Capabilities, Functionings and Refined Functionings

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43 Scopus citations


Sen's theory of capabilities is often presented as more comprehensive than an approach in terms of achievements (functionings) because it takes account of freedom and it contains at least as much information. This paper questions the last argument and argues that both kinds of consideration (freedom, comprehensive information) justify an approach in terms of refined functionings (an expression coined by Sen to describe the pair functionings–capabilities) rather than a pure capability approach. It briefly examines why achievements and not only opportunities may matter in social evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development


  • Capability
  • Equality
  • Functioning
  • Justice
  • Opportunity


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