Functionings and Capability

Amartya Sen

in Inequality Reexamined

Published in print September 1995 | ISBN: 9780198289289
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596896 | DOI:
 Functionings and Capability

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This chapter identifies, develops, and defends a particular choice of space and its use in terms of freedom to achieve. A person's capability to achieve functionings that he or she has reason to value provides a general approach to the evaluation of social arrangements, and this yields a particular way of viewing the assessment of equality and inequality. The functionings included can vary from most elementary ones, such as being well nourished, avoiding escapable morbidity and premature mortality, etc. to quite complex and sophisticated achievements, such as having self‐respect, being able to take part in the life of the community, and so on. The selection and weighting of different functionings influence the assessment of the capability to achieve various alternative functioning bundles.

Keywords: achievement; capability; choice; discrimination; equality; freedom; functionings; inequality; space

Chapter.  7574 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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