The concept of capability was first formulated by Amartya Sen in the late Seventies. It has been further developed in the last thirty years. It represents the main assumption on which his theory of human development is based.
According to the Indian economist, capability means freedom to achieve and realise different combinations of functionings. The concept of functioning, which can be traced back to Aristotle, refers to valuable beings and doings.
Sen Amartya, Development as Freedom, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999.
Sen Amartya, Inequality Reexamined, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1992.
Editor: Valentina GENTILE