International agencies used to measure the quality of life in a nation simply by looking at GDP per capita. Recently that approach has been challenged by an approach that focuses on people’s “capabilities”: what they are actually able to do and be, their substantial freedoms, in some central areas of life. As one of the architects of that approach, Nussbaum will discuss its origins and structure, and the arguments for and against it. Martha Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded March 2, 2010 as part of the Chicago’s Best Ideas series.