Cover image for Frontiers of justice : disability, nationality, species membership
Frontiers of justice : disability, nationality, species membership
Nussbaum, Martha Craven, 1947-
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. ; London : Belknap, 2007.
Physical Description:
xiii, 487 p.
The Tanner lectures on human values
Series Title:
The Tanner lectures on human values
General Note:
Originally published: 2006.
Abbreviations -- Introduction -- Social contracts and three unsolved problems of justice -- state of nature -- Three unsolved problems -- Rawls and the unsolved problems -- Free, equal, and independent -- Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant -- Three forms of contemporary contractarianism -- capabilities approach -- Capabilities and contractarianism -- In search of global justice -- Disabilities and the social contract -- Needs for care, problems of justice -- Prudential and moral versions of the contract ; public and private -- Rawls's Kantian contractarianism : primary goods, Kantian personhood, rough equality, mutual advantage -- Postponing the question of disability -- Kantian personhood and mental impairment -- Care and disability : Kittay and Sen -- Reconstructing contractarianism? --

Capabilities and disabilities -- capabilities approach : a noncontractarian account of care -- bases of social cooperation -- Dignity : Aristotelian, not Kantian -- priority of the good, the role of agreement -- Why capabilities? -- Care and the capabilities list -- Capability or functioning? -- charge of intuitionism -- capabilities approach and Rawls's principles of justice -- Types and levels of dignity : the species norm -- Public policy : the question of guardianship -- Public policy : education and inclusion -- Public policy : the work of care -- Liberalism and human capabilities -- Mutual advantage and global inequality : the transnational social contract -- world of inequalities -- theory of Justice : the two-stage contract introduced -- Law of Peoples : the two-stage contract reaffirmed and modified -- Justification and implementation -- Assessing the two-stage contract -- global contract : Beitz and Pogge -- Prospects for an international contractrarianism --

Capabilities across national boundaries -- Social cooperation : the priority of entitlements -- Why capabilities? -- Capabilities and rights -- Equality and adequacy -- Pluralism and toleration -- international "overlapping consensus" -- Globalizing the capabilities approach : the role of institutions -- Globalizing the capabilities approach : what institutions? -- Ten principles for the global structure -- Beyond "compassion and humanity" : justice for nonhuman animals -- "Beings entitled to dignified existence" -- Kantian social contract views : indirect duties, duties of compassion -- Utilitarianism and animal flourishing -- Types of dignity, types of flourishing : extending the capabilities approach -- Methodology theory and imagination -- Species and individual -- Evaluating animal capabilities : no nature worship -- Positive and negative, capability and functioning -- Equality and adequacy -- Death and harm -- overlapping consensus? -- Toward basic political principles : the capabilities list -- ineliminability of conflict -- Toward a truly global justice -- moral sentiments and the capabilities approach -- Notes -- References -- Index.


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Theories of social justice are necessarily abstract, reaching beyond the particular and the immediate to the general and the timeless. Yet such theories, addressing the world and its problems, must respond to the real and changing dilemmas of the day. A brilliant work of practical philosophy, Frontiers of Justice is dedicated to this proposition. Taking up three urgent problems of social justice neglected by current theories and thus harder to tackle in practical terms and everyday life, Martha Nussbaum seeks a theory of social justice that can guide us to a richer, more responsive approach to social cooperation.

The idea of the social contract--especially as developed in the work of John Rawls--is one of the most powerful approaches to social justice in the Western tradition. But as Nussbaum demonstrates, even Rawls's theory, suggesting a contract for mutual advantage among approximate equals, cannot address questions of social justice posed by unequal parties. How, for instance, can we extend the equal rights of citizenship--education, health care, political rights and liberties--to those with physical and mental disabilities? How can we extend justice and dignified life conditions to all citizens of the world? And how, finally, can we bring our treatment of nonhuman animals into our notions of social justice? Exploring the limitations of the social contract in these three areas, Nussbaum devises an alternative theory based on the idea of "capabilities." She helps us to think more clearly about the purposes of political cooperation and the nature of political principles--and to look to a future of greater justice for all.

