email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Anger and Forgiveness"Are You There Alone?"10 Good Questions about Life and DeathA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Critique of the Moral Defense of VegetarianismA Delicate BalanceA Life for a LifeA Life-Centered Approach to BioethicsA Matter of SecurityA Natural History of Human MoralityA Philosophical DiseaseA Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics ConsultingA Question of TrustA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Short Stay in SwitzerlandA Very Bad WizardA World Without ValuesAction and ResponsibilityAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionActs of ConscienceAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction NeuroethicsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAfter HarmAftermathAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HealthAgainst Moral ResponsibilityAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAging, Biotechnology, and the FutureAlbert Schweitzer's Reverence for LifeAlphavilleAltruismAltruismAmerican EugenicsAmerican PsychosisAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Evolutionary EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy And a Time to DieAnimal LessonsAnimal RightsAnimals Like UsApplied Ethics in Mental Health CareAre Women Human?Aristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAssisted Suicide and the Right to DieAutonomyAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismAutonomy, Consent and the LawBabies by DesignBackslidingBad PharmaBad SoulsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBeauty JunkiesBefore ForgivingBeing AmoralBeing YourselfBending Over BackwardsBending ScienceBernard WilliamsBetter Humans?Better Than WellBeyond ChoiceBeyond GeneticsBeyond HatredBeyond Humanity?Beyond LossBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond the DSM StoryBias in Psychiatric DiagnosisBioethicsBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics at the MoviesBioethics Beyond the HeadlinesBioethics Critically ReconsideredBioethics in a Liberal SocietyBioethics in the ClinicBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical Research and BeyondBiosBioscience EthicsBipolar ChildrenBluebirdBodies out of BoundsBodies, Commodities, and BiotechnologiesBody BazaarBoundBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBraintrustBrandedBreaking the SilenceBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyCapital PunishmentCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsChallenging the Stigma of Mental IllnessCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionChild Well-BeingChildrenChildren's RightsChoosing ChildrenChoosing Not to ChooseClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical EthicsCloningClose toYouCoercion as CureCoercive Treatment in PsychiatryCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy Comfortably NumbCommonsense RebellionCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentComprehending CareConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConflict of Interest in the ProfessionsConsuming KidsContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContentious IssuesContesting PsychiatryCrazy in AmericaCreating CapabilitiesCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical PsychiatryCrueltyCultural Assessment in Clinical PsychiatryCutting to the CoreCyborg CitizenDamaged IdentitiesDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDebating Same-Sex MarriageDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecoding the Ethics CodeDefining DifferenceDefining Right and Wrong in Brain ScienceDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDelusions of GenderDementiaDemocracy in What State?Demons of the Modern WorldDescriptions and PrescriptionsDesert and VirtueDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDestructive Trends in Mental HealthDeveloping the VirtuesDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital HemlockDigital SoulDignityDisability BioethicsDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisordered Personalities and CrimeDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDoes Feminism Discriminate against Men?Does Torture Work?Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing CountriesDrugs and JusticeDworkin and His CriticsDying in the Twenty-First CenturyEarly WarningEconomics and Youth ViolenceEmbodied RhetoricsEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotional ReasonEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmpathyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEncountering NatureEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEngendering International HealthEnhancing EvolutionEnhancing Human CapacitiesEnoughEros and the GoodErotic InnocenceErotic MoralityEssays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEthical Choices in Contemporary MedicineEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEthical Issues in Behavioral ResearchEthical Issues in Dementia CareEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEthical LifeEthical Reasoning for Mental Health ProfessionalsEthical TheoryEthical WillsEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthicsEthicsEthicsEthics and AnimalsEthics and ScienceEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics at the CinemaEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics for EveryoneEthics for PsychologistsEthics for the New MillenniumEthics in CyberspaceEthics in Health CareEthics In Health Services ManagementEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in