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Nussbaum's capability theory, human dignity and profound disability

Vorhaus, John (2015) Nussbaum's capability theory, human dignity and profound disability. Metaphilosophy. (Unpublished)

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Martha Nussbaum has sought to establish the significance of disability for liberal theories of justice. She proposes that human dignity can serve as the basis of an entitlement to a set of capabilities that all human beings either possess or have the potential to develop. I consider whether the concept of human dignity will serve as the justification for basic human capabilities in accounting for the demands of justice for people with profound learning difficulties and disabilities. I examine the relationship between dignity and capabilities, suggesting that Nussbaum fails to distinguish between several conceptions of human dignity, whilst also identifying one of these conceptions as coming close to meeting several of her demands. However, it is difficult enough to show how dignity is related to just one of our basic entitlements, and even that requires more than the resources available in Nussbaum’s approach.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: Nussbaum, dignity, capability, entitlement
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 10:19
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:16
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