Happiness in Human Development: Lessons from the Capability Approach

  • Tadashi Hirai


This chapter addresses the necessity and possibility of including subjective information within the human development framework. To make the approach truly human-centred, it seems inevitable to reflect people’s evaluations of their own well-being instead of marginalising them due to their whimsical nature. This chapter first reviews the direct influence of the capability approach initiated by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum on the human development approach, then examines their views on happiness so as to understand its value in their work, and finally explores some possibilities for the future direction of the human development approach. Among the remaining issues the approach has confronted, this exercise would be the most challenging yet must be tackled urgently to overcome the gap between concept and practice.


Capability Approach Public Reasoning Normative Account Adaptive Preference Universal Norm 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadashi Hirai
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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