This paper contemplates whether the costs of “dignity” as the foundational core of the Capabilities Approach to social justice and institutional obligation are worth the benefits. Martha Nussbaum’s renovated Capabilities Approach
Martha Nussbaum’s renovated Capabilities Approach provides a robust alternative to competing liberal theories of social justice. It asks a whole lot more from the state. It does so, in part, by keying justice to the realization of and respect for “dignity” rather than practical reason.
But dignity, as philosophers point out, is perhaps the most promiscuous normative abstraction around. “Dignity” advances a variety of policy directives and state obligations. Some of those directives and obligations are unclear; some are contradictory; and some are misguided as measured against the other moral imperatives of the Capabilities Approach.
About the Speaker
Dr. Joseph Fischel is a visiting scholar in residence with the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law this Fall. The Center is pleased to host Dr. Fischel in this lunchtime program on his paper with Claire McKinney, “Capability without Dignity”. Professor Katherine Franke will moderate questions and discussion.
(Wednesday) 12:10 pm - 1:10 pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 646
435 West 116th Street