author={Martha Craven Nussbaum},
  journal={Feminist Economics},
  pages={33 - 59}
  • M. Nussbaum
  • Published 1 January 2003
  • Sociology
  • Feminist Economics
Amartya Sen has made a major contribution to the theory of social justice, and of gender justice, by arguing that capabilities are the relevant space of comparison when justice-related issues are considered. This article supports Sen's idea, arguing that capabilities supply guidance superior to that of utility and resources (the view's familiar opponents), but also to that of the social contract tradition, and at least some accounts of human rights. But I argue that capabilities can help us to… 
No Democracy without Justice: Political Freedom in Amartya Sen's Capability Approach
Amartya Sen has critiqued theories of justice in the liberal tradition for not focusing on actual human living and failing to be truly egalitarian. However, in the absence of a theoretical approach
Critically Assessing the Practical Orientation in Amartya Sen’s Notion of Justice
Questions of social justice on who gets what, how the scarce resources should be distributed in any political community, has been an issue of concern right from the origin of the state to the
Capabilities, Freedom and Sufficiency
This chapter utilizes the accounts of fundamental interests, basic rights and free rational agency from the previous chapters to arrive at a republican principle of social justice, which claims that
Capabilities, Entitlements, Rights: Supplementation and Critique
Abstract Capabilities are closely related to human rights. Capabilities are important human entitlements, inherent in the idea of basic social justice, and can be viewed as one species of a human
In criticizing communitarian views of justice, Amartya Sen argues that identity is not merely a matter of discovery but an object of reasoned choice subject to constraints. Distinguishing three
Abstract This comment on the special double issue of Feminist Economics on Amartya Sen's work discusses a number of themes and evaluates certain criticisms and claims in the volume. Sen's work
A Capabilities Approach to Access to Justice. Unfulfilled Promises, and Promising Strategies in the US and in Europe
During the 20th Century (especially since the end of the 1940s), many national constitutions, international documents and human rights treaties explicitly recognized a so-called right of access to
Competing Theories of Justice
We describe three philosophies of justice: (a) the utilitarian, which says that decisions should be made with the aim of producing the greatest good for the greatest number; (b) John Rawls’s theory
Theory of Social Justice and Involuntary Resettlement: Evidence from India
The 'Theory of Social Justice' as propounded by Rawls is about fairness, involving as it does the ideas of original position, the veil of ignorance and the derivation of two principles of justice. He
From Primary Goods to Capabilities
The capability approach to distributive justice, as defended by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, represents perhaps the most influential recent attempt to reconcile the competing demands of liberty


John Rawls is Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He is the author of the well-known and path breaking A Theory of Justice (Harvard, 1971) and the more recent work Political Liberalism
Women and the Law of Peoples
John Rawls argues, in The Law of Peoples, that a principle of toleration requires the international community to respect `decent hierarchical societies' that obey certain minimal human rights norms.
Caring for justice
Over the past decade, mainstream feminist theory has repeatedly and urgently cautioned against arguments which assert the existence of fundamental--or essential--differences between men and women.
Building on Foundational Myths: Feminism and the Recovery of "Human Nature": A Response to Martha Fineman
Poverty law in the United States is largely law about women and the children for whom they care. That assertion is meant to be something of an overstatement, but just something of an overstatement.
Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics
How is feminism changing the way women and men think, feel and act? Virginia Held explores how feminist theory is changing contemporary views of moral choice. She proposes a comprehensive philosophy
Aristotle, Politics, and Human Capabilities: A Response to Antony, Arneson, Charlesworth, and Mulgan
The articles in this symposium raise more significant philosophical questions than I can answer to anyone’s satisfaction here. They also make me realize how old I am: for they address many
The Costs of Tragedy: Some Moral Limits of Cost‐Benefit Analysis
  • M. Nussbaum
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Legal Studies
  • 2000
In all situations of choice, we face a question that I call “the obvious question”: what shall we do? But sometimes we also face, or should face, a different question, which I call “the tragic
''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household
Highlighting the problems posed by a ''unitary'' conceptualization of the household, a number of economists have in recent years proposed alternative models. These models, especially those embodying
Justice And Care: Essential Readings In Feminist Ethics
* Introduction Delineations Of Care * Caring Nel Noddings. * Moral Orientation and Moral Development Carol Gilligan. * The Need for More than Justice Annette C. Baier. Doubts And Reservations *
Equality of What
We are all of equal value as human beings and are all entitled to equal opportunity to enjoy our lives and fulfil our potential. Equality of opportunity will be achieved when we are able to secure