Free Essay for Everyone: Capabilities Approach

Published: 2022-05-09 16:22:20
Free Essay for Everyone: Capabilities Approach
Type of paper:  Thesis proposal
Categories: Human Social justice
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 582 words
5 min read

Humanity is part of the world that is determined as the end and means of universal existence. The wellbeing of a human being can be attributed to his quality of life and the choices they make to better it. Central capabilities approach is a philosophical theory that defines the well-being of humanity. The approach is developed from the functions and capabilities of human beings. Human beings make choices depending on what they can do and how to improve their quality of life. The paper aims to discuss the interconnection between the quality of life and social justice through central human capabilities. These capabilities not only focus on human beings but also on the relationship that exists with the non-human creatures.

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The primary goal of capability approach is to address the ethical importance of a person's ability to achieve a valuable life that they desire. The approach is differentiated by the moral its moral evaluation from other approaches which focus on the well-being of an individual as a means to quality life. More importantly, capability approach views the wellbeing as an end of the things an individual has to do with the opportunities presented to them. The freedom to achieve an individual's well-being can be addressed in terms of the people's central capabilities. In summary, well-being is determined by the opportunities to act upon that which people have a reason to believe is of value. In determination of well-being shortcuts to assess the quality of life leads to misconceptions on a person's freedom and ability to choose. In summary, evaluation of human central capabilities should be open-minded so to understand the quality a person's well-being (Nussbaum, 2011, p 19).

Most theories that address the well-being of an individual are more focused on the specific social attributes in life. However, there are many things to consider in life to determine ones freedom. Capability approach focuses the general well-being so as to determine the freedom of an individual. Unlike Unitarianism which measure the level of happiness to assess the quality of life, capability theory addresses the general well-being of a human. According to the central capabilities approach there are at least ten capabilities that can be considered so as to determine the well-being of an individual. They include; life, health, integrity, feelings, imagination, reasoning, association, social freedom and other species. According to Sen's argument, quality of human life is measured according to ones achievements. These achievements are determined by the functioning and capabilities of individuals. The limitation of what one can achieve is the freedom that each can access. Sen's capability approach is drawn from the capability theory of justice by Nassabaum.

In depth, useful life is can be achieved through different functions and capabilities. In turn, social justice is a result of capabilities available for human practice. It is imperative to distinguish internal and combined capabilities so as to understand the well-being of an individual or a society as a general. Internal skills are traits acquired to better ones life while combined capabilities are freedoms commanded by agencies such the government. Sometimes a person can have the ability of doing something but they are limited by the law. In summary, the society may train individuals to understand their internal skills but they end up being limited by lack of freedom (Nussbaum, 2011, p 22). The resulting outcome is a significance impact on the quality of life that a society advocates for.


Nussbaum, M. (2011). The Central Capabilities. In Creating Capabilities (pp. 17-45).

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