Broadening our Look: a New Approach to Poverty and Human Flourishing

Boltvinik, Julio (2009). "Broadening our Look: a New Approach to Poverty and Human Flourishing" Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

The paper will present a radically new approach to poverty/human flourishing, founded positively on Marxist philosophical anthropology and on systematic reflection on human needs, and negatively on the critique of both what can be called the political economy of poverty and of existing answers to the question of the constitutive elements of human flourishing. The approach adopts as constitutive element of human flourishing, conceived as a multi-perspective conceptual axis, the development of what Marx called the human essential forces: needs and capacities. By cutting off all other perspectives than the economic one from the axis of human flourishing, one derives the standard of living axis, which looks at the development of human essential forces from the perspective of economic (in a broad sense) resources, conditions and opportunities. The paper presents the conclusions of a book of the same name as the title of this presentation (in two volumes) being prepared for printing. In each axis two dimensions of being: structural and circumstantial. This allows for the construction of four concepts of poverty/wealth (or human flourishing): structural being human poverty; circumstantial being human poverty; structural being economic poverty; and circumstantial being economic poverty. The paper presents three main sections each relating to a feature of the new approach: the negative foundations; the positive foundations; and a synthetic view of the new approach.
scroll to top