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Lecture 12

ECON BC 2075y Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Meritocracy, Bodily Integrity, Paternalism

Course Code
ECON BC 2075y
Belinda Archibong

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12. Distributive Justice: Capabilities Approach Part II
Topics: Sen and Nussbaum on Capabilities approach, critiques of ‘egalitarian’ liberal
approaches, ‘if you’re an egalitarian, how come you’re so rich’
Rawls→ govt. Should intervene as much as possible so that elast advantage can
benefit the most
Libertarian→ free market, no govt intervention, “that’s what charity is for”
Session 12 Topics:
Critique of Sen- on individualism and its results
Are egalitarian liberalism and wealth compatible?
On gender equality
On the case for free college education
Sen: Capabilities Approach to Justice and Well-Being
Equal capabilities- measured in terms of functionings, capabilities and agency
Functionings: beings or doings, various states of human beings, purpose
State of being→ good health, in relationship
State of doings→ doing sports, riding a bike, travelling, actions that
human beings do
Morally neutral things
Value to have or reason to value
Capabilities: freedom people have to live the life they want to live
Relates to functionings if they have the ability to do the functionings
Aka real opportunity to achieve functionings
Conversion factors: can have a resource
Detail of individuals very important to know
Ability to convert resource into functioning mobility→ high
conversion factor
Conversion factor is based on how experience
Stanford readings
Ex. resource bicycle (good)→ functioning mobility (state of human being)→
capability ability to move around (freedom) → utility pleasure
What can affect conversion factor?
personal→ physical, internal to you (mental/IQ)
social→ how people perceive you (gender, race class)
environmental→ geography, climate, natural and artificial geography
The Vaccination debates
Clash of capabilities→ who capabilities should be valued if trying to enact policy
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