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Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach / Edition 1

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Overview

In this book Martha Nussbaum, proposes a new kind of feminism that is genuinely international, argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women.
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Editorial Reviews

Ellen Willis
An important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas.
New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
"Women and Human Development is an important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas." New York Times Book Review

"Women and Human Development is an important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas...eloquent." The New York Times Book Review

"Philosophically ambitious, politically daring and morally insistent, Women and Human Development hopes to shake the complacent reader into realising just how dire the conditions are under which so many women around the world try to live, work and love." London Review of Books

"Theological ethicists who believe that feminist global ethics need not be culturally relativist nor committed to a kind of abstraction that 'turns the mind away from reality' should find in Women and Human Development a stimulating argument that attends to both experience and philosophical grounding yet is open to the significant contributions of religious traditions and their scriptural interpretations. This book should stimulate interest among generalists as well as professional ethicists and scholars in philosophy and religious studies." Religious Studies Review

"This is a must-read book for international development specialists, and will greatly reward others willing to invest some effort and thought in it." Choice

"A powerfully argued proposal for a turn to 'quality of life' as privileged criterion in discerning just distribution and access to social and material goods in civil society. A vital text for studies in development, economic ethics, feminist ethics, theories of justice, human rights, women's studies." Center for Women and Religion

"This book is an important contribution to the increasing dialogue between Western and Third World feminists, and should be read by anyone interested in international development." Susan Okin, Stanford University

"The ringing defences of universalism, liberalism and human rights in the early chapters of Sex and Social Justice [Nussbaum; Oxford University Press] are expanded and revised in Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach." The London Review of Books

"I found myself caught up in Nussbaum's arguments, and when I taught Women and Human Development to a seminar filled with antiliberal graduate students, this book gave them a terrific challenge.... Even those who strongly disagree with liberalism and are strong supporters of cultural diversity and relativism will be forced to confront the questions Nussbaum raises and to think critically about these issues. Political philosophers can ask for nothing more." American Political Science Review

"Theological ethicists who believe that feminist global ethics need not be culturally relativist nor committed to a kind of abstraction that 'turns the mind away from reality' should find in Women and Human Development a stimulating argument that attends to both experience and philosophical grounding yet is open to the significant contributions of religious traditions and their scriptural interpretations. This book should stimulate interest among generalists as well as professional ethicists and scholars in philosophy and religious studies." Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521003858
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Series: Seeley Lectures Series , #3
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction: Feminism and International Development 1
I. Development and Sex Equality 1
II. The Capabilities Approach: An Overview 4
III. The Capabilities Approach: Sen and Nussbaum 11
IV. Two Women Trying to Flourish 15
V. India: Sex Equality in Theory, Not Reality 24
VI. Sameness and Difference 31
Chapter 1 In Defense of Universal Values 34
I. Challenges to Cross-Cultural Norms 34
II. Three Arguments: Culture, Diversity, Paternalism 41
III. Defects of Standard Economic Approaches 59
IV. Central Human Capabilities 70
V. Functioning and Capability 86
VI. Capabilities and Human Rights 96
VII. Justification and Implementation: Democratic Politics 101
VIII. Capabilities and Women's Lives: A Role for Public Action 106
Chapter 2 Anaptive Preferences and Women's Options 111
I. Preference and the Good: Two Unsatisfactory Extremes 112
II. Problems with the Concept of Preference 119
III. Welfarism: The Internal Critique 122
IV. Adaptive Preferences and the Rejection of Welfarism 135
V. Desire and Justification 148
VI. Political Stability and the Depth of Habit 161
Chapter 3 The Role of Religion 167
I. Religious Liberty and Sex Equality: A Dilemma 168
II. Secular Humanists and Traditionalists 174
III. Two Orienting Principles 187
IV. Central Capabilities as Compelling State Interests 198
V. Non-Religion, Establishment, Balancing 206
VI. Applying the Approach: The Three Cases 212
VII. Children and Parents 230
VIII. Capabilities and Loss 235
Chapter 4 Love, Care, and Dignity 241
I. A Home for Love and Violence 242
II. Capabilities: Each Family Member as End 245
III. The Family: Not "by Nature" 252
IV. The Family as Creation of State Action 261
V. Women's Care Giving: "An Eminently Artificial Thing" 264
VI. Political Liberalism and the Family: Rawls's Dilemma 270
VII. Bargaining Approaches and Women's Options 283
VIII. Two Debates in International Feminism 290
Conclusion 298
Index 305
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