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Nussbaum's capability theory, human dignity and profound disability

Vorhaus, J; (2015) Nussbaum's capability theory, human dignity and profound disability. Metaphilosophy , 46 (4) Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Article
Title: Nussbaum's capability theory, human dignity and profound disability
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1520523
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