Capability Approach

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AMARTYA SEN - CAPABILITY APPROACH Introduction: The capability approach is a broad normative framework for the evaluation of individual well-being and social arrangements, the design of policies and proposals about social change in society. The capability approach is used in a wide range of fields, most prominently in development thinking, welfare economics, social policy and political philosophy. It can be used to evaluate a wide variety of aspects of people’s well-being, such as individual well-being, inequality and poverty. It can also be used as an alternative evaluative tool for social cost-benefit analysis, or to design and evaluate policies, ranging from welfare state design in affluent societies, to development policies…show more content…
This excludes any consideration of the morality of the process by which consequences are brought about, for example, whether it respects principles of fairness or individual agency. Sen argues instead for a ‘comprehensive consequentialism’ which integrates the moral significance of both consequences and principles. For example, it matters not only whether people have an equal capability to live a long life, but how that equality is achieved. Under the same circumstances women generally live longer than men, for largely biological reasons. If the only thing that mattered was achieving equality in the capability to live a long life this fact suggests that health care provision should be biased in favor of men. However, as Sen argues, trying to achieve equality in this way would override important moral claims of fairness which should be included in a comprehensive…show more content…
Being educated has been described by Sen as a basic capability, i.e. part of centrally important beings and doings that are crucial to well-being (Sen 1992). Education is referred to as foundational to other capabilities through providing access to education and promoting a concrete set of basic learning outcomes, such as the abilities to read and write. However, from the point of view of the Capability Approach, one can also argue that learning that stops at the level of providing only basic reading and writing skills would be insufficient to advance sustainable development and fighting poverty in its full sense, i.e. addressing capability

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