Capabilities and the Definition of Health: Comments on Venkatapuram

7 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015

See all articles by Henry S. Richardson

Henry S. Richardson

Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: January 2016

Abstract

Sridhar Venkatapuram's Health Justice argues that health is a ‘metacapability’ – specifically, as the metacapability of having the ten ‘central human capabilities’ described by Martha Nussbaum. This cannot be right, as it provides no basis for distinguishing health from education, riches, or love. An amendment correcting this problem is suggested, namely that health is the involuntary, bodily aspect of the metacapability for the central capabilities. This amendment is defended against the objection that it fails to capture some important aspects of mental health.

Keywords: health, capabilities, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, Christopher Boorse, Lennart Nordenfelt

Suggested Citation

Richardson, Henry S., Capabilities and the Definition of Health: Comments on Venkatapuram (January 2016). Bioethics, Vol. 30, Issue 1, pp. 1-7, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2706866 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12219

Henry S. Richardson (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy ( email )

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