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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Using the Capability Approach to Conceptualise Wellbeing

Speaker: Ingrid Robeyns, Utrecht University

The capability approach is one of the many different frameworks that can be used to conceptualise well-being. This seminar will address the following questions: How does one use the capability approach to conceptualise wellbeing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the capability approach to conceptualise well-being? For which purposes is this an appropriate framework, and in which contexts should one consider using another framework? What are the consequences for the deeply inter- and multidisciplinary nature of the capability approach to its conceptualisation of wellbeing? And finally, what are some points of attention to keep in mind if one wants to use this framework not just for conceptualising well-being, but also for empirical research and policy making?

Ingrid Robeyns is a political philosopher and economist working primarily on issues in theories of justice, the ethics of institutions and applied ethics. She holds the chair in Ethics of Institutions at The Ethics Institute at Utrecht University (the Netherlands), and directs The Fair Limits Project – funded through an ERC Consolidator Grant – which examines the distributive justice and moral permissibility of having too much personal valuable goods, and how a distributive rule should include an upper limit.

duration: 90 minutes
film date: April 19, 2021

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