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6 - Roads Not Taken Yet to Be Taken

Enhanced Capabilities

from Part II - Building a Socially Embedded Individual Conception

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2024

John B. Davis
Affiliation:
Marquette University, Wisconsin and Universiteit van Amsterdam
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Summary

Chapter 6 moves from combatting capability shortfalls to expanding people’s capability development through capability gains. In addition to promoting people’s basic capabilities for what they can be and do, we can also promote their potential enhanced capabilities when societies are democratic and reduce social inequality. I argue this calls for envisioning the economy as a capability generation process rather than as income generation process (or preference satisfaction process) as the mainstream sees it. I address the relationship between democracy and capabilities, explain democracy in the social contract tradition as a system of public reason, discuss the nature of collective capabilities in terms of the idea of people forming collective intentions, and argue that this all entails seeing democratic societies as “open political systems” that allow for constant innovation and evolution in how diverse kinds of people settle upon and consent to rules that govern the decision-making practices they find functional to living together. Finally, I close by arguing that this is all inconsistent with the mainstream conception of private subjectivity. I return to the idea of a person’s self-narratives as a personal identity capability and suggest understanding it requires we rethink how subjectivity is socially embodied and socially situated – a topic taken up in Part III.

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Chapter
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Identity, Capabilities, and Changing Economics
Reflexive, Adaptive, Socially Embedded Individuals
, pp. 135 - 160
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Roads Not Taken Yet to Be Taken
  • John B. Davis, Marquette University, Wisconsin and Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Book: Identity, Capabilities, and Changing Economics
  • Online publication: 11 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009438247.009
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  • Roads Not Taken Yet to Be Taken
  • John B. Davis, Marquette University, Wisconsin and Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Book: Identity, Capabilities, and Changing Economics
  • Online publication: 11 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009438247.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Roads Not Taken Yet to Be Taken
  • John B. Davis, Marquette University, Wisconsin and Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Book: Identity, Capabilities, and Changing Economics
  • Online publication: 11 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009438247.009
Available formats
×