Pol 266 Essay-exam 1

Your answer should be typed, 1000-1500 words (3-5 pp.), and include a source citation for the event or phenomenon you use in your analysis. Due Tuesday, June 12.

Martha Nussbaum sets out 10 capabilities which are required for a truly human life. Using a current event or ongoing phenomenon to illustrate your analysis, answer the following questions:

1. Does this list of ten make sense to you? What would you include? What would you exclude? Why?
2. Nussbaum insists that each capability is irreducible, and that none is more important than another, but even if you agree that these capabilities cannot be traded off (e.g., exchange “emotions” for “life”), are some capabilities more important than others? Which ones? Why?
3. Or perhaps it’s not possible to achieve all of the capabilities over the long term without short-term tradeoffs; if that’s the case, what should those trade-offs be? How can it be guaranteed that the neglected capabilities would eventually be developed?
4. Finally, Nussbaum argues that this working list of ten capabilities can be applied universally, albeit with each society or nation-state determining how best to develop them; can any such list ever possess universal applicability?

Answer the questions in one continuous essay, and, again, remember to cite the source (in the body of your essay or at the end) for the information on your current even. No title pages, please: just put your name on the top of the first page.


About proftp

I teach political science and bioethics as an adjunct at a CUNY school.
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