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The Quality of Life

Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen


This volume gathers the thoughts of reputed academics in economics, social policy, philosophy, and the social sciences as they scrutinize contentions regarding quality of life and the way in which it is, it can be, and ought to be measured. Such debates roughly boil down to the merits and shortcomings of measuring the quality of human life in terms of utility, as well as to the advantages and pitfalls of alternatives to the utilitarian approach. Philosophical inquiries concerning what constitutes thriving human life, engage with concrete policy‐making and economic considerations in this work, ... More

Keywords: capability, economics, egalitarianism, philosophy, quality of life measurement, social policy, standard of living, utilitarianism, welfare

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1993 Print ISBN-13: 9780198287971
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198287976.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Martha Nussbaum, editor
University of Chicago
Author Webpage

Amartya Sen, editor
Author Webpage

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Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen

Part I Lives and Capabilities

Amartya Sen: Capability and Well‐Being

Commentary By Wulf Gaertner

Robert Erikson: Descriptions of Inequality

Commentary by Bengt‐Christer Ysander

Part II Traditions, Relativism, and Objectivity

Michael Walzer: Objectivity and Social Meaning

Commentary by Ruth Anna Putnam

Charles Taylor: Explanation and Practical Reason

Commentary by Martha Nussbaum

Part III Women's Lives and Gender Justice

Part IV Policy Assessment and Welfare Economics