursuing goals of social justice through the capability approach. Are considered here the reasons of such a method, whose aim is to reach development of the capabilities of every human being. It is discussed also if the ends proposed by Sen and Nussbaum – that can be appreciated and culturally supported – can be considered fruit of a neutral contractarian approach, as behind a Rawlsian ‘veil of ignorance’, to which Nussbaum makes explicit reference. Neutral approach, that is of subjects without awareness of their specific interests in the process of bargaining. Or instead proposals intuitively established, rationally justifiable only ex-post, that could find their implementation as the contractarian outcome of a real confrontation among social actors, supporters of specific diversified interest in a liberal and democratic society.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Villani, 2012. "Social Justice and Capability Approach. A note on theses of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum about the importance of pursuing goals of social justice through the capability approach," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 120(2), pages 225-237.
  • Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2012:v:120:i:2:p:225-237
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Justice; Criteria of rationality in individual and social choice; Utopia; Democracy;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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