A virtue ethical approach to Public Policy: Promoting wellbeing through human capabilities.
The best way to achieve wellbeing in a society is to tailor our policy settings to human capabilities. To do this, we need to adopt a form of virtue theory and apply a framework to policy problems which targets people’s capabilities, bringing them up to a minimum standard of wellbeing.
Public policy should use distributive justice to deploy public goods to bring people up to a threshold of each capability. This is the bare minimum people need to live well. Justice should be balanced between what a government can realistically influence, with limitations to ensure that people’s freedoms are maintained without telling them how to live.
The purpose of this is to reduce obstacles to wellbeing, particularly luck around wellbeing. This means that people can focus on their own functionings and moral actions without fear they will get so unlucky in life that they will never live well.