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Anderson, Elizabeth, , . Justifying the Capabilities Approach to Justice
2010, in Brighouse, H. & Robeyns, I. (Eds.) Measuring Justice: Primary Goods and Capabilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 81-100.
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Comment: A defense of the capability approach as a superior (objective) metric of justice with a particular focus on ends vs. means, discrimination against the disabled, individual variations in functioning, and the delivery of public services such as health and education. Contains a useful overview of the capabilities approach and where it fits into a complete theory of justice. Compares and contrasts the CA with a resourcist approach.

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Anderson, Elizabeth, , . What is the Point of Equality?
1999, Ethics 109(2): 287-337.
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Introduction: If much recent academic work defending equality had been secretly penned by conservatives, could the results be any more embarrassing for egalitarians? Consider how much of this work leaves itself open to classic and devastating conservative criticisms. Ronald Dworkin defines equality as an “envy-free” distribution of resources.’ This feeds the suspicion that the motive behind egalitarian policies is mere envy. Philippe Van Parijs argues that equality in conjunction with liberal neutrality among conceptions of the good requires the state to support lazy, able-bodied surfers who are unwilling to work. This invites the charge that egalitarians support irresponsibility and encourage the slothful to be parasitic on the productive. Richard Arneson claims that equality requires that, under certain conditions, the state subsidize extremely costly religious ceremonies that its citizens feel bound to perform. G. A. Cohen tells us that equality requires that we compensate people for being temperamentally gloomy, or for being so incurably bored by inexpensive hobbies that they can only get fulfilling recreation from expensive diversions. These proposals bolster the objection that egalitarians are oblivious to the proper
limits of state power and permit coercion of others for merely private ends. Van Parijs suggests that to fairly implement the equal right to get married, when male partners are scarce, every woman should be given an equal tradable share in the pool of eligible bachelors and have to bid for whole partnership rights, thus implementing a transfer of wealth from successful brides to compensate the losers in love. This supports the objection that egalitarianism, in its determination to correct perceived unfairness everywhere, invades our privacy and burdens the personal ties of love and affection that lie at the core of family life.

Comment: This article asks the question: 'What is the point of equality?'. It provides a really clear diagnosis of some of the problems facing luck egalitarianism and goes on to articulate a particular version of the capability approach. Anderson argues that individuals are entitled to whatever they need to escape or overcome oppressive social relationships and to the capabilities necessary to participate as an equal citizen in a democratic state.

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Jaggar, Alison, , . Reasoning About Well-Being: Nussbaum’s Methods of Justifying the Capabilities.
2006, Journal of Political Philosophy 14(3): 301-322.
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Content: Discusses Nussbaum’s methodology and the question of whether she covertly relies on assumptions about her own moral authority.

Comment: Most useful as further reading on political liberalism or the capability approach.

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Nussbaum, Martha, , . Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership
2006, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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Publisher: Theories of social justice are necessarily abstract, reaching beyond the particular and the immediate to the general and the timeless. Yet such theories, addressing the world and its problems, must respond to the real and changing dilemmas of the day. A brilliant work of practical philosophy, Frontiers of Justice is dedicated to this proposition. Taking up three urgent problems of social justice neglected by current theories and thus harder to tackle in practical terms and everyday life, Martha Nussbaum seeks a theory of social justice that can guide us to a richer, more responsive approach to social cooperation. The idea of the social contract–especially as developed in the work of John Rawls–is one of the most powerful approaches to social justice in the Western tradition. But as Nussbaum demonstrates, even Rawls’s theory, suggesting a contract for mutual advantage among approximate equals, cannot address questions of social justice posed by unequal parties. How, for instance, can we extend the equal rights of citizenship–education, health care, political rights and liberties–to those with physical and mental disabilities? How can we extend justice and dignified life conditions to all citizens of the world? And how, finally, can we bring our treatment of nonhuman animals into our notions of social justice? Exploring the limitations of the social contract in these three areas, Nussbaum devises an alternative theory based on the idea of capabilities. She helps us to think more clearly about the purposes of political cooperation and the nature of political principles–and to look to a future of greater justice for all.

Comment: This excellent book is valuable in teaching for two main reasons: (1) it extends and expands on the application of the capability approach to non-human animals, the disabled and the global poor; and (2) it offers a valuable critique of Rawls' theory of justice.

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Robeyns, Ingrid, , . Gender and the Metric of Justice
2010, in Brighouse, H. & Robeyns, I. Measuring Justice: Primary Goods and Capabilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 215-236.
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Content: A relatively short but very illuminating discussion of the application of two key metrics (social primary goods and capabilities) to the issue of gender injustice in non-ideal circumstances.

Comment: Offers a clear account of gender and what falls under 'gender justice'. Easy to read with some useful exposition but a reader would benefit from some background knowledge. Probably best as a specialised or further reading.

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Robeyns, Ingrid, , Harry Brighouse. Introduction: Social Primary goods and Capabilities as Metrics of Justice
2010, in Brighouse, H. & Robeyns, I. Measuring Justice: Primary Goods and Capabilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1-14.
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Content: A very short, but very clear overview of the differences between Rawlsian resourcists and capability theorists over the appropriate metric for distributive justice. It also sets out very nicely and very succinctly the main argumentative strategies employed by both sides in the debate.

Comment: Would make good required or further reading in a module on distributive justice, especially in relation to questions about metrics of justice.

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