The Capabilities Conception of the Individual
Format of Original
Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group
Review of Social Economy
This paper advances a capabilities conception of the individual, and considers some of the problems involved in developing such a conception. It also makes claims about the nature of the capability space as a whole, frames personal development in terms of the idea of moving though the capability space, and argues that people are alike in being increasingly heterogeneous. A key problem for a capabilities conception of the individual is that some capabilities, such as belonging to social groups and having social identities, can undermine individuality. The paper discusses an example in which people can have social identities but can nonetheless be relatively independent when seen as self-organizing. Brief comments on one goal of social economic policy as being identity-promoting conclude the paper.