Capabilities and Human Dilemmas: How to Cope with Incompleteness
The main objective of this paper is to discuss the role of evaluative incompleteness in the work of Amartya Sen. In section 2, we consider Sen’s distinction between optimising or perfect choices and maximising or acceptable choices, showing it is based on a restrictive interpretation of incompleteness. In section 3, we argue that this distinction does not take into account a third crucial category of human choices, the dilemmas, and we show they are based on the concept of incompleteness in a strict sense. Section 4 discusses the reason why in Sen’s theoretical approach dilemmas and incompleteness appear to be somehow neglected. Then, in section 5 we advance an attempt to analyse human choices – both in the form of dilemmas or not – in conditions of incompleteness, while in section 6 we suggest a definition of freedom able to embrace also these dilemmatic choices. Finally, section 7 concludes.
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