PracticeEthics in PsychiatryEthics in PsychologyEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEvaluating the Science and Ethics of Research on HumansEvilEvil GenesEvil in Modern ThoughtEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolved MoralityExperiments in EthicsExploding the Gene MythExploiting ChildhoodFacing Human SufferingFact and ValueFaking ItFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFat ShameFatal FreedomFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist TheoryFinal ExamFirst Do No HarmFirst, Do No HarmFlashpointFlesh WoundsForced to CareForgivenessForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness and RetributionFoucault and the Government of DisabilityFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Forensic Mental Health AssessmentFree WillFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will and Reactive AttitudesFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree?Freedom and ValueFreedom vs. InterventionFriendshipFrom Darwin to HitlerFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Silence to VoiceFrontiers of JusticeGender in the MirrorGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenocide's AftermathGetting RealGluttonyGood WorkGoodness & AdviceGreedGroups in ConflictGrowing Up GirlGut FeminismHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHandbook for Health Care Ethics CommitteesHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of PsychopathyHappinessHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHard FeelingsHard LuckHardwired BehaviorHarmful ThoughtsHeal & ForgiveHealing PsychiatryHealth Care Ethics for PsychologistsHeterosyncraciesHistorical and Philosophical Perspectives on Biomedical EthicsHoly WarHookedHookedHow Can I Be Trusted?How Propaganda WorksHow to Do Things with Pornography How to Make Opportunity EqualHow Universities Can Help Create a Wiser WorldHow We HopeHow We Think About DementiaHuman BondingHuman EnhancementHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman TrialsHumanism, What's That?Humanitarian ReasonHumanityHumanizing MadnessI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Was WrongIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf That Ever Happens to MeImproving Nature?In Defense of FloggingIn Defense of SinIn Love With LifeIn Our Own ImageIn the FamilyIn the Land of the DeafIn the Name of IdentityIn the Wake of 9/11In Two MindsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchInnovation in Medical TechnologyInside Assisted LivingInside EthicsIntelligence, Race, and GeneticsIntensive CareIs Human Nature Obsolete?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is There a Duty to Die?Is There an Ethicist in the House?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJudging Children As ChildrenJust a DogJust BabiesJust CareJustice for ChildrenJustice for HedgehogsJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeJustifiable ConductKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Theory of VirtueKids of CharacterKilling McVeighLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLaw and the BrainLearning About School ViolenceLearning from Baby PLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLegal and Ethical Aspects of HealthcareLegal Aspects of Mental CapacityLegal ConceptionsLegal InsanityLegalizing ProstitutionLet Them Eat ProzacLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberal EugenicsLife After FaithLife at the BottomLife, Sex, and IdeasListening to the WhispersLiving ProfessionalismLosing Matt ShepardLostLuckyMad in AmericaMad PrideMadhouseMaking Another World PossibleMaking Babies, Making FamiliesMaking Genes, Making WavesMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMalignantMasculinity Studies and Feminist TheoryMeaning and Moral OrderMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeans, Ends, and PersonsMeans, Ends, and PersonsMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical Research for HireMedicalized MasculinitiesMedically Assisted DeathMeditations for the HumanistMelancholia and MoralismMental Health Professionals, Minorities and the PoorMental Illness, Medicine and LawMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMetaethical SubjectivismMill's UtilitarianismMind FieldsMind WarsMind WarsModern Theories of JusticeModernity and TechnologyMoney ShotMonsterMoral Acquaintances and Moral DecisionsMoral BrainsMoral ClarityMoral CultivationMoral Development and RealityMoral Dilemmas in Real LifeMoral DimensionsMoral EntanglementsMoral FailureMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral MindsMoral OriginsMoral Panics, Sex PanicsMoral ParticularismMoral PerceptionMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RealismMoral RelativismMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral Status and Human LifeMoral StealthMoral Theory at the MoviesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMoral, Immoral, AmoralMoralismMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMore Than HumanMotive and RightnessMovies and the Moral Adventure of LifeMurder in the InnMy Body PoliticMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Sister's KeeperMy Sister's KeeperMy WayNano-Bio-EthicsNarrative MedicineNarrative ProsthesisNatural Ethical FactsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalized BioethicsNeither Bad nor MadNeoconservatismNeonatal BioethicsNeurobiology and the Development of Human MoralityNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNew Takes in Film-PhilosophyNew Waves in EthicsNew Waves in MetaethicsNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNo Child Left DifferentNo Impact ManNormative EthicsNormativityNothing about us, without us!Oath BetrayedOf War and LawOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn EvilOn Human RightsOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOn the TakeOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne ChildOne Nation Under TherapyOne World NowOne World NowOur Bodies, Whose Property?Our Bodies, Whose Property?Our Daily MedsOur Faithfulness to the PastOur Posthuman FutureOut of EdenOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOverdosed AmericaOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPassionate DeliberationPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perfecting VirtuePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonhood and Health CarePersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPerspectives On Health And Human RightsPharmacracyPharmageddonPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhysician-Assisted DyingPicturing DisabilityPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying God?Playing God?Political EmotionsPornlandPowerful MedicinesPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical EthicsPractical Ethics for PsychologistsPractical RulesPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic NeuroethicsPraise and BlamePreferences and Well-BeingPrimates and PhilosophersPro-Life, Pro-ChoiceProcreation and ParenthoodProfits Before People?Progress in BioethicsProperty in the BodyProzac As a Way of LifeProzac on the CouchPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric EthicsPsychiatry and EmpirePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and Consumer CulturePsychology and LawPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePublic Health LawPublic Health Law and EthicsPublic PhilosophyPunishing the Mentally IllPunishmentPursuits of WisdomPutting Morality Back Into PoliticsPutting on VirtueQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRaceRadical HopeRadical VirtuesRape Is RapeRe-creating MedicineRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReckoning With HomelessnessReconceiving Medical EthicsRecovery from SchizophreniaRedefining RapeRedesigning HumansReducing the Stigma of Mental IllnessReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRefuting Peter Singer's Ethical TheoryRelative JusticeRelativism and Human RightsReligion ExplainedReprogeneticsRescuing JeffreyResponsibilityResponsibility and PsychopathyResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsResponsible GeneticsRethinking CommodificationRethinking Informed Consent in BioethicsRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeReturn to ReasonRevolution in PsychologyRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRisk and Luck in Medical EthicsRobert NozickRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Rule of Law, Misrule of MenRun, Spot, RunRunning on RitalinSatisficing and MaximizingSchizophrenia, Culture, and SubjectivityScience and EthicsScience in the Private InterestScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealScience, Seeds and CyborgsScratching the Surface of BioethicsSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSeeing the LightSelf-ConstitutionSelf-Made MadnessSelf-Trust and Reproductive AutonomySentimental RulesSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex OffendersSex, Family, and the Culture WarsSexual DevianceSexual EthicsSexual PredatorsSexualized BrainsShaping Our SelvesShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShunnedSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSickoSide EffectsSidewalk StoriesSister CitizenSkeptical FeminismSocial Inclusion of People with Mental IllnessSocial JusticeSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatSovereign VirtueSpeech MattersSpiral of EntrapmentSplit DecisionsSticks and StonesStories MatterSubjectivity and Being SomebodySuffering, Death, and IdentitySuicide ProhibitionSurgery JunkiesSurgically Shaping ChildrenTaking Morality SeriouslyTaming the Troublesome ChildTechnology and the Good Life?TestimonyText and Materials on International Human RightsThe Aims of Higher EducationThe Almost MoonThe Altruistic BrainThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Forensic PsychiatryThe Animal ManifestoThe Animals' AgendaThe Art of LivingThe Autonomy of MoralityThe Beloved SelfThe Best Things in LifeThe Big FixThe Bioethics ReaderThe Biology and Psychology of Moral AgencyThe Blackwell Guide to Medical EthicsThe Body SilentThe BondThe Book of LifeThe Burden of SympathyThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Textbook of BioethicsThe Case against Assisted SuicideThe Case Against PerfectionThe Case Against PunishmentThe Case for PerfectionThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Challenge of Human RightsThe Code for Global EthicsThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe Common ThreadThe Connected SelfThe Constitution of AgencyThe Creation of PsychopharmacologyThe Criminal BrainThe Decency WarsThe Difficult-to-Treat Psychiatric PatientThe Disability PendulumThe Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to ConfrontationThe Domain of ReasonsThe Double-Edged HelixThe Duty to ProtectThe Emotional Construction of MoralsThe End of Ethics in a Technological SocietyThe End of Stigma?The Essentials of New York Mental Health LawThe Ethical BrainThe Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health SciencesThe Ethics of BioethicsThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of SightseeingThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Ethics of the Family in SenecaThe Ethics of the LieThe Ethics of TransplantsThe Ethics ToolkitThe Evolution of Mental Health LawThe Evolution of MoralityThe FamilyThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Forgiveness ProjectThe Form of Practical KnowledgeThe Fountain of YouthThe Freedom ParadoxThe Future of Assisted Suicide and EuthanasiaThe Future of Human NatureThe Good BookThe Good LifeThe Great BetrayalThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Healing VirtuesThe High Price of MaterialismThe History of Human RightsThe HorizonThe Idea of JusticeThe Ideal of NatureThe Illusion of Freedom and EqualityThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Importance of Being UnderstoodThe Insanity OffenseThe Joy of SecularismThe Language PoliceThe Last Normal ChildThe Last UtopiaThe Limits of MedicineThe LobotomistThe Love CureThe Lucifer EffectThe Manual of EpictetusThe Mark of ShameThe Meaning of NiceThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Merck DruggernautThe Mind Has MountainsThe Modern Art of DyingThe Modern SavageThe Moral ArcThe Moral BrainThe Moral Demands of MemoryThe Moral FoolThe Moral MindThe Moral Psychology HandbookThe Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and ScreeningThe Most Good You Can DoThe Myth of ChoiceThe Myth of the Moral BrainThe Nature of NormativityThe New Disability HistoryThe New Genetic MedicineThe New Religious IntoleranceThe Offensive InternetThe Origins of FairnessThe Oxford Handbook of Animal EthicsThe Oxford Handbook of Ethics at the End of LifeThe Perfect BabyThe Philosophy of NeedThe Philosophy of PornographyThe Philosophy of PsychiatryThe Politics Of LustThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Power of Religion in the Public SphereThe Price of PerfectionThe Price of TruthThe Problem of PunishmentThe Prosthetic ImpulseThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe PsychopathThe Purity MythThe Pursuit of PerfectionThe Relevance of Philosophy to LifeThe Right Road to Radical FreedomThe Right to Be ParentsThe Righteous MindThe Root of All EvilThe Rules of InsanityThe Second SexismThe Second-Person StandpointThe Silent World of Doctor and PatientThe Sleep of ReasonThe Social Psychology of Good and EvilThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Speed of DarkThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Story of Cruel and UnusualThe Story WithinThe Stubborn System of Moral ResponsibilityThe Suicide TouristThe Terrible GiftThe Theory of OptionsThe Therapy of DesireThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Triple HelixThe Trolley Problem MysteriesThe Trouble with DiversityThe Truth About the Drug CompaniesThe Ugly LawsThe Varieties of Religious ExperienceThe Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric EngagementThe Virtues of FreedomThe Virtues of HappinessThe Virtuous Life in Greek EthicsThe Virtuous PsychiatristThe Voice of Breast Cancer in Medicine and BioethicsThe War Against BoysThe War for Children's MindsThe Whole ChildThe Woman RacketThe Worldwide Practice of TortureTherapy with ChildrenThieves of VirtueThree Generations, No ImbecilesTimes of Triumph, Times of DoubtTolerance Among The VirtuesTolerance and the Ethical LifeTolerationToxic PsychiatryTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreatment Kind and FairTrusting on the EdgeTry to RememberUltimate JudgementUnborn in the USA: Inside the War on AbortionUndermining ScienceUnderstanding AbortionUnderstanding CloningUnderstanding EmotionsUnderstanding EvilUnderstanding Kant's EthicsUnderstanding Moral ObligationUnderstanding Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry InteractionsUnderstanding TerrorismUnderstanding the GenomeUnderstanding the Stigma of Mental IllnessUnderstanding Treatment Without ConsentUnhingedUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUp in FlamesUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisValues in ConflictVegetarianismViolence and Mental DisorderVirtue EthicsVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesWar Against the WeakWar, Torture and TerrorismWarrior's DishonourWeaknessWelfare and Rational CareWhat Genes Can't DoWhat Have We DoneWhat Is a Human?What Is Good and WhyWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is the Good Life?What Price Better Health?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Normal?What's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong with Homosexuality?What's Wrong With Morality?When Is Discrimination Wrong?Who Holds the Moral High Ground?Who Owns YouWho Qualifies for Rights?Whose America?Whose View of Life?Why Animals MatterWhy Animals MatterWhy I Burned My Book and Other Essays on DisabilityWhy Not Kill Them All?Why Punish? How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
This book is intended for an academic audience, but remains very accessible to a larger audience. In a truly impressive way, the problems are addressed at very different levels of analysis, as Nussbaum moves skillfully from philosophical discussions to empirical insights on each topic. She never loses sight of the connection between theory and real life cases and she draws valuable insights from the history of disabled rights. Inspired by the work of Irving Goffman in Stigma, she looks at the evolution of the social perceptions of disabilities. She demonstrates how specific social policies (such as changes in the arrangement of public space) can change our perception of what counts as a major disability.
