Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics (MA)


Philosophy and Religious Studies

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Hans-Herbert Koegler

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew Buchwalter

Third Advisor

Dr. Mitch Haney

Department Chair

Dr. Hans-Herbert Koegler

College Dean

Dr. Barbara Hetrick


Critical Realism, the Capabilities Approach, and Marxism, all have underdeveloped theoretical problems. For Critical Realism, the ceteris paribus clause, which is used to asses an ideological critique, does not properly specify what other things warrant the dismissal or acceptance of said critique. For the Capabilities Approach, a proper ontology or metaphysics is missing, and the claim that the Capabilities Approach can be metaphysically neutral is false. Finally, Marxism is good at describing the more onerous aspects of capitalism (e.g., alienation, exploitation, crisis), but it does not provide normative force for seeing these descriptions as bad. I argue that these three schools of thought, when connected through the ontology of Critical Realism, can be rendered mutually inclusive, and each theory can help address the lacuna in its respective counterpart. Critical Realism gives to Marxism and the Capabilities Approach ontological justification, and the Capabilities Approach gives to Critical Realism and Marxism normative force. And finally, Marxism gives to the Capabilities Approach a more radical, but consistent twist that furthers the goal of realizing our shared human powers.

Included in

Metaphysics Commons