Health, Empowerment and Capabilities

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Health, Empowerment and Capabilities

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Publication Other
Title Health, Empowerment and Capabilities
Author(s) Tengland, Per-Anders
Date 2015
English abstract
The discussion about theories of health has recently had an important new input, namely, through the work of Sridhar Venkatapuram. His intention is to combine Lennart Nordenfelt’s holistic theory of health with Martha Nussbaum’s version of the capability approach. The aim of the present paper is to discuss and evaluate this proposal. For this purpose I will first compare Venkatapuram’s theory with a few others, starting with that of Nordenfelt, in order to show some of its weaknesses. Taking an alternative, two-dimensional, theory of health as a starting point, the paper will then discuss a number of issues in relation to the capabilities approach. Several points are made, and discussed: Venkatapuram does not give an account of well-being and its relation to health; he does not explicitly relate health conceptually to an environment; the second order-nature of health is not fully taken into account or explained; health is an “actuality” (or functioning), not (only) a capability; several of the capabilities listed by Nussbaum are health-related and, thus, cannot be (only) conceived of as potentialities; and, Venkatapuram does not fully, or in detail, explain in what sense health is a meta-capability in relation to Nussbaum’s ten capabilities. The paper will end with an explanation of these relations, utilizing the two-dimensional theory, and finally, it will also briefly, relate health to a theory of empowerment.
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Host/Issue 29th EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON PHILOSOPHY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH CARE 19 – 22 August, 2015, "Medicalization" : Abstracts
Pages 104
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Ability
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Note 29th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine & Health Care 19 - 22 August 2015 / Belgium, Ghent
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