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Disadvantage$
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Jonathan Wolff and Avner de-Shalit

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278268

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278268.001.0001

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Functionings

Functionings

Chapter:
(p.36) Chapter 2 Functionings
Source:
Disadvantage
Author(s):

Jonathan Wolff (Contributor Webpage)

Avner De-Shalit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278268.003.0003

This chapter deepens the discussion of the nature of disadvantage by asking: what categories of functionings exhaust those necessary to construct a full philosophical theory of disadvantage? Beginning with a list offered by Martha Nussbaum, and Sen's capability approach, the concepts of capability and functionings are further analysed, using the method of ‘dynamic public reflective equilibrium’. This involves a dialogue between the philosopher and the public, in this case a series of interviews with disadvantaged people and with professionals who take care of disadvantaged people in a variety of fields. The result is that while basically Nussbaum's list is shown to be intuitive, four additional categories are suggested. Thus, a new list of functionings is devised as part of the task of setting out a particular pluralist account of disadvantage.

Keywords:   capabilities, capability theory, disadvantage, dynamic public reflective equilibrium, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen

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