128 MIZAN LAW REVIEW, Vol. 10, No.1 September 2016
fourth section raises ten issues3 under three categories, i.e.: (a) material-
environmental-demographic conditions, (b) socio-political living conditions and
(c) state of being.
It is argued that these three categories of concerns illustrated by the issues
that are highlighted in Section 4 require new approaches for the enhancement of
capabilities and livelihoods of citizens. Each issue raised under the three
categories of concern deserves series of research outputs, and this article is
meant to encourage further academic and policy discourse. As a synthesis of the
discussion in the first four sections, Section 5 suggests a model for measuring
well-being at the individual level which can be scaled up to groups and
communities with a view to obtaini ng insights into actual living conditi ons at
the grassroots. The last section briefly reflects on unexamined ideology as an
impediment to new approaches.
1. Enhancing the Capacity of Citizens as the Path to Well-
being and Improved Livelihoods
The core questions in moral philosophy regarding “the best way to live and the
right principles for our actions”4 have been addressed through various
approaches. In the context of well-being and development, the questions involve
“what sorts of things are intrinsically rather than just instrumentally valuable”
and what are ‘the ultimate goals of development’.5 The ‘crude’ commodity
approach “defines fundamental ethical categories in terms of goods and
commodities that are seen as intrinsically good or basic”.6 Even though this
approach duly recognizes the significance of material prosperity in development,
it has the shortcoming of giving “too much attention to commodities turning
them from means to ends”.7 Thus, there is the need to make reference to the
wider dimensions of well-being which include material and other conditions of
Stephen Hawking states the apparent importance of money “because it is
liberating for individuals”, and he remarks that “money has helped not only
make [his] career possible but has also literally kept [him] alive”.8 But he note s
3 The issues are illustrative and not exhaustive.
4 Robert C. Solomon, Kathleen M. Higgins (2010), The Big Questions: A Short Introduction
to Philosophy. Wadsworth Cengage Learning, p. 252.
5 David A. Crocker (1997), “Summary of Functions and Capability: The Foundations of
Sen’s and Nussbaum’s Development Ethic, Parts I and II”, in Human Well-Being and
Economic Goals, Frank Akerman et al, editors, Island Press, p. 302.
8 Stephen Hawking, “Our attitude towards wealth played a crucial role in Brexit. We need to
rethink”, The Guardian, 29 July 2016, Available at