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Combining Philosophical and Democratic Capability Lists
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2023 (English)In: Moral Philosophy and Politics, ISSN 2194-5616, E-ISSN 2194-5624, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 185-201Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Political practices often aim to reach valuable outcomes through democratic processes. However, philosophical considerations and democratic deliberations sometimes support different conclusions about what a valuable outcome would be. This paper contributes to a research agenda that aims to reconcile recommendations that follow from these different bases. The setting for this research agenda is capabilitarian. It affirms the idea that what we should distribute are substantive freedoms to be and do things that people have reason to value. Disagreements about these valuable outcomes become particularly problematic in urgent situations such as pandemics, floods, and wildfires. These situations are urgent since they are time-sensitive and involve an impending loss of well-being. A method of compromise would help mitigate losses of well-being while respecting the aim of reaching valuable outcomes through democratic processes. I thus offer an equitable and decisive method of compromise that helps integrate philosophical considerations with democratic deliberations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Walter de Gruyter, 2023. Vol. 10, no 1, p. 185-201
Keywords [en]
capability approach, democratic position, philosophical position, policy-making, well-being
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-191383DOI: 10.1515/mopp-2021-0001ISI: 000738944200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85116105285OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-191383DiVA, id: diva2:1627761
Available from: 2022-01-14 Created: 2022-01-14 Last updated: 2023-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Being well and doing good
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Being well and doing good
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Vara väl och göra gott
Abstract [en]

This dissertation contains an introductory chapter and four articles. In section 1 of the introductory chapter, I provide an overview of my argument. In section 2, I do five things. First, I show that well-being is subject-relative, meaning that well-being is always present in a life if it is present at all. Second, I restrict the discussion to people as welfare subjects. Third, I describe the levels of generality that well-being theorising can take. Fourth, I show well-being’s relations to other values. Fifth, I describe the distinction between having or not having positive well-being and enduring ill-being. In section 3 of the introductory chapter, I outline the main philosophical well-being theories. I highlight their strengths and weaknesses, before moving on to section 4 where I describe the conceptual framework I use in my articles: the capability approach. The capability approach focuses on genuine opportunities, beings, and doings. The opportunities, beings, and doings can be specified in different contexts as needed. Hence, capabilitarian analyses focusing on different opportunities, beings and doings, are available. In my articles, I argue for four things regarding those well-being analyses. First, I argue that, and show how, expert opinions and public opinions can be reconciled in well-being policy-making situations. Second, I argue that, and show how, prudentially negative beings and doings should be assessed by analysing cases of homelessness. Third, I argue that the capability approach can be used to offer a complementary account to the predominant philosophical analyses of addiction which mainly focus on its descriptive nature. My complementary analysis highlights further targets for policy-making efforts. Fourth, I argue that well-being is context-sensitive. To that end, I bolster the capability approach by refining a view called contextualism. I defend this view against counterarguments and consequently both contextualism and the capability approach are made more viable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2023. p. 47
Series
Umeå studies in philosophy, ISSN 1650-1748 ; 14
Keywords
well-being, ill-being, capability approach, monism, pluralism
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Ethics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-207989 (URN)978-91-8070-063-4 (ISBN)978-91-8070-064-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-06-09, Hörsal HUM.D.220 (Hörsal F), Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-05-17 Created: 2023-05-11 Last updated: 2023-05-11Bibliographically approved

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Östlund, Sebastian

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Citation style
  • apa
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