Frontiers of Justice contains seven chapters. In the first three chapters, Nussbaum exposes her main criticisms against social contract theories. The fourth and fifth chapters address the issue of global inequality. The sixth chapter examines the demands of justice for nonhuman animals. The final chapter points to the crucial role of moral emotions within the capabilities approach.
Nussbaum argues that the three issues of disability, global justice and animal rights show the shortcomings of the social contract as a general framework for a liberal theory of justice. Her criticism targets Rawls' conception of justice [henceforth Justice-as-Fairness], because she takes it to be the best representative of contractarian theories. However, she does not exclusively focus on Rawls, as she gives a brief survey of the main ideas of the social contract tradition as articulated by Grotius, Hobbes, Locke and Kant.
In conformity with the whole social contract tradition, Rawls assumes that the individuals in the original position are equal, free and independent. Nussbaum claims that all these assumptions exclude disabled individuals. Equality presupposes equal natural powers and the assumption of natural freedom presupposes some natural capacities. Similarly, the qualification of individuals in the original position as independent excludes those who are dependent on care from others.
The main criticism addressed to Rawls by Nussbaum is what she labels the "postponement" of the question of disability. Rawls does not cater for the special needs of the disabled in the original position but only at a later stage of legislation. Rawls can't include the physically or mentally disabled in the original position for three reasons. First, the index of primary goods based on income and wealth can measure adequately the well-being of non-disabled, but it would not be appropriate to measure the well-being of the disabled, who might need more resources to achieve the same level of well-being. Rawls is committed to use wealth and income because he needs to identify clearly who are the worse-off. The ability to rank in a definite way the worse-off individuals is indeed crucial in order to apply the difference principle. Second, in the original position, the goal pursued by the parties of the social contract is mutual advantage. For the parties, it would thus not make sense to include the disabled. It is indeed doubtful that the costs of including the disabled would offset the benefits of their social productivity. Third, including the disabled would thus require a certain degree of moral benevolence on the part of the parties. Rawls aims at elaborating a theory that would be based on a minimal set of assumptions; adding moral benevolence as a motivation of the parties would add complexity.
Moreover, mental disabilities cause further problems for Rawls' account. Rawls uses a Kantian account of personhood, which is based on a specific account of rationality whose requirements are not satisfied by the mentally disabled. The mentally disabled are disqualified from being citizens because they do not have the type of rationality that is presupposed in Rawls' account.
Nussbaum claims that Rawls' exclusion of the disabled in Justice as Fairness has implications for non-disabled as well. All individuals are indeed temporarily dependent on others; in their young age, in their old age and/or when they are diseased or temporarily disabled. Excluding the disabled would thus also entail excluding the non-disabled when they are dependent on others.
To sum up, Nussbaum identifies four main ways in which Rawls exclude the disabled. First, Rawls uses wealth and income as a metric for social positions. Second, Rawls endorses a Kantian conception of the person, which requires a high degree of rationality and excludes the mentally disabled. Third, Rawls assume that the parties to the social contract are roughly equal in power and abilities. Fourth, the original position postulates mutual advantage as the goal pursued by all the parties.
