Does Capitalism Promote Greed?: An Interview with Father Robert Sirico, Part 2
Moreover, regarding the need for a more anthropologically attentive economics, some economists and philosophers have advocated for decades for a human "capability approach" to the economics of welfare (I have in mind the work of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum). While there are different takes on what constitute the 'capabilities' to be defended and preserved by democratic orders, I am wondering if you have any assessment of this approach?
It seems to me that the capabilities approach is an attempt to identify many of the prerequisites to success in a market economy. That's fine as far as it goes, but I don't see a rich conception of the human person as necessarily informing what they consider to be capabilities. They mention capabilities such as life and health, but I think these are goods rather than capabilities. The other question is how one ensures as many people as possible have such capabilities. If it means that the state seeks to guarantee each and every one of these goods, then you will have all the problems associated with a large and intrusive state that seeks to guarantee security for everyone.
Joseph E. Gorra is the Managing Editor of Philosophia Christi, the peer-reviewed journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. He has also interviewed other philosophers, theologians and other theorists on virtue, economics, and the free society for EPSOCIETY.org. At Patheos.com, he recently interviewed Stanford anthropologist, Tanya Luhrmann, about her research regarding evangelical religious experiences. Twitter: @GorraResearch.
You can learn more about Fr. Sirico and the work of the Acton Institute, including their various publishing efforts, educational programs and online resources, by visiting www.acton.org.