Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Andrew Schroeder

Rights Information

© 2017 Benjamin J Fusek


This thesis focuses upon the surprising connection between two separate bodies of work: the capability approach and Daniel Hausman’s 2015 book Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom, and Suffering. Proponents of the capability approach, such as Martha Nussbaum, have argued that the state has an important role to play in promoting well-being. Hausman seems to hold a position quite dissimilar from this, as he argues that standard practices in health economics are seriously flawed because the liberal state should not be promoting well-being. However, I argue that there exists an unexpectedly great degree of similarity between the two positions and suggest that it seems as though Hausman is, in fact, calling for the promotion of well-being. In illuminating conceptual similarities between the two views, I also point to areas where Hausman’s proposals might be strengthened or enhanced by work from CA theorists. This paper provides the foundation for further research to be undertaken exploring how these views might enhance one another.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.