chapter  4
16 Pages

A Just Distribution of Capabilities

ByLinda Barclay

This chapter assesses whether the capabilities approach is a suitable theory of justice for disability. It argues that prominent versions of the view do better than resource approaches with respect to the first criterion of a suitable theory of distributive justice, namely that they propose the right kind of solutions to disadvantage. The chapter also argues that they face greater challenges than the resource approach with respect to the second criterion, that is, that they avoid disrespecting or disparaging people with disabilities. When the impairments of some people prevent them from functioning in the specified manner, the threat to their status as equals looms large. Nevertheless, the chapter suggests that this problem is ineluctable, not just for the capabilities approach, but for any plausible theory of distributive justice. The chapter then argues that the capabilities approach should sometimes recommend "extra" personal resources to people unable to effectively convert resources into valuable capabilities.