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Thesis defences

MA Defence: Fahimeh Nazarian, Philosophy

Date & time
Thursday, June 20, 2024
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Fahimeh Nazarian


This event is free



Painting by Fahimeh Nazarian, 2024 Painting by Fahimeh Nazarian, 2024

Revising the Capability Approach: Adaptive Preferences and Avoiding Paternalism

Fahimeh Nazarian

Supervisor: Pablo Gilabert

The capability approach, as proposed by Martha Nussbaum, identifies ten capabilities that are necessary for human well-being, and suggests that governments have responsibilities to provide these capabilities to ensure a minimum threshold of justice. In some cases, however, individuals with adaptive preferences may not value these capabilities and instead sign them away. This would mark a failure of the government to provide the capabilities and ensure justice. To address this, Nussbaum legitimizes the possibility of forcing the functioning of these capabilities as one way of protecting them. In this paper, I argue that forcing functionings risks paternalism and is not be the most effective approach to tackle adaptive preferences. I offer the idea of preparation to help the capability approach deal with adaptive preferences while avoiding paternalism.

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