On all these counts, Nussbaum claims that the capabilities approach fares better. The capabilities approach starts from the Aristotelian conception of human beings as social and political beings. There is thus no need to justify by mutual advantage the constitution of a political community, since human beings find fulfillment only in a social and political environment. The approach considers justice and inclusiveness as ends of intrinsic value; the good of others is seen as a part of any citizen good.
The capabilities approach also does not need to postulate equality and independence as necessary features of individuals.
Inspired by an Aristotelian account of human nature, Nussbaum argues that some central human capabilities are implicit in the idea of a life worthy of human dignity. On this Aristotelian account, human beings are characterized by a combination of practical reasoning, sociable disposition and bodily needs. These characteristic features are defined by the capabilities. The capabilities are thus constitutive of a life with human dignity.
Moreover, she claims that these capabilities can become part of an overlapping consensus for citizens who have different comprehensive conceptions of the good. The capabilities approach is thus a political doctrine about basic entitlements, not a comprehensive moral doctrine. The ten central human capabilities identified by Nussbaum include: life; bodily health; bodily integrity; senses, imagination and thought; emotions; practical reasons; affiliation; other species (that is, the ability to live with concern for other species); play; control over one's environment (political and material). It is crucial in her account that a sharp distinction is made between a capability and a functioning. Capability refers to the opportunity and ability to do something while actual functioning entails that the individual is actually engaged in the activity in question. The capability approach aims at ensuring that individuals are able to engage in political participation and play, but does not demand that all individuals get actually involved in politics or play. It aims at improving individuals' choice. This allows the capabilities approach to remain liberal, despite articulating a specific conception of the good.
Nussbaum suggests that the main political and social goal should be to ensure that each citizen gets above a threshold level of each capability. Moreover, she claims that the same threshold of capabilities should be used for disabled and able alike, because most disabled people can be brought above this threshold, if appropriate social policies are designed. According to Nussbaum, a massive change in the design of public space and a massive investment in the education of the mentally impaired could bring most mentally disabled above the various thresholds of capabilities. However, Nussbaum recognizes that some disabled will not be able to reach this threshold. The only thing left to say about them is that, to the extent that they can't reach the same threshold of a specific capability, their life is unfortunate. One should strive nevertheless to help disabled individuals to reach as many of the capabilities threshold directly.
Nussbaum sketches the practical implications of the capabilities approach at the global level. Some specific principles must be articulated- and Nussbaum suggests ten such principles. Moreover, there must be a clear attribution of duties to specific institutions. However, the idea of human dignity that grounds the capabilities approach considers that entitlements –not duties- are fundamental. Practically, at the international level, however, it is crucial to know which actors are responsible to carry out these duties, given that the international institutional structure consists in a variety of different actors. The duties to promote the development of capabilities should thus be shared between states (with responsibilities to redistribute to poorer nations), multinational corporations (with responsibilities in the countries in which they operate), global economic agencies, other international bodies, nongovernmental organizations and individuals. The absence of centralized power leads to several problems: a collective action problem, a problem of asymmetry in the information obtained by the various duty-holders, unfairness in the distribution of duties and a problem of self-defeatingness. The will be self-defeatingness if individuals promote others' capabilities at the expense of their own capabilities. This is very similar to the utilitarian paradox: if everyone aims at maximizing the happiness of others, everyone ends up being less happy than she would otherwise be. According to Nussbaum, all these problems can be mitigated by the attribution of a clearer and bigger role to global institutions.
The last chapter of the book indicates what remains to be done to complete the account of the capabilities approach. Nussbaum also claims that the reliance of the capabilities approach on a certain degree of benevolence is valuable, because the scope of benevolence in individual's motivation is very sensitive to social teaching. She argues that the fundamental conception of justice adopted in a society contributes fully to shape citizens' sense of justice. In contrast to the capabilities approach, a theory of justice based on a social contract would have a negative impact on the moral formation of individuals.
