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Power, Luck and FreedomCollected essays$
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Keith Dowding

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781526107282

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526107282.001.0001

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Power, capability and ableness: the fallacy of the vehicle fallacy

Power, capability and ableness: the fallacy of the vehicle fallacy

(p.82) 4 Power, capability and ableness: the fallacy of the vehicle fallacy
Power, Luck and Freedom

Keith Dowding

Manchester University Press

Sen’s capabilities are reducible to individual power. Morriss’s important distinction between ability and ableness is pertinent to the correct analysis of measuring capabilities. Morriss argues that reducing power to resources constitutes the vehicle fallacy. The vehicle fallacy is not a fallacy if resources are measured relationally – for example, the power of money is relative to its distribution. It follows that strategic considerations must enter into the very essence of the concept of power. While the term ‘resources’ in this essay is broader than in Dworkin’s account, the argument suggests that Sen’s capabilities account of egalitarian justice is not, after all, so different from Dworkin’s resource account.

Keywords:   Ability, Ableness, Capabilities, Power, Resources, Sen, Amartya, Social justice

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