Table of Contents

Abbreviationsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
1 Social Contracts and Three Unsolved Problems of Justicep. 9
i The State of Naturep. 9
ii Three Unsolved Problemsp. 14
iii Rawls and the Unsolved Problemsp. 22
iv Free, Equal, and Independentp. 25
v Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kantp. 35
vi Three Forms of Contemporary Contractarianismp. 54
vii The Capabilities Approachp. 69
viii Capabilities and Contractarianismp. 81
ix In Search of Global Justicep. 92
2 Disabilities and the Social Contractp. 96
i Needs for Care, Problems of Justicep. 96
ii Prudential and Moral Versions of the Contract; Public and Privatep. 103
iii Rawls's Kantian Contractarianism: Primary Goods, Kantian Personhood, Rough Equality' Mutual Advantagep. 107
iv Postponing the Question of Disabilityp. 108
v Kantian Personhood and Mental Impairmentp. 127
vi Care and Disability: Kittay and Senp. 140
vii Reconstructing Contractarianism?p. 145
3 Capabilities and Disabilitiesp. 155
i The Capabilities Approach: A Noncontractarian Account of Carep. 155
ii The Bases of Social Cooperationp. 156
iii Dignity: Aristotelian, not Kantianp. 159
iv The Priority of the Good, the Role of Agreementp. 160
v Why Capabilities?p. 164
vi Care and the Capabilities Listp. 168
vii Capability or Functioning?p. 171
viii The Charge of Intuitionismp. 173
ix The Capabilities Approach and Rawls's Principles of Justicep. 176
x Types and Levels of Dignity: The Species Normp. 179
xi Public Policy: The Question of Guardianshipp. 195
xii Public Policy: Education and Inclusionp. 199
xiii Public Policy: The Work of Carep. 211
xiv Liberalism and Human Capabilitiesp. 216
4 Mutual Advantage and Global Inequality: The Transnational Social Contractp. 224
i A World of Inequalitiesp. 224
ii A Theory of Justice: The Two-Stage Contract Introducedp. 230
iii The Law of Peoples: The Two-Stage Contract Reaffirmed and Modifiedp. 238
iv Justification and Implementationp. 255
v Assessing the Two-Stage Contractp. 262
vi The Global Contract: Beitz and Poggep. 264
vii Prospects for an International Contractrarianismp. 270
5 Capabilities across National Boundariesp. 273
i Social Cooperation: The Priority of Entidementsp. 273
ii Why Capabilities?p. 281
iii Capabilities and Rightsp. 284
iv Equality and Adequacyp. 291
v Pluralism and Tolerationp. 295
vi An International "Overlapping Consensus"?p. 298
vii Globalizing the Capabilities Approach: The Role of Institutionsp. 306
viii Globalizing the Capabilities Approach: What Institutions?p. 311
ix Ten Principles for the Global Structurep. 315
6 Beyond "Compassion and Humanity": Justice for Nonhuman Animalsp. 325
i "Beings Entitled to Dignified Existence"p. 325
ii Kantian Social Contract Views: Indirect Duties, Duties of Compassionp. 328
iii Utilitarianism and Animal Flourishingp. 338
iv Types of Dignity, Types of Flourishing: Extending the Capabilities Approachp. 346
v Methodology: Theory and Imaginationp. 352
vi Species and Individualp. 357
vii Evaluating Animal Capabilities: No Nature Worshipp. 366
viii Positive and Negative, Capability and Functioningp. 372
ix Equality and Adequacyp. 380
x Death and Harmp. 384
xi An Overlapping Consensus?p. 388
xii Toward Basic Political Principles: The Capabilities Listp. 392
xiii The Ineliminability of Conflictp. 401
xiv Toward a Truly Global Justicep. 405
7 The Moral Sentiments and the Capabilities Approachp. 408
Notesp. 417
Referencesp. 451
Indexp. 463