This short monograph presents a set of interrelated theses concerning the foundations of welfare economics, in particular the assessment of personal well-being and advantage. The argument presented focuses on the capability to function, i.e. what a person can do or can be, questioning in the process the more standard emphasis on opulence as in 'real income' estimates or on utility as in traditional 'welfare economic' formulations. Insofar as opulence and utility have roles, these can be seen in terms of their indirect connections with well-being and advantage. In fact, a person's motivations in making choices is treated here as a parametric variable which may or may not coincide with the pursuit of self-interest.
Given the large number of practical problems arising from the roles and limitations of different concepts of interest and the judgement of advantage and well-being, this scholarly investigation is not only of theoretical interest, but also of real practical import. Two appendices, the first dealing with some international comparisons and the second, examining the sex bias in the Indian economy in terms of well-being and advantage of women vis-a-vis men, amply illustrate the approach adopted in this study.