Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Capabilities Compatible with Political Liberalism? A Third Way

Brooks, Thom

Capabilities Compatible with Political Liberalism? A Third Way Thumbnail



This article explores the relationship between capabilities and political liberalism. There are two views about how they might be compatible: Sen claims capabilities should be seen as a revision of primary goods while Nussbaum argues capabilities should form part of an overlapping consensus. It is argued they are both right—and incorrect. Whereas Sen identifies where compatibility might best be found, it is Nussbaum’s conception of capabilities that is able to overcome Rawls’s objections to Sen’s proposal. This provides a new third way of conceiving how capabilities and political liberalism might address these concerns that is more compelling for how Sen and Nussbaum claim. The two rivals can come together, but not in the way that either of its most well known champions have argued.


Brooks, T. (2021). Capabilities Compatible with Political Liberalism? A Third Way. Croatian Journal of Philosophy, 21(62), 237-250.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2020
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 20, 2021
Journal Croatian journal of philosophy
Print ISSN 1333-1108
Publisher Philosophy Documentation Center
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 62
Pages 237-250


You might also like

Downloadable Citations