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Capabilities Approach to Distributive Justice

One of the central claims of the capabilities approach is that when people are situated differently and have different levels of needs and expectations, certain rights-claims can be better understood as claims regarding equal level of capabilities to function than simply, for example, the equal rights to resources, which may turn out to be unequal in real terms. Thus, one important idea of this approach to distributive justice is to enrich the discourse on equality by reframing the notion of human rights from being empty rhetoric of entitlements to ideas concerning institutional and material arrangements that are conducive to achieving a certain measure of a full human life. The approach has been developed by Harvard economist and philosopher Amartya Sen and later endorsed and expanded ...

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