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choice within them, a power that consists of the ability of an

individual to plan his or her life in accordance with his or her

own evaluation of ends (Nussbaum, 1999). She believes that these

are the essential components to liberal political thought

(Nussbaum, 1999).

In her theory, Nussbaum discusses equality in a

similar fashion to Rawls. She asserts that the moral

equality of individuals gives them a fair claim to certain

means of treatment by society and politics (Nussbaum, 1999). She

claims that this treatment must accomplish two objectives: 1)

respect and promote the liberty of choice, and 2) respect and

promote the equal worth of persons as choosers (Nussbaum, 1999).

At the core of Nussbaum’s theory on human rights are what she

terms the basic capabilities (Table 2), which are based on

Amartya Sen’s substantial freedoms (Garrett, 2002). These are

basic human rights that Nussbaum believes everyone is entitled

to.

Table 2: The Basic Capabilities from Martha Nussbaum’s Theory of

Human Rights (Garrett, 2002):

    • 1.

      Life: Being able to live to the end of a human life of normal length;

  • 2.

    Bodily health and integrity;

  • 3.

    Bodily integrity: Being able to move freely from place to place; being able to be secure against violent

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