Commensurable freedoms in the capability approach
The basis of the capability approach (CA) was recently attacked by a paper by Prasanta Pattanaik and Yonghseng Xu: the CA is strongly committed to two substantial principles, dominance on the one hand, and relativism on the other hand. The authors have shown these two principles, along with a harmless continuity condition, are together inconsistent. The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, it provides a discussion on the interpretation of this result, based on a reading of the literature on the CA, which brings to the fore the diversity of the approaches. On the second hand, it aims at proposing a way out from the impossibility, which yields to further discussions of Sen's CA.
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9634, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
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- Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-57, Jan.-Feb..
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