This paper received 1st place in the 2019 Hare and Bell competition.


In contemporary ethics, Aristotle's virtue ethics has inspired a new ethical theory that emerged out of the Social Contract theory: Martha Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach. Aristotle's ideas on human capability and function are the foundation of her theory.9 Moreover, Nussbaum takes an ambitious step in philosophy of ethics by adapting elements of Aristotle's virtue ethics in applying her Capabilities Approach to a liberal democratic system of governance. The objective of this paper is to examine Martha Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach through Aristotle's virtue ethics as we consider the ramifications of the former and the latter in the light of liberal democracy.