Frontiers of Justice is a wise book and it makes some powerful attacks on Rawls' Justice-as-Fairness. However, I would like to make here some critical comments and two more fundamental objections. Nussbaum's criticism of Rawls' primary goods is quite powerful. It seems indeed impossible for Rawls to include physical disability as one thing covered by the veil of ignorance, because at the next stage, the identification of the worst-off will be false if one uses a wealth and income index. Rawls himself has implicitly recognized the deficiency of the wealth and income index by refraining from using it to measure self-respect, which he nevertheless counts as one of the primary goods. However, I remain unconvinced by Nussbaum claims that it would be impossible for Justice as Fairness to use a capabilities-based metric to measure the index of primary goods. Nussbaum claims indeed that Justice as Fairness can't endorse a capability-based metric because it would then not be feasible to identify the worst-off. But it is not clear to me why a capability-based metric couldn't identify the worse-off. Individuals who have the least number of capabilities could be identified as the worst-off. For sure, these would constitute a bigger group of worse-off than the worse-off identified by a wealth and income index. But the difference principle could still be applied to them.
I am also unclear about the extent of divergence that separates Nussbaum from Rawls. Very early on, Nussbaum claims that she does not intend to dispute the principles selected by the Rawlsian procedure. Instead, she attempts to arrive at similar principles of justice by another route; her main objections being directed at the original position. However, despite her claims that her theory will arrive at similar principles, the capability approach endorses a sufficientarian principle of distribution instead of the difference principle. Nussbaum seems to be playing down the extent of her divergence from Rawls. By doing that, she misleads the reader.
I also remain unconvinced by Nussbaum's attempt to reconcile her commitment to an Aristotelian account of human dignity with her judgment that those who fail to display the characteristics typical of human beings remain human beings. This is self-contradictory. If the capabilities are constitutive of human dignity, individuals lacking these capabilities to the required extent are deprived of human dignity. Nussbaum can't argue at the same time that human beings are characterized by a set of features but that lacking these specific features does not entail a fall from the human species. One of the arguments that Nussbaum sketches is that disabled individuals belong to a set of close-knit interactions with human beings. This is a weak argument, as domestic pets are also living in close-knit interactions with human beings, but this fact alone does not ground their belonging to the human species. I believe that her account of what constitute human dignity lead her to endorse the view that those who lack these features lack human dignity.
Let me now turn to two more general objections to Nussbaum. First, Nussbaum's main criticisms are directed to the setting of the original position and the assumption of mutual advantage. She believes that any attempt to model justice on the basis of mutual advantage is wrong-headed. On her view, a true account of justice should deal with the appropriate development of certain ethical emotions. I will argue here however that she might be misunderstanding slightly the role of the original position in Rawls. Unlike Scanlon in What We Owe to Each Other, Rawls aims at providing an account of justice in which the individual is not motivated by the well-being of others. I do not believe though that the motivation of mutual advantage so postulated is to be taken as seriously as Nussbaum takes it. It is only for the sake of rendering explicit the source of our conception of justice that Rawls uses self-interest. Confronted to an injustice, an individual's compassion is based on his ability to imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of the injustice. The original position captures the origin of the benevolence one feels towards others. To her credit, Nussbaum acknowledges that the veil of ignorance complement the original position and that together they model impartiality. However, many of her criticisms remain targeted at the original position taken independently.
Second, Nussbaum does not examine the possibility that her capabilities account and Justice-as-Fairness might be compatible. The achievement of a certain threshold of capabilities might function as a pre-condition to Justice-as-Fairness. Rawls suggests indeed that basic needs of individuals should already be met before the application of the two principles of justice. This suggestion is vague and leaves unsaid how many needs are to be met. But this indicates that Rawls could perfectly integrate in his account that some basic capabilities have to be met as a pre-condition to the application of his theory of justice. As he himself admits it, the basic political liberties are worthless if individuals are starving. To be fair to Nussbaum, she is aware that Rawls mentions that some basic needs have to be satisfied as a pre-condition to the application of the two principles of justice. However, she fails to take this as an indication of a possible compatibility between her capabilities approach and Rawls's Justice-as-Fairness. But this possibility deserves serious consideration. After all, the capabilities approach adopted as a theory of justice in and of itself would be very undemanding, as no further principle regulates the inequalities left after the attainment of the capabilities threshold by every citizen.
© 2007 Alexandra Couto
Alexandra Couto is a doctoral candidate in Political Theory at Oxford University.